Monday, July 17, 2006


Thursday, 16th March 2006

I remember the first time I saw Chitrasena and Vajira dance. I was a student in a western capital and came with my friends to see this wonder from Sri Lanka. When the performance was over I was filled with so much exhilaration and a powerful sense of delight. When I look back at that moment of exhilaration, I sometimes wonder why I was filled with so much joy- what were the elements that went into that moment.

Firstly- there was strong sense of national pride. Today national pride is somewhat complicated. Today, I believe that both Sinhala and Tamil nationalism have become self destructive. Some may also wonder what is national pride when the nation itself is contested and there is so much hatred, bigotry and intolerance on all sides. But those were the days of innocence, and national pride was a simple thing, the joy in seeing the land where you were born and the people that you most identify with producing such talent, such creativity. I recall that moment of national pride with a terrible sense of nostalgia.

The second reason for my exhilaration was the recognition of sheer genius. These were not dancers going through a routine and doing their steps. These were inspired artists. When I see Upekha dance even today, I see that genius:-. the love of music, bodies immersed in the rhythm, the confidant mastery of body movements, the commitment to excellence and a passion for their art form. When they danced everyone reveled in that moment of artistic perfection. These were moments of transcendence, a divine gift to an inspired couple...



Blogger Sam said...

Around year or two back one of my friend travels with his son – a young teenager driving the car. Just like every other teenager who starts driving the car, he drives it just to get as much as thrill out of it. Somehow the fellow slightly hit another car on the other lane– but keeps on driving without listening to his father’s advice to stop the car.

The second car follows him to a red light and stopped the boy. My friend let his boy do all the taking since that is his fault and he need to learn how to deal with his own issue. After brief discussion with the owner of the second car my friend’s son asked the damage he had to pay.
He said ‘One Rupee’.
The boy asked ‘One Rupee?’
He said ‘Yes. One Rupee’
My friend son gave him a one rupee and he accepted it – both went their way.
The owner of the second car – who accepted One Rupee as the damage was Mr. Chitrasena.

When I heard that story Chitrasena inspire me as a gentleman more than he did as a dancer.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 2:33:00 pm  

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