Culture in the 19th century came to refer to the betterment and refinement of the individual, specially through education, both Academic and Aesthetic. This is a concept that Wycherley has been bent on developing in the hearts and minds of the children. In this direction, a Cultural Show is one specific programme that has been on the Wycherley Calendar for over two decades.
Wycherley was greatly honoured when Sri Lanka’s First Lady, Mrs. Shiranthi Wickramasinghe Rajapaksa graced CULTURAL SPLENDOUR on February 29th 2012 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre. Being a simple personality, who always enjoys a performance of children, this was an event that she certainly loved to be present at. Wycherley was indeed proud to have her as its Chief Guest at this event.
At the Junior School of Wycherley, both members of Staff and the Students, spared no pains in working towards this show. It was a production related to every section of the Junior School.
The programme opened with “Cultures in Harmony” which was a tribute to the multi lingual, multi racial and multi religious groups in this island nation. It was a fusion of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Western cultures, blending its colours beautifully to weave a mosaic of a united Sri Lanka.
The Elementary Section kiddies in their lovely polka dotted dresses, dolled up in holiday style, danced merrily to the tune of “Dan Niwadu Kalai”. The little frogs, resplendent in their verdant green costumes, danced the carefree activities of their group in their daily life. The “Farmers Festivity Dance” enacted the daily life style of the farmers. They thanked the Sun God and the farm animals for bringing prosperity to agriculture with plentiful harvests. They energized the farmers to produce rice plentifully. The children showed the audience the joy of the farmers, which was clearly evident in their festivity dance.
The students of the Primary Section took the audience on a roller coaster journey with “Circus a la Wycherley”. There were about 150 students in this colourful event which spread from one group to another of Clowns, Gymnasts, Spanish Dancers, Magicians, Acrobats, Ballet Dancers, Stool Dancers and students on mopeds and roller skates. They were all colourfully attired to suit each event. This circus held the audience spell bound, watching each group activity, with a cheer squad waving pom - poms at the back.
The Junior Section took the audience back to the 70’s with their stylish traditional Western dance backed by 70’s music. The “South Indian Fusion Dance ” gave an admixture of various types of Tamil dances to go hand in hand with Tamil music. The “Dandiya” was a display of North Indian Dance using sticks to keep the beat to Hindi music. “Latin American Dance” had a selection of lovely costumes and music to put the children in the mood to jive. This band of students danced like professionals in the field. “Ukusa Wannama” is one of the 18 dance forms in Kandyan dancing. This particular Wannama depicts the elegant movement of the eagle. The dancers who were clad in perfectly appropriate costumes, displayed to the audience the beauty of the eagle and its many faceted movements.
The grand finale was the rendition of “ Mama Mia ” by the School Choir. It is from a stage musical based on the songs of Abba. The title was taken from the group Abba’s Chart topper “ Mama Mia “ in 1975. Over 42 million people have heard these songs and seen the musical since its debut in 1999. These songs remain top favourites even today. That spells out a reason for the choice of “Mama Mia” by the school choir. They rendered the songs to perfection, garbed in very colourful and elegant costumes to suit the production. It was a fitting adieu to “ Cultural Splendour 2012 “.
In the 20th and 21st century, ‘Culture’ has developed to depict the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences. Following World War II, “culture” has become an important term in the usage of society. Wycherley is an International School with an admixture of students of many nationalities. Cultural Day helps children to learn, view and respect the variety of cultures that envelope the students to make them respect various life – styles that belong to the world.