A Dance Extravaganza
By Esther Williams
‘Dance Moves,’ a dance extravaganza performed at the Lionel Wendt on 8th and 9th May was a resounding success. Produced by Yoshita Abayasekara, the programme in which 52 students took part featured a variety of items covering different eras of dance.

The first part of the programme comprised Modern classical dance styles in which classical techniques were fused with modern movements. Most of the students were not classically trained yet managed to perform brilliantly to the drums and Enya music.

Junior and senior students performed together in the musicals like Greece, Flash Dance, Chicago and Bombay Dreams. Dancers of Greece numbers wore period costumes such as flared skirts and tie up tops with sneakers. The audience were also taken through the Charleston era to watch dancers working with hats and stools for Chicago. The boys seemed to enjoy doing the Michael Jackson moves.

There was an interesting mix of Indian Bharatanatyam and Jazz in the Chaiya Chaiya number from Bombay Dreams. It was a point where East met the West with the movements having a touch of the eastern as well as modern.

The entire production was a fabulous treat of varied dances including Salsa, Jazz, Hip-hop, etc. There was also an item choreographed by the students themselves. Plenty of hard work had gone into by the look of it. Costumes varied to suit the theme in each of the items.

Yoshita has now started her own Dance school called the ‘School of Dances Moves’ at the Dutch Burgher Union where she will pass on to students her passion for dance. “With dance you learn discipline and learn to keep healthy, for it enhances confidence and team spirit,” Yoshita remarks.

In the Sri Lankan dance scene she has noticed the trend moving towards the hip hop and jazz among the younger generation. “They seem to like it more as they can relate to it better,” says she emphasising that children who did classical dance learnt better and faster. Proceeds from the show went to the Grace Kumari Orphanage in Kaluthara.

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