The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Spotlight on traditional folk dance and music


Sri Lankan traditional folk dance is a dying art says veteran dance teacher Niloufer Pieris, who has dedicated decades of her life to training young ballerinas. “We need to educate our young people and preserve this extraordinary art,” she says.
For many years Niloufer has made an effort to bring dancing to the people as she believes that it teaches a child many a lesson in life’s skills and personality.

Rangika Jeewantha

Together with the contribution of Royal College, Niloufer has planned an evening of Sri Lankan traditional dance as a tribute to her father, Eustace Pieris, whose 20th death anniversary falls this year.

NATMO 2012 will be a colourful night of traditional folk dance and rare folk songs.
The dancer behind NATMO is Niloufer’s student Rangika Jeewantha who has his own dance academy ‘Rivega Dance Studio’. Rangika has won five international awards and numerous local awards and has performed in the Middle East, Singapore, Thailand and India.

Rangika has prepared for nearly a year and trained 60 dancers from all over the country to make the show a success, despite a disappointing lack of sponsorship, Niloufer’s support apart.

“We want to show the people the best and the rarest folk dances that are slowly disappearing. Children nowadays don’t know what our traditional dance is,” Rangika said.NATMO 2012 will be staged at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on July 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets priced at Rs.1000, Rs.800, Rs.600 and Rs.400 are available at the Wendt.

Dancers from the Rivega Dance Studio


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