Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kandyan Dancing most beautiful form of Sri Lankan traditional dancing

                          The Kandyan dance has become most distinctively Sinhalese and is readily associated with the idea of a National Dance. This development can be explained by the fact that the Kandyan Kingdom was the last of the Sinhala kingdoms to fall under foreign rule (1815). Whilst elsewhere in the Island the Dance sank into indifference encouraged by neglect or began to manifest symptoms of corrupt form and body, in the Kandyan kingdom, the Dance flourished under Royal patronage and, like other crafts, was cared for with great interest. The systematization of the dance forms was possible and the oral tradition had time to spread amongst the villages. The Dance, apart from being kept alive, also maintained a purity which gives it its unique quality. This same purity, however, did not make the Dance an adequate vehicle for theatrical modes of presentation, confrontation and entertainment.

                   One might also observe that the religious organization and institutionalization of the clergy and their code of conduct prohibits the encouragement of worldly arts such as music & dancing. This same discipline was encouraged amongst the pious laity too. Thus Buddhism remains the religion amongst the great religions that does not encourage either dance or music. In this way the Dance developed away from the devotional system of, for instance, the Indian classical dance forms. However, the close link maintained between the Court and the Clergy made it inevitable that the Sclergy should indirectly condone the encouragement of the Dance by the kings. The Sinhalese tradition was thrown back onto a social factor prior to its Buddhist conscience but developed with it, through it, around it and also by-passed it. 


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