Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC as part of its vigorous cultural diplomacy programme organized the fifth annual Sri Lanka cultural performance at the World Bank on Monday (11). The large and representative audience at the prestigious Preston Auditorium, World Bank,were in rapt attention and erupted in applause as they witnessed the spellbinding performance of the internationally renowned Visha School of Dance from Sri Lanka.
The Event was compered by Ms. Avanti Weerakoon who welcomed the guests on behalf of the Embassy of Sri Lanka and introduced Ms. Visha Manohari De Silva and her dance troupe.
Executive Director of the World Bank for India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka Mukesh Nandan Prasad, Sri Lanka Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs . Priyanga Wickramasuriya and senior World Bank and IMF officials were among the distinguished guests present.
Trained by internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan dance Guru late Chitrasena and his wife Vajira , Ms. Visha De Silva established her Dance Academy in 1984. Being a choreographer and educationist herself, Ms. De Silva was able to promote Sri Lankan traditional dance in the global arena with her students. Visha School of Dance has represented Sri Lanka in many international dance festivals held in Demark, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, and Thailand.
The performances captivated the audience from the opening dance itself, with female dancers floating on the stage with delicate movements to the song“Buddhanu Bhawena” of veteran Sri Lankan singer Nanda Malini.
The production was followed by a series of dances featuring Sri Lankan upcountry, low country and folk traditions sending the audience into raptures and winning their lengthy applause.
Ms. Rashenka De Silva’s “Kavi Varuna” – singing of Sri Lankan folk songs spellbinded the audience momentarily transforming the atmosphere into the serene Sri Lankan countryside. Sri Lankan musician S.W. Sampath delighted the audience with a Hindi and a Sinhalese song sung to the same tempo. Traditional Sri Lankan drummers who were also part of the event rocked the house with their energetic rhythms in two performances.
The performance ended with a grand finale featuring “Ranga Dahara”, a specially choreographed act exemplifying the rich cultural diversity in Sri Lanka.
The event also featured screening of “Wonder of Asia” documentary produced by the Embassy . Country promotional publications and sachets of Ceylon tea were distributed before the performance .
The Sri Lankan cultural performance at the World Bank was part of the Embassy’s country promotion strategy through Culture, Investment and Trade Promotion.