Dance performers at the Kennedy Centre

As a part of the Asian American Heritage Month Celebration, the Asian American Music Society under the leadership of Dr. Mira Yang, President presented a dance and song program at the George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts on May 6 that included a booth display on Sri Lanka,  followed by a program at the Kennedy Center, Millenium stage on May 7 to showcase Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bangaladesh dance groups.  The performance was broadcast worldwide in streaming video on the Kennedy Center website.

Both events were attended by H.E. the Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Jaliya Wickremasuriya and members of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC. The gathering was addressed by Bill Reeder, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University and John Paden, Co Directer Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.  Ambassador Wickramasuriya addressed the gathering and appreciated the effort taken by the organizers in promoting different arts and cultures.

The Sri Lankan cultural items included performances by the Sri Lankan children and youth living in the Washington Metropolitan area. The dancers included Natalia Perera, Amali Perera, Sandali Chandradasa, Fenoli Lowe, Dinali Weeraman, Dehara Weeraman, Malory Lowe, Sitare Sadeghi and Darya Sadeghi. The background to the dance items was accompanied by traditional drums from Himaransi Ranasinghe ably assisted by Stanley Perera, Rama Nangi, Deepti Jayaweera and Samira Wickremasuriya.  They displayed the sounds of the Geta Bera, Thammatam, Thabla and small hand drums. The elaborate costume designs get credited to the Manori Weeraman,  Ramani Perera, Roshini Lowe, Wathsala Chandradasa, Kamali Sadeghi.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya at the Kennedy Centre Performance

As a part of the heritage month performances by the Sri Lankans and other countries held on May 6 at the George Mason University, a Sri Lankan display booth was presented by Hemnath De Silva in a showcase of the country and the Embassy of Sri Lanka participated by providing promotional material and tea handouts to visitors.

As a finale to the program at the Kennedy Center, the dancers of the four countries took the Kennedy Center Stage and paid tribute to their adopted homeland.  "America The Beautiful" was played and sung by Anjalika Silva who also directed the production of the Sri Lankan part of the program with Dr. Mira Yang.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

20 May 2010


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