The Chitrasena Vajira Dance Foundation is proud to present the Chitrasena Dance Company’s newest production, Devánjali: Ritual Rites Reflection on July 18 and 19 at 7 pm at the Lionel Wendt Theater, Colombo.

The Chitrasena Vajira Dance Foundation will be commemorating the 10th Death Anniversary of our beloved founder, Guru Chitrasena on July 18, 2015.

Maestro Chitrasena (1921 –2005) is credited for rescuing our dying art-form by reviving and refining elements of ancient rituals and introducing Sri Lankan Traditional Dance to national and international audiences. He founded, Sri Lanka’s pioneering company of Traditional Dance, the Chitrasena Dance Company in 1943 and Sri Lanka’s first school of Traditional Dance, the Chitrasena School of Dance in 1944.

Choreographed by Heshma Wignaraja, artistic director of the Chitrasena Dance Company and a third generation member of the Chitrasena family, Devánjali explores the relationship between the traditional dance and faith, from the demon dancer driven by pulsating drum beats to a homage to Ganesha (God of Knowledge and remover of Obstacles) to more reflective pieces on the qualities of the Buddha and the dilemmas of spirituality, and achieving inner perfection and oneness with the divine.

Devánjali had its international premiere in Australia at the prestigious Sydney Festival and at the Canberra Theater Center in January 2015 to international acclaim. Michelle Potter in her review to Canberra Times wrote: “Dance in Sri Lanka dates back thousands of years, and has its roots in ritual. In its current manifestation by Chitrasena Dance Co, it is a contemporary performing art that continues to honor that past. It has lost none of the ritualistic feeling, but through energetic choreography, compelling performances, evocative lighting and beautifully designed and made costumes, it becomes an exciting 21st century art.”

In March 2015, ‘Devánjali’ was performed at the Swami Vipulananda Institute for Aesthetic Studies, Batticaloa to a packed audience of over 1,000 people followed by the performance at the Weerasingham Hall, Jaffna in May.

Tickets can be purchased at the Chitrasena Kalayathanaya , No 590, Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 5 and on from June 29 – July 5. Tickets will also be available at the Lionel Wendt Theater from July 7 onwards.