Artist Talk: Sudesh Mantillake
As a postcolonial dancer and choreographer from Sri Lanka, Sudesh choreographed the colonial exploitation of Sri Lankan dance body in his contemporary dance piece My Devil Dance. Sudesh will present the video of his piece followed by a Q&A. He will explain his creative process and try some movement ideas with the participants.
Sudesh Mantillake is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, and an educator. He is trained in Kandyan dance of Sri Lanka and Kathak dance of India, theatrical clowning, and contemporary dance. Sudesh received his BA degree from the University of Peradeniya- Sri Lanka, and MSc degree from the University of Lugano - Switzerland. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland.
Apart from Sri Lanka, he has presented his work in Athens, Sharjah, London, Helsinki, Lugano, New York, Virginia, Chicago, California, and Maryland. Sudesh has been an intern at the National Museum of Dance, New York, and at the Sri Lanka Educational, Cultural and Welfare Foundation, London. He has also done summer institute at Dance Exchange (founded by Liz Lerman) Takoma Park, USA. Within past three years, Sudesh has performed in, Parampara, a reflection on the transmission of traditional Kandyan dance, Subvisible, a collaborative movement theatre piece with musician David Chavannes, Nothing, a theatrical clown piece by Les(s) Clowns, directed by Leslie Felbain and Daniel Pinha. His recent choreography My Devil Dance explores Kandyan dancers’ experience in the European “colonial exhibitions.”
Sudesh has been awarded, International Teaching Fellowship (University of Maryland, 2013-2014), Leonardo Fellowship (University of Lugano, 2006), University Prize for Academic Excellence (University of Peradeniya, 2004), All Island Sri Lanka-Best Solo Dancer – Kandyan (Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka, 1997). His book Ves dance of Sri Lanka, a Semiotic Analysis has been published in Sinhala in 2010. Sudesh is a permanent faculty member (currently on study leave) at the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.