Sri Lankan Residency Connects Via Dance, History & Identity

Visiting Artists

Sudesh Mantillake performs his work My Devil Dance, photography by Mark Costello.

Eleven Sri Lankan dancers, musicians and scholars will be in residence in Central Ohio for a full week, April 13 – 20 as a result of a significant grant, The Global Crossroads – Grand Challenge grant funded by a Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) Mellon Foundation initiative. The group will engage in a cultural exchange project titled: Challenging Borders: Embodied Cross-Border Encounters through Dance and Music. Hosted by Denison University, and in collaboration with two other liberal arts colleges in the GLCA, Wooster College and Kenyon College.

This residency engages more than 100 American students studying South Asian history and politics, international studies, music, dance, and Sri Lankan literature. The capstone activity for the week is a performance of diasporic, traditional and contemporary dances of Sri Lanka. The performance is followed by a panel discussion on April 19 at Denison, on the theme of “Performing Arts, Nationalism, and Identity: the relationships among dance and music, colonialism and anticolonial nationalism, and collective and individual identities.”

Among the guests are Dr. Saumya Liyanage of the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo; Dr. Sudesh Mantillake of the University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya; and Umeshi Rajeendra, Artistic Director of Mesh Dance and Denison alum, Colombo.

The grant was authored by Taku Suzuki, Associate Professor and Director of International Studies, with contributions by Sandra Mathern, Chair and Professor of Dance.

Posted Date 
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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