Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 10 January 2010





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Truly ins drama

I can’t help but write about the truly amazing production ever created by the Sri Lankan theatre industry ‘An Inspired Swan Lake’ courtesy Sunera Foundation directed by Jehan Aloysius. Tipped to take place at the ever-famous Lionel Wendt, the wonderful musical will go on board in March.

The BBC World Service also wrote about this lovely production recently in their Outlook radio program. Reporter Will Richards interviewed Sunethra Bandaranaike, Jehan Aloysius and lead actor Thusitha Wimalasuriya.

Sunethra said: “In Sri Lanka, we have had and continue to have people with various disabilities, accidental, conflict-caused or by birth. With Sri Lanka’s 20 million population, almost three million have disabilities but we have never delved into it until the Sunera Foundation became the only charity to help such people through the arts.”

For the ‘Swan Lake’ production, four former soldiers injured in land mines have acted in it.

Lead actor Thusitha said that he lost his leg in a land mine explosion while on duty in Kilinochchi. He told reporter Richards, “At that time it was a serious loss but since I was serving the country at that time, it doesn’t mean anything because I feel comfortable with myself after acting in this production.” This he said after he had a serious injury during dress rehearsals on the day of the show in October last year. Thusitha concluded, “I am glad that we are now accepted by society”.

Jehan said; “for me it was bringing them to that level of using their bodies and not hiding or being ashamed by it. The boys in the play have become more confident and feel attractive because after the success of the play, their fans have increased”. further he commented, “I learn everyday from them. Taking actor Karunarathne, a double amputee as an example, he climbs and acts with ease despite being disabled.”

Acting as Nicholas, Thusitha Wimalasuriya will once again show his face in the musical despite being in crutches, and showing her versatile artistic movements will be the beautiful Evangeline De Silva.

The star-crossed lovers, the beautiful Russian Swan Lake music, the talented supporting cast and the special effects of the lake and the bridge will culminate again to give a magical performance by the Sunera Foundation.

Jehan Aloysius said, “I’m looking for male and female dancers between the ages of 18 to 28 years with time on their hands for the extended version of ‘An Inpired Swan Lake’.

They need to be available for an intensive two weeks of workshop rehearsals from 21st February to March 7th.” So please contact us through this page for details about it.

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