What Things To Know About Sri Lankan Cultural Dance

Let’s have a look at its major element, traditional dance.

Kandyan dance

Kandyan dance form was developed in the Kandyan reign. Today, this dance form is recognized as the national dance of the country. In general, it impersonates the diverse activities of animals like peacock, elephants and more. Interestingly, Kandyan dance represents the iconic pictures of Ramayana tale. In this particular dance, the dancers wear extraordinary outfits. They also put on silver bangles on their ankles and arms.

Additionally, with these outstanding set of clothes, the presentation is harmonized with chaotic rhythms. Later, this dance is performed to the beats of the drum with the most frequent beat is ‘gata beraya.’ A small duo of cymbals helps these dancers to maintain the musical show.


This is a very prominent dance and its name is derived from the uddekki, a tiny hand drum in an hourglass form with 18 centimeters height. This instrument is thought as a gift to individuals by the God. It’s not an easy musical instrument to play.


The Sabaragamuwa form of dancing is performed to adore the Saman God. Normally, Sabaragamuwa dance is presented in Ratnapura by the local people who adore and worship their God in a mesmerizing way. This dance form is a blend of both Low country Dance and Kandyan.

Pahatharata Dance

Low country dances are very formal. The dance forms are presented to conciliate wicked spirits causing diseases. The dancers dress in masks representing several characters like demons, reptiles, birds and much more. There are 18 most important dances associated with pahatharata form recognized as the Daha Ata Sanniya performed to eliminate 18 kinds of ailments.

Pantheru Dance

The pantheruwa is a musical instrument devoted to the deity Pattini. It looks like a tambourine and contains tiny cymbals connected at intervals around its border. It’s said that the dance is invented at the time of Prince Siddhartha, who later became Buddha. It is also believed that Gods used this pantheruwa instrument to rejoice triumph in battle, and Sinhala kings hired pantheru dancers to rejoice victories. The outfit looks like the outfits of uddekki dancers, however the pantheru performer replaces the beaded jacket with a silk hankie at the waist.

Naiyandi Dance

Naiyandi dancers perform in the early arrangements of the Kohomba Kankariya event. The dancers dress in a white turban and cloth, a waistband, silver chains, anklets, brass shoulder plates, and jingles. This is an elegant dance form, performed in Kataragama Devales and Maha Visnu temples and at traditional events.

Ves dance

Ves dance is one of the most popular forms of dancing, invented from an olden custom, the Kohomba Kankariya and Kohomba Yakuma. The dance is performed only by men elaborating ves outfits, mainly the headgear which is considered holy and is thought to be related to the goddess Kohomba.

Pasadena Dance Center

Sri Lankan traditional dance academy in Los Angeles, CA is helping people to learn Sri Lankan traditional dance. Also known as the performing art center, the Pasadena dance center is started by a famous non profit organization, Sri Lanka Foundation. The center also provides classes in traditional dancing, drum playing, Sinhalese language classes and stage drama. Dancing classes are held on weekends making it easier for busy people to learn dance according to their schedule. All beginners, intermediate and advanced classes are taught by experienced dance professionals.