nATFEST is Sri Lanka’s first ever international contemporary dance festival done under the purview of Kapila Palihawadana, choreographer and artistic director of nATANDA Dance Theatre company. nATFEST will unite six international contemporary and traditional dance companies with six local contemporary dance companies for the first tine in Sri Lanka.
nATFEST brings contemporary dance theatre to the foremost, bringing Sri Lanka to the platform for contemporary dance in Asia. nATFEST aims to bring different cultures together, enhancing tourism, highlighting dance and entertainment together with our rich traditions in the art and history of this country. nATFEST also focuses on dance and reconciliation, bridging differences in the island and cutting across boundaries of ethnicity, disability and ego. What is unique about this festival is that the international and local artistes will conduct workshops to teach different dance styles to each other over 5 consecutive days. 150 young dancers will participate in this training programme gaining valuable exposure to the style and technique of contemporary dance.
Speaking at the media launch, Kapila Palihawadana said that nATFEST will definitely take Sri Lankan dance to the next level. “We have some extremely talented performers from Lebanon, USA, UK, Malaysia, India and Korea who will join hands with us to make this event a success. The international groups and individual artistes include Ali Chahrour, The Aviary Birdgang Dance company, Sanjib Bhattacharya, Oliver Tharpaga, Lawrence Sackris and Goblin Party while Natanda Dance Theatre, Jonson Rajkumar, Sithija Performing and dance academy, fingerprints, NAADRO, Batticaloa Theatre Lab and nATANDA Community Dance would represent Sri Lanka.”
When : November 14 – 18
Where : Lionel Wendt
By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe
Photographs by Kushan Pathiraja