WOMAD Sri Lanka 2005 ::: Sri Lanka's Festival of World of Music and Drums Photos
Press Releases of Sri Lanka Tourist Board

Sri Lanka's Master Drummer Teams Up
with Legendary Bill Cobham for WOMAD Singapore

 Colombo, Monday August 22, 2005: Master Sri Lankan choreographer Ravibandhu will join forces with legendary USA drumming sensation Bill Cobham as they step into the spotlight at a major international music festival in Singapore this weekend.

 Ravibandhu – the first Sri Lankan artiste to make an appearance at a top global event – will collaborate with the legendary Bill Cobham at Singapore’s eighth World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival on August 26-28.

 Ravibandhu’s performance in Singapore will provide an exciting preview to the inaugural WOMAD Sri Lanka, a unique five-day “Festival of Drums” to be held from September 21-25 and follows his earlier appearance at WOMAD UK on July 29 – 31.

 WOMAD Sri Lanka, an event of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB), will showcase some of the world’s most celebrated drummers, including Bill Cobham, hot UK dance act The Bays, the Dhol Foundation (India/UK) and the Drummers of Burundi, direct from central Africa. The event will be held against a backdrop of some of the country’s famous icons; the Galle Face Green and two free outdoor acoustic concerts in Kandy and Negombo.

 In Singapore, choreographer Ravibandhu and his troupe of 12 dancers will give three stage performances – on Friday August 26 at 7.00pm on the Fort Green Stage, Saturday August 27 at 9.30pm and Sunday August 28 at 7.15pm, both on the Fort Gate Stage.

 Ravibandhu and his troupe will perform traditional Kandyan drumming and dance, a distinctive tradition performed right across the island nation, comprising a blend of Kandyan, India and Western classical and jazz.

 In addition, WOMAD Singapore festival-goers can experience a snapshot of Sri Lankan culture at the Sri Lankan booth - highlights include silver jewellery-making by Rajakaruna of Dharmadasa Arts & Crafts from Kandy and Sri Anura’s Nalin Gamvary, who will be animating puppets to music and songs.

 SLTB Chairman, Mr Udaya Nanayakkara, said the inclusion of Ravibandhu and his dancers provides an excellent opportunity to showcase to festival-goers in Singapore – and around the world - the diversity the island has to offer.

 “Ravibandhu is not just known to Sri Lankans - he has performed in countries all over the world,” Mr Nanayakkara said.

 “This provides Sri Lanka with the chance to  demonstrate further its diverse culture and heritage – not only do we have seven World Heritage Sites, up to 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of tea plantations and craft-making traditions dating back to the birth of time – but also our very own unique drumming and dance traditions,” he said. “And this year, the highlight of Sri Lanka’s tourism calendar will be to host our own inaugural WOMAD festival,” he added.

 WOMAD Sri Lanka Festival of Drums will feature something for everyone, with four indoor theatre concerts at Bishop’s College Auditorium, beginning with three performances at 7.30pm (September 21-23). The final concert will be a matinee, starting at 3.30pm on September 24.

 Party-goers can dance until the early hours at four Club Night Sessions (September 22-25), to be held from 9.00pm until midnight at The Gallery, Beira Lake. Workshops will also be held at The Gallery (September 22-25) from 5.00pm to 7.00pm, providing an opportunity for music lovers to meet and learn from the artists appearing at the festival.

 The energetic Main Festival Field at Galle Face Green (September 24 – 25) will come alive at night (6.00pm to midnight) and feature performances as well as a Global Village of crafts, textiles and musical instruments, with an exciting selection of Sri Lankan and international cuisine.

 For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Colombo, and experience the serenity of the hill-country, an acoustic concert will take place in the grounds of the University of Peradeniya (September 22) from 6.00pm.

 A second acoustic concert will also be held on the pristine beachfront of Negombo’s Browns Beach Hotel (September 23) from 7.00pm.


Ticket details

 Single Show Theatre tickets to each of the indoor theatre performances at Bishop’s College Auditorium are US$28 (Rs. 2800) each available from the auditorium from August 15. Single show tickets and ‘AAA’ ticket package are also available on www.womadshop.com

There will be a US$10 (Rs. 1000) cover charge for entry into the late-night club sessions.

 Background on Ravibandhu Vidyapathy

 Ravibandhu Vidyapathy comes from a renowned family of traditional performing and visual artists. Ravibandhu studied Kandyan dance at the Chitrasena School of Dance, graduating in 1981, and pursued the study of Kathakali at Kerala Kalamandalam in India.

 Since the establishment of his own dance company and school in 1984 with his wife, also a dancer, Ravibandhu has made a name for his experimental choreography, drawing upon themes from the Greek Classics, Shakespeare and Indian epics.


These photos may freely used for news on WOMAD Sri Lanka 2005. They may not be used for any other commercial purpose without permission. If you are an artist in these photos or a person experienced this great event we are happy to share our works as a souvenir for WOMAD Sri Lanka 2005.
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