Today is the Birth Anniversary of Chithrasena, the legendary dancer and theatre personality.
Amaratunge Arachchige Maurice Dias Elias Chithrasena was born at Waragoda in Kelaniya on a day like today in 1921. His 90th birth anniversary is a seminal mark to look back on his trailblazing career in dancing with its overarching influence on Sri Lankan contemporary dancing. His greatest contribution to the field was the adaption of the traditional dance into modern theatre, thus infusing life into a dying tradition. Most of the prominent dancers and professionals in the field have either been disciples of the Chithrasena the guru or have substantially influenced by his practice. Chitrasena was encouraged by his father from a young age to learn dance and theatre. In 1941, Chitrasena performed at the Regal Theatre – one of the first dance recitals of its kind. Chitrasena founded the Chitrasena Dance Company in 1943. Started in 1944 in Colombo, The Chitrasena Kalayathanaya was the centre of new forms of arts and culture from the 1940s to the 70s. Chithrasena the father of Sri Lankan dance bid adieu on 18th July 2005.