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MY LIFE STORY IN BRIEF
My father late Samson Dahanayake from Galle, mother late Sarlena Karunaratna Weeraman from Weligama. I was been blessed with three brothers and a sister. My eldest brother Maurice is a Popular singer, 2nd is a sister, Ranjini good songstress, 2nd brother Ranjith is a businessman. I am the fourth in the family and my youngest brother late Ajith Shantha was an all-rounder. I had my primary education at Musaeus College, Colombo 7. I was born with a gift of dance and I used to dance to any music when I was small, though I was not been trained by anyone. I used to Dance when there was a party or a function. Time passes observing my talents, our family friends advised my parents to enroll me to a dance school for proper training. Then I was been admitted to Chitrasena School of Dancing at Kolpity. There I followed Kandyan dancing under Guru Vajira. Our first steps were DANDIKANDE SARAMBA, which was very strenuous. As a small child, I did not find it difficult to do the steps. I was been given the opportunity to take part in Ballets such as Kumuduni, Himakumari, Chandali, Naladamayanthi and other folk's dances.I had a very good training at Chitrasena School of Dancing.

There was a news that an exponent dancer Guru Ram Gopal from India, who is going to visit Sri Lanka to conduct dance classes. This news gave me many hopes and I was dreaming to learn Indian dancing. My dream did not come true and Guru Ram Gopal’s trip to Sri Lanka was been cancelled. I was sad and upset. There was a famous actress Rukmani Devi an actor Edie Jayamanna were very close friends to our family. They advise my parents to send me to India for training in dancing. My beloved three brothers and sister supported the idea. My parents made all arrangements to send me to Vishva Bharathi Shanthinikethan. ln the mean time, for my luck, my father had met Doctor W. Balendra. Who was a dental surgeon at the Arts Council and had told about my trip to lndia. Doctor Balendra had advised my father to change the idea of sending me to Vishva Bharathi Shanthinikethan and send me to Shrimathi Rukmani Devi Arundale's 'Kalakshetra' College of Fine Arts in Adyar, Madras instead of sending me to Vishva Barathi. Dr Balendra had a daughter ,Neela Balendra who's now Mrs Sathayalingam too had gone there for training in classical Barathanatyam. I joined (Kalakshetra) on 12 th July in 1954 at the tender age of 11.

Before I left to lndia to do my studies in dancing, I was interviewed by 'Films Ceylon Ltd' to act in the film 'Sadasulang' that was produced in india. While I was doing my diploma in classical Barathanatyam at Kalakshetra in Madras, My father brought me the happy news, saying that I've been selected to act in the film, with Daya Abeysekera, brother of late Karunarathne Abeysekera. The film starts with our dance sequence depicting the song 'Jeevaname Gamane Sansare'. This film was beeen screened in 1955. I competed 5 year diploma and returned to Sri Lanka in April 1969. I was the first sinhalese to get the diploma in classical barathanatyam from (rukmani Devi Arundale's) Kalakshetra.

I had my first performance named "Dances of India" on the 25th of November 1969, at the Royal Collage hall in and of Sri Lanka crippled Association under distinguished patronage of Dr Wijeyanada Dahanayaka, my paternal grandfather, who was the prime Minister of Sri Lanka then. I got the opportunity to perform all over Sri Lanka. Then I got another unexpected opportunity to do a dance sequences in Dheevarayo, Allapu Gedara, Yatagiya Dawasa, Amathaka Wunada, Caucial brothers,Subasarana sapa sithe & Demodara palama. I am very happy to mention that I have directed dance sequences to film actresses ; "Jeewarani, Clarice de Silva, Sabitha Perera, late Sandya Kumari and Vigitha Mallika. Then I was been appointed as a dance instructress in the education department in 1961. I served at Gothami Ballika Maha Vidyalaya - Maradana, Gampaha Zahira Collage, Seewali Maha Vidyalaya Wanathamulla, Anurudda Maha Vidyalaya, Dematagoda & Maligakanda Maha Vidyala. Then I retired on the 01st of September in 1986.

I got married to Mr L. L. Ariyadasa, on the 23RD October 1969, who was an executive at Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd. I was been blessed with a daughter, Rangana Navodini and son, Chandreen Jayawanth. Rangana studied at Musaeus College. She requested us to send her to Kalakshetra to learn Barathanatyam. On her request, we admitted her to Kalakshetra, India, in 1987 and she did her 5 year diploma. Our son Chandreen Jayawanth studied at Ananda College, Colombo. Then he joined Ceylon Hotels School and did the hotel management course and later at the International Hotel School, Mt Lavania. After qualifying, he left to Australia in 1995 for better prospects. Now he is an Australian citizen working as a chef. I was been appointed as a visiting lecturer in classical Barathanatyam at the University Aesthetic Studies, Kelaniya for 15 years. I too conducted classes at Maharagama youth centre and Bellwood youth centre. I was appointed to conduct classes at Sarasavipaya, Centre of performing Arts, Maradana by the late president R Premadasa in 1989, and still continuing. Now I am a very happy Grandmother, blesse. I with c smart, talented and sweet grand daughter, Thorashee Thiloththama who is studying in grade 7 at Musaeus College whom I love so dearly.

I was been awarded Kalasuri title in 1992 by the president and Kalabooshana in 2005 by the cultural department. I started my own school of dancing 'Sri Padma Ranga Nritya Nikethanaya in 1982. I have presented 86 Arengetrams of my pupils' .With the blessing of the noble triple gem tooth relic. I am Proud and glad to say that I could still perform, as it is necessary that a dancing teacher should be able to dance to show the correct form of steps and expressions to the students. I hope and pray that I would be able to continue my profession without any obstacles by the blessings of the noble triple gem tooth relic.