Mag Events l by Tina Edward Gunawardhana l 21 Oct 2022     - 160

The Graceful Dancer


Brit Lankan Dilini reveals why she is promoting Kandyan dance form in the UK and what prompted her to publish a book on this mesmeric dance form

Words: Tina Edward Gunawardhana


Professionally she pursues a career as a Cybersecurity Compliance Manager, but in her spare time Dilini Seneviratne is a proponent of

Kandyan dance in the UK. She first started dancing as a 5 year old while in Sri Lanka. Once she moved to the United Kingdom, Dilini

realised that practising this dance form was a good way to keep in touch with her Sri Lankan culture and roots. “I started to research into

the history of Sri Lanka and watch videos from various traditional troupes which made me fall in love with it. The effortless way the dancers

move around, the energy and elegance as well as the costumes all spoke out to me from a very young age” she explains.

Encouraged by her mother and grandmother, Dilini says “My grandma wanted both me and my brother to stay in touch with our culture

and roots. Be around Sri Lankan kids. Speak in Sinhala. Even though we’re Roman Catholic, my mum took us to the local Buddhist temple

in Kingsbury in the hopes of us mingling with kids our age. That’s where I met Miss Kumudu Perera, who was teaching dance for the new

year show. I performed in multiple cultural shows and events including at the

Sri Lankan High Commission in London. Professor Mudiyanse Dissanayake also visited London for the Kingsbury New Year show and had

a troupe there and I later performed under him as well.”

After moving to the University of Southampton, Dilini started a club called the Southampton Kandyan and Bharatanatyam Dance (SKBD),

the first classical south Asian dance society at the university where she taught simple choreographies to other students and performed as

well. This lead to an event called Thaala which Dilini describes as a “dance show where Kandyan and Bharatanatyam dances can be

showcased to the rest of the university.”


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Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is the Features Editor of Hi!! Magazine. She writes on a variety of topics which include travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also a journalist for the Daily Mirror Life. An intrepid traveller, Tina likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno or email her at

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