Primitive man lived in communities alone the rivers. they had agriculture based economy. they had a close relationship with the nature. some of the things in nature became their Gods From the beginning the man was afraid of over abundance of nature. E.G. : floods, drought and wind etc…they thought that there are super natural powers behind these and started offering things. as a results different dancing forms developed.
Concept of dancing in Sri Lanka starts with “Kohombakankariya” in 4th century B.C. during the period of pandukabhaya. people used dancing in retails, to get rid of natural disasters, sickness …etc. during Anuradhapura period also there had been dancing as Mahavamsa (The great chronicle of Sri Lanka) speak of procession of the tooth relic. At the end of polonnaruwa period lots of Indian influence came in to our dancing. Kandy had an independent form of dancing yet with Hindu influence. In the south during the period of king kavantissa(1st century B.C.) a dancing form was developed and there fore you can see lot of dancing and retails in the south. during the period of kotte also a dancing form developed and we now call it “Sabaragamuwa dance "
Today you can find three main dancing form in Sri Lanka
- Kandyan Dancing.
- Low country Dance.
- Sabaragamu Dancing.
- Baratha Natyam.
Only men take part in Kandyan dancing and the drum called “udarata beraya” or “gataberaya” accompany the dance. Low country (Pahatharata) dance has a lot of dramas in it “maru sanniya”, “giri devi”, “shanthi karma” are some of them. ”kolam” too comes under this but with masks. The drum called “pahatha rata beraya” or"yak beraya” or “thovil beraya” accompany the dance. In Sabaragamuwa dancing mainly men take part and ladies too allowed “sindu mathraya, gaman mathraya, yakpada mathraya, patu thala mathraya are some of them. The drums called “daula” or “thammattama” accompanied the dance and also have Bharata Natyam in Sri Lanka.