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Political Provocateur: Venuri Perera

To listen on podcasts app or iTunes click here.
To listen on Stitcher click here. 


Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who seems to say things just to provoke a reaction? No matter what the topic is about? Often we just go with the flow and keep our cool. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we react, in varying degrees of emotion. And sometimes, those provocations make us stop and think. 

Hosts Tanya & Udhara talked to performance artist Venuri Perera, discovering why she aims to push our buttons, the challenges of being an artist in Sri Lanka, and the difficulty and excitement that comes with creating your own opportunities in life.

Selected Links

The War

About the 25-year Sri Lankan civil war

About Kandyan Dance

Fascinating look at the Kohomba Kankariya (the ritual that has now evolved into Kandyan dance)

Video from the 60s

An interesting read on Kandyan dance

Venuri performing with the Chitrasena Dance Company in Colombo (2007)

Chitrasena Dance Company

Article about Vajira Chitrasena – the pioneering Sri Lankan female dancer

Chitrasena Dance Company’s Facebook Page 

The modern ‘Ves’ Item in NYC by CDC starting at 5.30

Karadiya – the acclaimed dance drama choreographed by Chitrasena


About Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Sunetra Bandaranaike Trust which covered part of Venuri’s tuition to study in the UK

ICCR Scholarship by the government of India which provides 30 scholarships a year for Sri Lankan students

An extract of the incredibly beautiful film that Venuri created, “Ashes and Snow”, that helped pay for half of her tuition fees at Laban –  More info at www.ashesandsnow.org.


Kesel Maduwa

Colomboscope Arts Festival which Venuri opened in 2014 with ‘Kesel Maduwa’

Kesel Maduwa performance

Article about poet Kumari Kumaragarage

A few of Kumari’s poems (in Sinhala)

Marisa Gnanaraj (designer who made Venuri’s costume for ‘Kesel Maduwa’)


Other Performances 

Passport blessing ceremony from TPAM, Yokohama

Traitriot – First performance of it in Colombo



Vipassana meditation – 10 day meditation retreats as taught by S.N Goenka held around the world for free



Migratude (collection of poetry) by Shayaja Patel