Organization - University of the Visual and Performing Arts

University of the Visual and Performing Arts
Basic Information
English University of the Visual and Performing Arts
Local language දර්ශනීය හා දක්ෂතා පිළිබඳ විශ්ව විද්යාලය
Country Sri Lanka
Category Government-Affiliated Organization Educational Institution
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Function Education and Training
Established year 1893
  • To be the most sought after and undisputed leader in Visual and Performing Arts regionally, while producing competent creative artists.
  • To disseminate knowledge and skills in the fields of Visual and Performing Arts while developing and refining art, culture and research to achieve excellence regionally and to be self-sufficient in the field by year 2020.
  • To promote traditional art and craft of Sri Lanka and to create awareness among the young generation regarding the safeguarding of traditional art and culture

The University of the Visual & Performing Arts was established on 1st of July 2005, by the former President of the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, (as per the government gazette notification issued on th 09th November 2005). This University replaces the former Institute of Aesthetic Studies affiliated to the University of Kelaniya. The University of the Visual & Performing Arts has four faculties, namely Faculty of Dance & Drama, Faculty of Music, and Faculty of Visual Arts and Faculty of post graduate studies. The former three faculties comprise of 22 departments.

The organisation provides degree courses on the traditional dances like Kadyan Dance, Low Country dance, Sabaragamwa Dance etc. They also have courses on ethnomusicology.

Major Activities

University of the Visual and Performing Arts having 3 main departments- Dance & Drama, Visual Art and Music and it promotes the traditional folk dances like devil dance (Saniya Khuma – 18 devil dances), mask dance in Sri Lanka. The Drums and Percussion Department promote the traditional instruments used in drama and performing arts. They also train the students the art of traditional mask making, decorations and craft work with palm leaves. Traditional rituals like mantras, dialects and textual stuff are also included during the traditional performances. Master artists like Dr. Lionel Bentereage who can perform all the mask and devil dances also train the students in a precise way to deliver professionally during performance. The university also concentrates on teaching English (for communication), marketing (to present in a professional way) and computer (for social media communication and online promotion) to the artists. Traditionally these dance forms are not performed by the women but the women gets opportunities in the university to learn, practice and perform the traditional forms. A seven – day university festival is organized to promote the traditional drama, folk and rituals in Sri Lanka. During the performances the documentation is done by Faculty of Dance and Drama. The well decorated recording studio has a sophisticated set up for recording the traditional art forms of the eminent artists which are documented and archived. More than 50 students are learning traditional Candian dance at present.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address 21, Albert Crescent, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka

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