Nittawela Gunaya|Simple and humble peasant from the Kandyan Kingdom

 Renowned exponent of Kandyan dancing Kalaguru Nittawela Gunaya,bore in 1907,led the dancers at the Esala Perahera [pageant] in Kandy for many years. He had toured foreign countries 47 times and helped to establish the Kandyan dance form internationally. He was bestowed the President award and also a stamp in his honour was issued in 1976.

He earned international repute as a Kandyan dancer,without professional training of any sort,and his 'guru'was his father who was a village cultivator engaged in Kandyan dancing.
He was a man who had found happiness and contentment. He was always calm,collected and under control even at moments of great stress. To look at him,he was a simple,humble,typical well-built peasant from the Kandyan Kingdom of ancient fame. "Gunaya" as he was known,was perhaps one of the greatest dancers in the East and certainly the greatest in Sri Lanka. He only took a few steps when the drums began to throb to know that there was a man born to dance.

      The Duke of Gloucester visited Sri Lanka to hand over to Sri Lankan politicians the fate of our own country at a formal ceremony where weighty speeches were made throughout the country.

      At the end of the gigantic hall there was built the largest rostrum ever seen in the island in three different elevations and provided with a background curtain,the size of Galle Face green,hanging in immovable folds that played delightfully with myriad lights.

      The evening after,once again,the hall was full of celebration.A lone Kandyan dancer clad in the usual costume that changes a normal peasant into a glorious,resplended prince came on to the vast open stage and poise and dignity that a hush fell on the assembly.

      Then slowly the dance began to the rhythm of a lone drum echoing through the vastness. The dancer as slowly assumed the gait of a somewhat showy horse.He displaced his flanks strutted and traced,showing the creations noble proportions,head,light and moving in majestic rhythm as he confined himself to the top-most part of the tiered stage.

      Then the audience became aware,as the dancer proceeded,that the horse has turned to be the rider,proud of his seat on the stallion,controlling the beast and urging it on as and when he pleased completely enchanted with the joy of movement and the power he had ever his best.And when the dance had run to its climax there was a sudden pause. In a split second the centaur dancer leaped from the top to the iower stage.


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