” You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams “
– Gene Kelly –
Nishi Ranathunga, once featured in our article in our Feb/March 2021 issue, resurfaces in the media with her performance in ‘Traditional Sri Lanka Dancing.’
It was in the “Excellence in Culture Award at the 8th Anual Newslink Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards’ in 2022, New Zealand. The event held at the Mahatma Gandhi Event Centre in Mt Eden, Balmoral, Auckland, on the 20th of May, 2022, was graced by the guests of honour including Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan – Minister of Diversity and Ethnic Communities, Vanushi Walters, a member of Parliament, Phill Goff – Mayor of Auckland, Harinder Sindhu – Australia’s High commissioner to New Zealand and Mr Andrew Coster, the New Zealand Police Commissioner. The well-lit ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ hall decorated in the Indian traditional favour was full of enthusiasts from different communities in New Zealand.
Nishi, a former Vishakyan, hailing once a famous calm and quiet residential area now a transport hub, Kadwela, started her dancing venture when she was a five-year-old toddler. She completed her Gandharva under the tutelage of Dr Channa Wijewardhana, a legend in the field in Sri Lanka, and had the ‘Payimpath’ ceremony before Mrs Swarna Basnayake, the renowned dancing teacher in Anula Vidyalaya. She moved to New Zealand with her B.Ed (Colombo) qualifications and still is busy in the profession now working as an intermediate school teacher.
In the short span of her New Zealand life, she has amassed many similar awards for her performances. Bollywood Dance Competition, Diversity Festival (Senior Group), Nepalese Multicultural Festival, World Council of Sheikh Affairs and Multi Ethnic Cultural Affairs(Dance- Senior Category) , Excellence in culture award are a few to mention
We, Sri LankaNZ, congratulate Nishi for her endeavour in high flying the Sri Lanka Flag in New Zealand.
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