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December 01, 2017
Gee Mandawa - a Sri Lankan musical evening par excellence
Gee Mandawa, a Sri Lankan musical evening with a difference was held recently at Harrow Arts Centre, London with renowned lyricist & poet Rathnasri Wijesinghe and prominent music composer & director Darshana Ruwan Dissanayaka enthralling the music loving Sri Lankan audience with their unique performances. Gee Mandawa was indeed a trail-blazing Sri Lankan musical show - being the first of its kind in the UK to deviate from the 'run of the mill' musical shows and offering the audience a unique and truly memorable experience which they will undoubtedly cherish for a long time. The feedback after the show has been tremendous with the audience highly appreciative of the format, content and presentation of the programme.

The first session of the program was conducted by Darshana Ruwan Dissanayaka who took the audience on a journey of how music evolved through the ages to what we are witnessing and experiencing today. He also talked about the evolution of Sinhala music and how it has been enriched by various influences that we have been subject to over the years. He kept the audiences spellbound by combining his narrative with musical performances to demonstrate and drive home the point.

The second session belonged to Rathnasri Wijesinghe who kept the audience fascinated by talking about his life experiences which led him to pen all the popular songs that we have heard and come to love over the years. After each recitation, the songs in question were sung by young Sri Lankan music professionals from London namely, Sanka Edirisinghe, Dimuthu Thilakarathna, Kavi de Silva, Danusha Samanmali and Ganga Mali backed by the popular music group 'Frontline'.

Gee Mandawa was organized by Santhawa, a group of young Sri Lankan professionals whose aim is to promote Sri Lankan arts and culture to the expatriate Sri Lankan community living in the UK by bringing them cultural/musical performances which are unique and truly memorable. The entire profit generated through Gee Mandawa was donated to Ruri Foundation, a non-profit organization working for the welfare of sexually abused children in Sri Lanka as well children suffering from cancer.

Aditya Kekulawala
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