Moves coming to life with
Muddrika Swarnathilake Fernando
After speaking about the topic I love most in my life - how to help
animals (dogs specially) - with vibrant, colourful, imaginative Muddrika
Swarnathilake Fernando, I knew there was more to meet than what meets
the eye at first glance from her. It's not everyday that you get to sit
down with someone you just met a few days ago to talk about how you can
help the voiceless four legged friends of ours.
Listening to her talk about her 5 best friends at home and how she
rescued some helpless beings from meeting death - you know that she is
one very down to earth person with many talents.
She said she began to dance when she was just four years old and has
been dancing since then and sharing her passion to those who are
talented with it. "I was very less into sports and I was very much into
dancing and in school I did Kandyan dancing," Muddrika said. Later on I
went to learn Bharatha Natyam, and I learnt my basic classical ballet
from Niluffer Pieris who was part of the Royal Ballet Swan Lake.
"When I was around 12 and 13 I wanted to do something with films and
songs. And those days had no idea what choreography meant. After O/Ls I
did mathematics and realized that I was not in it. Later on I applied to
the Asian Academy of Film and Television (Delhi, India) and spent time
learning everything and started to learn the methods of choreography and
how it's actually put into use", she went on saying.
To me choreography is an arrangement of action, a scene, a dance
sequence or how entrance is made to a certain manner.
My very first major event was the Hikka Fest 2008 together with the
tourist board when I was part of Phoenix.
The first time I did a performance on stage was in 2007. I did the
choreography for films such as Heart FM, Yahaluwa, advertisements and
many commercials as well.
I got a scholarship from the New York Academy of Performing Arts and
came back in 2010 and began my studio - Muddrika Dance Studio.
Muddrika's way of getting her team to do a dance act is so unique
from others that you want to keep on seen more of it. Growing up, I only
have seen one international dance step and that is the Latin dance acts
in Sri Lanka. Other than our very own traditional and cultural dances
there was nothing else to see. But the firs time I saw Muddrika's dance
troupe I was truly surprised. My first thought was - where have these
guys been hiding???
As there was only one international step that people saw, getting
hooked to another step and move is really odd for the audience - a
reaction I have seen at many events I've participated to.
Working with the team is a combination of everything as it's never a
one man thing. Everything we do is like a family.
We as a dance troupe are never jealous of what others do. People have
typed us to a western area and when the opportunity comes we do whatever
it is and do it. We are a multi dance set. I got 12 solid dancers and 8
more. The verty first year it started off with just six girls. Some
people learn it, some people want to do it but just can't and some are
born with it eager to share their knowledge to people who want to learn
it and are not able to continue it. I didn't think we come this far but
are close to average.
At one of the first dance shows I saw of Muddrika - I saw how many
talented young girls and boys she has met.
The way they move to every beat keeping with the time and finally
keeping the audience in awe. It is to this that Muddrika really worried
about her dancers.
"Dancing is like any other sport which involves the movement and use
of your whole body. My aim is that one day; there will be a way to make
insurance scheme for dancers. They risk their life everyday - specially
the ones who do acts that go way beyond normal dance steps. There was a
student of mine who took part in a dance and had his arm disjointed. If
such an insurance scheme is brought out - it will open doors to dancers
to dance freely without fear," adds Muddrika.
There are people are absolutely dedicated to what they are doing and
they do stunts that have many side effects as well. There was a dancer
who broke his leg. As a dancer - the attitude people give them is cheap,
unprofessional and sometimes the families and people don't think in a
There are dancers who can adjust to any style and you can actually
call them dancers but the one whoa re only perfect in one style can be
classified to that particular dance act only.
I appreciate dancers who are multi talented. There are dancers who
have had the courage to be where they are surpassing all obstacles.
To know a particular dance style one should study about it from grass
root level. You can't just watch a dance act and think you can do that.
People watch one culture doing another culture and think that is the way
it's done. If you don't hear the beat - you got no rhythm - if you don't
have the rhythm you got no move and if you can't move well simply you
Muddrika Dance Studio has done many acts for company launches and she
said that people have come up with some weird ideas but all of them they
managed to come through with the help of their costume designer Sharmila.
She has been with them from day one knowing their style and making their
outfits look simply super-fabulous.
My parents thought I was crazy when I did dancing before, but now
they see what I see. My mum takes care of my wardrobe and my dad
supports us all. He's the one who makes sure that everyone is dropped
home safe and sound (as I am responsible for each and every dancer in my
team to their families).
My love is to be behind the camera - my choreography is used in that
space of frame. One day I hope I can become a Director of Choreogpahy
for movies, commercials.
"I want to thank all my dancers, my family and everyone who believed
in me to make me stand where I am now", she concluded in saying.
For anyone who wants to be a part of her team or wants to showcase
their talent to the world you'll can reach her through her Facebook
page: www.facebook.com/muddrikadancestudio or contact her on