Kandy proud heritage and splendid lakeside setting has longmade it a favorite haunt for Sri Lanka travelers. This bustlinghill-country capital is the natural gateway to a lush centralregion of tea plantations, gurgling streams and stirring SriLanka Kandy history.
The classical Sinhalese Orchestra consists of five categoriesof instruments. But, the drum, is the king of localpercussions instruments and without it, there will be nodance.The vibrant beat of the rhythm of the drums form thebasic of the dance. The dances feet bounce off the floorand they leap and swirl in patterns that reflex the complexrhythms of the drum beat.This drum beat may seem simple on the first hearing but ittakes a long time to master the intricate rhythms andvariations, which the drummer sometimes can bring to acrescendo of intensity.
There are three types of drums: • one faced • two faced • flat facedThere are five basics drums, and they can be recognized when in use.• Gatabera - The typical Sinhala Dance is identified as the Kandyan dance and this drum isindispensable to this dance.• Yak-bera - This is the demon drum or the, drum used in low country dance in which thedancers wear masks and perform devil dancing, which has become a highly developed form ofart.• Dawula - It is a barrel shaped drum, and it was used as a companion drum in the past, tokeep strict time with the beat.• Thammattama - A flat, two faced drum. The drummer strikes the drum on the two surfaceson top with sticks, unlike the others where you drum on the sides. This is a companion drumto the afore mentioned Dawula.• Udekki - A small double headed hand drum, used to accompany songs. It is mostly heard inthe poetry dances (vannam).
Then, the metal percussions is almost always madeup of cymbals and "Thalampata" - 2 small cymbalsjoined together by a string.
The wind section, is. This is not normally used for thedances. This is important because the Sinhalese danceis not set to music as the western world knows it.
The flutes of metal such as silver & brass produceshrill music to accompany Kandyan Dance, while theplaintive strains of music of the reed flute maypierce the air in devil-dancing. The conch-shell(Hakgediya) is another form of a naturalinstrument, and the player blows it to announce theopening of ceremonies of grandeur.
The costumes used by the performers for Kandyan Dance are very striking. Decorativehead gear is also worn by the performers during the dance. They also wear silver anglesas part of the costume. A Kandyan Dance is generally accompanied by a drum which isknown as Geta Beraya. Thalampota or a kind of cymbals is also played to accompany thedance. Originally the Kandyan Dance in Sri Lanka allowed only male dancers toparticipate. But later different schools also started training women dancers.