Departments of Fine Arts

Sudesh Mantillake

Dr. Sudesh Mantillake

Office address:

Department of Fine Arts,
University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka.


Phone: +94-81-2392183


Sudesh Mantillake is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, and an educator. Sudesh received his BA degree from the University of Peradeniya- Sri Lanka, and MSc degree from the University of Lugano – Switzerland, and PhD degree from the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, USA. He is trained in Kandyan dance, Kathak dance, theatrical clowning, and contemporary dance. Apart from Sri Lanka, he has presented his work in Athens, Sharjah, London, Helsinki, Lugano, New York, Virginia, Chicago, California, Granville, Minnesota, and Maryland. Sudesh has been an intern at the National Museum of Dance, New York, and at the Sri Lanka Educational, Cultural and Welfare Foundation, London. His recent choreography My Devil Dance explores Kandyan dancers’ experience in the European “colonial exhibitions.”

Educational Qualifications
* Ph.D. (Maryland, USA) 2018
* M.Sc. (Lugano, Switzerland) 2006
* B.A. (Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) 2004
Appointments (Selected)
* 2017 Jan - May :
Committee member, The International Program for Creative Collaboration and Research Committee, at School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of Maryland. USA.

* 2012 Nov - 2013 Jul :
General Secretary, PAFTA (Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association), Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya.

* 2012 - 2013 :
Volunteer Student Councilor, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya.

* 2010 - 2013 :
Senior Treasurer, Fine Arts Society, University of Peradeniya.
Memberships & Awards
* DeVos Dissertation Fellow, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of Maryland, USA (2017).

* National Centre for Advanced Studies (NCAS) in Humanities and Social Sciences PhD Grant, Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka (2016).

* Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Award, The Graduate School, University of Maryland, USA (2015).

* International Conference Student Support Award(ICSSA), The Graduate School, University of Maryland, USA (2015).

* ISLE Wilhelm Fellowship, a competitive graduate fellowship awarded by The Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program, a program between Bowdon College, USA and University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2014-2015).

* International Teaching Fellowship, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Maryland, USA (2013-2014).

* Leonardo Fellowship for outstanding applicants of graduate studies in University of Lugano,Leonardo Foundation, Ticino, Switzerland (2006).

* University Scholarship for the best applicants, University of Lugano, Switzerland (2004/05).

* University prize for academic excellence, based on the overall academic performances, University of Peradeniya (2004).

* Mr.& Mrs.Ukkubandara Ranathunge Memorial Gold Medal in Fine Arts (Greatest Competence), University of Peradeniya (2004).
Keynote/Invited Papers
* Screening of My Devil Dance followed by Q&A, organized by the Theatre Arts and Dance Department, University of Minnesota, USA 26th April 2018.

* Screening of My Devil Dance followed by Q&A, and conducting a Kandyan dance workshop, organized by the Dance Department of Denison University, USA.

* Kandyan Dance: The Expression of Sri Lanka movement theatre piece on colonialism and
Sri Lankan dance followed by Q&A session

* Choreographer and Performer Performed at Fulton Recital Hall, University of Chicago, USA
Co-hosted by the University of Chicago Graduate Music Society and Mandala South Asian Performing Arts Organization On 16th March 2017.

Research Interests
* Sri Lankan dance, South Asian dance history, Performance historiography, Colonialism and performance, Cultural heritage communication
Research Publications (Selected)
Books: Single Authored
* Ves Dance: Asemiotic Reading.(Abookon Ves dance, the most popular dance phenomenon of Kandy and tradition of Sri Lanka),(in Sinhala).Colombo: Vishada.2010

Books: Edited
* Hatagenakata(Tales about Hata).A collection of essays on avant-garde theatre practitioner Gamini Hattotuwegamaandhis theatre.Edited with A.Samarakoon.Peradeniya:Arts Council, University of Peradeniya.2010.

* “Colonial Sri Lankan art and the contribution of JLKVanDort”(in Sinhala), KalaSangarava(Arts Journal), 2012 March, S.Herath(ed.), Colombo : Arts Council of Sri Lanka.(pp.69-76). ISSN2012-967X9772012967008

* ““Vesnätuma”,a common dance type in Kandy and dance of Sri Lanka: A semiotic analysis of selected features with a brief introduction to the relevant approaches of Indian and Western semiotics” in Studies in Theatre and Performance,Volume 29, Number 2. Bristol: Intellect Ltd., 2009. (pp. 187-192).

* “Problems and Solutions in Training Farmers in Participatory Video Making : A case study” (co-authored with A.Samarakoon),in Experiences Challenges in Agricultural Extension : Meeting Farmer Needs. Peradeniya: Department of Agricultural Extension - University of Peradeniya. 2009.

Editorial & Translation Work:
* Co-Editor, Faculty of Arts, Proceedings of the Peradeniya University Research Sessions (PURSE) 2010. (Peradeniya: University of Peradeniya, 2010). ISSN-1391-4111, ISBN-970-955-589-145-5.

* “Vidësiya nartanavëdiniyaka dutu daladaperahära”(Sinhala translation of the 8th chapter of Dance & Magic drama in Ceylon by BeryldeZoete)in D.R.Herath and others,eds. The Sacred Culture of the Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha (Kandy:Council of Central Province, 2008).

* Editorial Board : The Sacred Culture of the Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha (Kandy: Council of Central Province, 2007).

Other Credentials

Performance Pieces

* My Devil Dance, dance theatre piece on colonial history of Kandyan dance Choreographer, Performer, and Director
Premiered at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, USA. 29th and 30th January 2016

* Subvisible, a collaborative movement theatre piece with David Chavannes Choreographer and Performer
Performed at Shared Grad Dance concert at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, USA. 10th and 12th April 2015

* Projects for the living, MFA Dance Thesis project of Robin Neveu Brown, Danceturg/Dramaturg
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, USA 12th and 13thMarch, 2015

* Nothing, a theatrical clown piece by Les(s) Clowns Performer
Directed by Leslie Felbain and Daniel Pinha. Performed at Baltimore Theatre Project as part of Charm City Fringe Festival 2014. 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th of November 2014. Winner of the Audience Award Charm City Fringe Festival in 2014.

* Groove, a collaborative dance performance project Performer and Collaborator
Directed by Stephanie Miracle, Performer, 11th and 12th of September, 2014, Next Dance at Next Now festival of future of arts, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, USA. The cast was awarded the “Best performance by a Non-Ballet Dancer” by DC Metro Theatre Arts 2014.

Department of Fine Arts