Sixteen-year-old Prabodha Kalotuwawa is from the rural village of Mahawilachchiya in Anuradhapura. Prabodha is the youngest daughter of parents who are farmers. Her parents are anxious for Prabodha to pursue an education at an innovative supplementary educational institute, Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya which provided education free of charge to the children in the village as the local public school did not provide what she craved for; an education in the English language, ICT, theatre arts – singing and dancing, which she loved and excelled in.
She joined the Horizon Academy, the educational arm of the Horizon Lanka Foundation at a tender age of 11, she excelled in dancing and singing even though the Horizon Academy is not a dedicated academy for theatre arts, but done as extra-curricular subjects.
Prabodha showed her prowess as an artist by choreographing dancing to a varied range of music, to the surprise of the adults, although she was not trained by a professional in dancing or theatre arts. It appears that her talents are innate and she has a natural affinity in any type of dancing, be it folk, classical, oriental, opera or subcontinental. She has this ability to create the steps according to the music and to the meaning of any type of songs from the local languages, subcontinental to western languages.
Prabodha wants to study in Arts Stream for the Advanced Level during the 2020-2022 academic years. She wants to study Sinhala, English and Hindi Languages and her pet subject, Dancing for the AL. She has been already given a chance to enter an Indian University to study dancing and music once she completes her Advanced Level.
Having seen Prabodha’s talents on YouTube and heard about her from us, a Sri Lankan professional living in the United States, Mr. Anura Hewagama sponsored Prabodha’s English course at the British Way English Academy in Anuradhapura with a donation of 23,500 LKR (130 USD | 118 EUR) last week as her full course fee.
Prabodha’s own choreographed dance for Madonna’s hit song “Frozen.”
Present-day Odisha (of Kalinga fame of Ashokan era), is rich in culture and tradition and has nurtured art in different forms, well depicted in its architecture, sculpture, dance, song, music and arts. Tracing back the cultural linkage of both Sri Lanka and Kalinga in the distant past, her dream is to learn dance, music, theatre and the culture of the ancient land. Prabodha’s dream is to become a professional singer, dancer, musician and an actress.
To help her reach her goals, Prabodha has to study the English language (a three-month crash course from January to March,) Hindi (a three-month crash course from December to February) and continue her artistic talents as well. Presently, she is sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level examination, a national level exam Sri Lankan students sit for before entering GCE Advanced Level.
Prabodha has been invited to perform at an annual cultural event in Kalinga (present-day Odisha) in India, mid-year 2020. She is preparing for that now. In the future, Prabodha hopes to start a Theater Arts academy to teach young children who do not have access to professional aesthetic education. To realize this dream, having an all-round aesthetic education in Kalinga-Odisha State in India would be the best way she could pursue her dream and she is determined to achieve this.
Prabodha wishes to strengthen the aesthetic and cultural heritage between Kalinga and Sri Lanka and to rekindle & resurrect the 2500-year-old historical relationship between the two nations. Prabodha believes that the children and the youth can become the ambassadors of peace and friendship if guided properly between neighboring countries in the future.