Chitrasena was born in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka on January 26th, 1921 and is the Dancer. At the age of 84, Chitrasena biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 26, 1921
Sri Lanka
Place of Birth
Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
Death Date
Jul 18, 2005 (age 84)
Zodiac Sign
Chitrasena Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Chitrasena Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Vajira Chitrasena (m. 1951 – 2004)
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Chitrasena Life

Deshamanya Chitrasena (born Amaratunga Maurice Dias) (born 1921 – July 2005) was a Sri Lankan dancer best known for his contribution to the establishment of a modern Sri Lankan dance style and popularizing traditional Sri Lankan dance styles around the world.

In 1998, the Sri Lankan government gave him the Deshamanya award.

Early life

Amaratunga Arachige Maurice Dias Chitrasena was born in 1921 at Waragoda, Sri Lanka's South coast. Late Seebert Dias, a well-known actor and producer of the 20s and 30s, creator and instructor for the Colombo Dramatic Club, designer of John de Silva's production, a pioneer in Shakespearean dramas of the day, was a pioneer actor/director of Shakespearean dramas in Sinhala and English. Chitrasena's father introduced dance and theatre to his son from a young age.

Tagore had founded Santiniketan in India. His lectures on his visit to Sri Lanka in 1934 inspired a radical change in the lives of many educated men and women. To be able to assimilate fruitfully the best of other cultures, Tagore stressed the need for a people to discover its own culture. Chitrasena was a schoolboy at the time, and his father, Seebert Dias, had established a veritable cultural center frequented by the time's literary and artistic intelligence.

Chitrasena made his debut at the Regal Theatre at the age of 15, playing Siri Sangabo, the first Sinhala ballet produced and directed by his father's. Chitrasena appeared in Kandyan style, and this made people pay attention to the boy's talents. D.B. : D.B. : Jayatilake, Vice Chairman of the board of Ministers under British council administration, Buddhist scholar, founder and first President of the Colombo Y.M.B.A., Minister of Home Affairs, and student was a key source of inspiration for young dancers.

Chitrasena learnt Kandyan dance from Algama Gurunnanse, Muddanawe Appuwa Gurunnanse, Bevilgamuwe Lnpaya Gurunnanse, Beynnanse. Having mastered the traditional Kandyan dance, he graduated from the 'Ves Bandeema' ceremony with the 'Ves Thattuwa' on the initiate's head and the 'Kala' mangallaya' took place in 1940. In the same year, he moved to Travancore to study Kathakali dance at Sri Chitrodaya Natyakalalayam under Sri Gopinath, the court dancer in Travancore. Chandralekha (wife of portrait painter J.D.A.) gave him a command performance. At the Kowdiar Palace, Perera (Perera) before the Maharaja and Maharani of Travancore was assembled. He later spent time in Kathakali, Kerala's Kalamandalam.

Chitrasena appeared at the Regal Theatre in 1941, one of the first dance recitals of its kind, before Governor Sir Andrew Caldecott and Lady Caldecott with Chandralekha and her troupe. Chandralekha was one of the first women to work in the Kandyan dance field.

In 1943, Chitrasena formed the Chitrasena Dance Company. He toured extensively in the provinces. Sarathsena, a versatile drummer, and sister Munirani were among the early dancers in Chitrasena. Munirani was a soloist in the 'Vidura' ballet.

In Colombo, Chitrasena established the Chitra Kalayathanaya school of National dance, which was the first school of National dance in the country. Sir Ernest Fernando, a great patron of the arts, was given the sprawling building to explore and expand his artistic work. The dance center, where Chitrasena lived and worked for 40 years, was supposed to become a landmark and cultural center for dance enthusiasts and connoisseurs of the arts, starting as a small nucleus.

Chitrasena attended Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's Shantiniketan in Bengal in 1945 and had the opportunity to perform the lead role in Tagore's dance drama 'Chandalika' opposite Nandita Kriplani, Tagore's granddaughter. Chitrasena is a descendent of Uday Shankar's. At the All India Dance Festival in Delhi, he represented Shantiniketan. He visited numerous dance centers in Lucknow, Lahore, and Uday Shankar's dance center in Almora, Assam. At the New Empire Theatre in Calcutta, he appeared in a Shantiniketan show to benefit Tagore's Memorial Fund.

Many Sri Lankan artistes were encouraged to abandon their Portuguese influenced names and embrace oriental names as a result of Rabindranath Tagore's revival among India's Bengali elite. Some of those who participated include Amaradeva, Sarachchandra, and Chitrasena.

Early Period – Obstacles

The early years of the twentieth century were marked by great sadness, instability, and dissatisfaction. The urban intelligentsia, who were nourished on pseudo-colonial ideals, shrank on things indigenous or at least with native curiosity. They were ill-equipped to accept the notion of a traditional dance in relation to the theatre. They were faced with injustices, including indignities, insults, a lack of patronage, a skeptical and disoriented public, little if any media coverage, oppositional leaflets distributed, alleging that the traditional dance was being destroyed, and anonymous postcards. Chitrasena was breaking new ground, and there were instances of him being actually hooted off the stage. He had to be acknowledged as an artist in his own right, not belonging to the traditional dancing 'parampara' style. Even the traditional dancers who were the proud custodians of an ancient heritage dating back more than 3,000 years, despite their displeasure with Chitrasena.

There were no suitable theatre companies in the area. The local town hall or central school hall served as theatre in the outstations and stages were poorly constructed. In addition, poor theatre conditions such as primitive lighting fixtures, improvised switch board, crude cardboard, and coloured cellophane were among dimmers' activities.


Chitrasena Awards


  • Yuganthaya – 31 December 1999, awarded for his outstanding contribution to the dance of Sri Lanka.
  • Desamanya – 6 April 1998, the highest award given to a citizen of Sri Lanka.
  • Vishva Prasadinee – 20 April 1996, in honour of the national pride and international prestige brought to Sri Lanka by Chitrasena.
  • Kala Bhushana – 22 May 1994, honouring the extraordinary contribution made by Chitrasena to posterity and to the development of the arts and culture of Sri Lanka.
  • Kala Keerthi – Presidential award.
  • Honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Fine Arts) – 21 March 1991, Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
  • Kala Suri First Class – 22 May 1986, Presidential Award.