National srilankan show in Kandy

One of the most potent cultural features of Kandy lies in its traditional Kandyan dance which has been revived after nearing extinction following the decline in popularity during British rule.
Now extremely popular across the country, the traditional dance of Kandy is said to have originated from an exorcist ritual required to cure the King Vijaya. His illness is believed to have been cursed on him by the black magic his first wife, Kuweni, practiced. The illness itself was the recurrence of a nightmare the king had where a leopard directed its tongue at him.
The Kandyan dance was initially only performed by Indian spirituals, who also performed it for the King to cure his illness. Following the miraculous effect of the dance, it was adopted by the rest of Kandy.
The dancers were considered as separate group by Kandyan Fudel setup. All of them were linked to the Temple of Tooth and consequently had very substantial roles to play during the annual celebration of the Kandy festival.
Now adopted by Sri lanka as its main cultural icon, the Kandyan dance includes the Ves dance, Naiyandi dance, Uddekki dance, Pantheru dance, and Vannams. There are many wonderful examples of embroidery in their costumes for the dance. The music used for these dances are mostly percussion and nowadays the dance also allows women in to the training schools, despite it having started only for men to perform.
One of the main pioneers of Kandyan dance coming on to the stage was Chitrasena Dias in the 70s, when he incorporated the dance in to his ballets. Many believe that his overall popularity also contributed in banishing the caste divisions related to the dance as well as make it more interesting for contemporary and modern audiences. His Dance School is still the largest existing Kandyan dance school.

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h

Tourist reviews about National srilankan show in Kandy

Ориентальные танцы, хождение по углям
Elina M [TA], , Moscow, Maine

Яркие, отражающие этнический эпос костюмы, демонстрация национальных музыкальных инструментов и традиционные танцы. Один номер перетекает в другой единым представлением. Потом гости выходят на улицу и смотрят представление с факелами и хождение по раскалённым углям. Понравилось, рекомендую

Watch only if you have an hour or two to kill
AmMoNZ [TA], , Hong Kong

Need to get there 30-45min early to get good seats as hall was packed out. Show lasted about an hour and the fire walking bit seemed a little dangerous given we were crammed in with 300+ people in a wooden hall with a wooden stage but I guess they do this every day and know what they are doing.

Worth Checking Out
Amy C [TA], , Richmond, Virginia

Expect a lackluster, poorly lit theater with plastic chairs. The show is clearly aimed at tourists, but, unfortunately, Kandy doesn't have a lot of options for cultural performances. It is good to go and check it out; it only runs for an hour. The dancers have heart and put on a good show. It was fun to see it for the costumes alone. The end culminates, to the crowds delight, with somewhat restrained fire walking.

How fabulous
corkcarol... [TA], , cork

I could not believe how wonderful this performance was, at the Cultural Institute. Just an hour or so long but totally captivating. Really wide and varied in both costume and performance.
Highly recommended and definitely something not to miss.

Great show
Joy31_12 [TA], , Norwich, United Kingdom

Really entertaining show incorporating male and female traditional dancers, drummers fire walkers and fire eaters, well worth a visit.

Fascinating dances
SallyBomb... [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

Although I had been to Sri Lanka before, this is the first time I saw a Kandyan dance performance. What skill and acrobatics! It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening ending with walking on hot coals. I would highly recommend it.

Great if you like drums
Ugurd [TA], , Stockholm

They love drums here, the rhythm is persistent but too slow if you like rock'n'roll. Dances are nice to watch and the clothes are magnificent.

Nice experience
JJala [TA], , Doha, Qatar

I enjoyed the music, the set up and the place. The performance is nice but the stuff for tourist. yet make sure not to miss it !!!

Hot Stuff In Kandy
Wazza_and... [TA], , Gunnedah, Australia

Great way to see Sri Lankan culture with a visit to this location, the show runs about an hour and you can get a drink while you watch it, photos are encouraged and there is fire walking at the end, its a must see while in Kandy.

Great performance
Go55 [TA], , Sydney, Australia

Our hotel told us that this was something we must do in Kandy - I agree after seeing the dancers.
The show is held in the old Red Cross Hall near the Temple of the Tooth at 5pm each day. It lasts 1hour.
It is fantastic with amazing dancers and costumes. The dancers are technically superb and also really seem to enjoy the performance.It finished with firewaters and walking on hot coals

A must see...
87rahul [TA], , bangalore

While in Kandy we wanted to get a glimpse of the Kandy culture and thus went to see the dance performance. It is an hour long show with different dance forms of Kandy lined-up one after the other. The show was amazing. A must see for all Kandy visitors.

Good show
Elle_0123... [TA], , London, United Kingdom

It's for tourists, no doubt. But it is a good show with a variety of dances and performances that keep you interested. We sat on the front row and had a perfect view of the fire walking show.

The building needs urgent and extensive refurbishing and the ladies toilettes are despicable.

Fernand R [TA], , Lausanne, Switzerland

We are not much into very touristic attractions but the experience at this place was quite nice. The dancers are quite good and the dressing to. If you go without much expectation you will pass a good moment there. The walk on ashes is also to see.

Great Experience!
Jason P [TA], , Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom

Quite cool, the recommendation is to book early to make sure you get a good price. Good performance which ran to time.

Expensive, but colourful
JanetYO22 [TA], , London, United Kingdom

The music, costumes and dancing were excellent, a great performance, but not really worth the LKR 1000 they charged at the cultural centre.
Take something to drink and insect repellent. You get a great view from the first row of seats upstairs but it then takes ages to get out as you are ushered to one exit where there is a tip box on each side. Walk in the middle to avoid paying yet more money

Touristy but a must
CandP_Syd... [TA], , Sydney, Australia

If you want to know how many tourists are in the area at any one time, this is the place (actually there are a few places) to be. Having said that, it is interesting to sample the music and look at the really beautiful costumes. It only lasts for about an hour and gives a good insight. We went to a place that even had a little bar for the interval. Go for it!

interesting music
fansch [TA], , Prague, Czech Republic

I'd say worth the 500 rp. cover yourself in mosquito repellent since the building is more or less open to birds and anything else flying around. Be there early enough to grab a good seat, although you still see everything from the back.

Best local art to watch
Vishalmsh... [TA], , Navsari, India

it was very good to see the local art of sri lanka and i myself instead all traveller to visit and watch this local art

WhyKualaL... [TA], , Kuala Lumpur

Nothing spectacular. It is a truly average show. Mostly to make money for the cultural association. Do not sit on the first row. The dancers will ask for money after performance

Very nice dance performance in kandy lake club
Stephanie... [TA], , The Hague, The Netherlands

The dancers were very nice dressed, good quality and large diversity of dance. Good to arrive early. Show can Strat at 5 or 5.30

Danash201... [TA], , Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka

really awesome! performers were really talented. suggest better ventilation as the hall was very hot and with lots of people, there was not much ventilation. red cross items for sale affordable. Traffic is a nightmare.

Very good traditional dance performance
PramodKSr... [TA], , Bangalore, India

The traditional dance performance at Kandy (performance happens at three places) is really quite unique to this part of the country. We visited the Kandy Art Center behind the Temple of the tooth. This place is located adjacent to the lake and can be accessed walking along the lake next to the temple of the tooth. There is a nice souvenir shop where you can purchase some good Srilankan craft items for a really low price. The dance performance lasts for an hour consisting of different kinds of dances: dancing with fire torches, mask dances, walking on fire, drums jugalbandi (contest within drummers to match each other) are the major highlights. The dancers seem to put in a lot of effort into their art. Overall, a good performance.

Cost of entry: Rs.500 per head
Happens at 5PM everyday at three locations in Kandy including Kandy City hall, Kandy Art center behind Temple of Tooth and Kandy Samadhi center.

Good selection of dances
freelizzy [TA], , london

We liked the fact that you are given a print out that describes each dance. Get there early to get as close to the front as possible. We found that the first six or so rows were reserved for coach parties etc. Lovely costumes. Enjoyed seeing the fire walking.

Just alright
seafare74 [TA], , SF, California

Having seen several other ethic dance performance throughout Asia we are not easily impressed, so for us it was just alright. We attended the evening performance at the cultural center just outside of the Temple of the Tooth. We were glad we sat in the balcony as we had a clear view and were not to close to the drummers that were quite loud. They also put on a brief fire walking show at the end which added a little to the overall enjoyment level but again not that impressive. If you go bring repellent to kep away mosquitoes and ear plugs are recommended too. One good thing is the ticket price is cheap.

Felt a little like a high school play
NAM830 [TA], , Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The performers were really talented and the music was great. I guess I was just expecting something that felt a little more authentic. Instead we were ushered into an old theater to watch the performance, and I felt like I was watching a play instead of a series of ritual dances. I think I just misunderstood what it was.

very strange
Erin T [TA], , Perth, Australia

The dancers were out of time and if their expressions were anything to go by they weren't enthusiastic about performing. I found myself getting bored not long into the performance. Perhaps this type of dance would be better witnessed in a celebratory procession rather than on a stage. The shed where it was held leaks in the rain.

Great chance to lern to know the culture
Sabine N [TA], , Germany

It was beautiful to see and hear the famous Kandy dancers.
At the end there was a big fire show.
We loved it. It was a good experience in sri lankan culture. And you can connect it with a visit to the Tooth Temple nearby.

Cultural show you must see
Mariean [TA], , Montréal

I didn't know what to expect but I was very surprised. Our driver did the reservation in the afternoon and we had very good places. The costumes are beautiful and the dancers seem to enjoy doing the show. I loved the fact that I could see a very different culture from mine. The only problem is the parking spot but we just had to be a little patient. I would recommend this show to see the Sri Lankan culture.

Energetic and noisy drumming with back flipping dancers.
QatarPhil [TA], , Norwich, United Kingdom

Energetic and noisy drumming with back flipping dancers. Quite repetitive. Awful toilets in complete disrepair. We left half way through. Use your time in Kandy doing something else.

a lot of fun
Anna W [TA], , Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

colourful, original and noisy. Loved the antiquated social hall and the dancers' costumes. Takes place early at 5.30pm and lasts about one hour.

A standart tourist destination
BukyBenYu... [TA], , Tel Aviv

The dance is well performed with enthusiastic and energetic performance. The theater by itself is a comfortable place. If you are coming by yourself, i.e., not with an organized group, go to balcony and sit in a front.

A colourful show
alex_dunm... [TA], , Windsor, United Kingdom

Untill my tour planner suggested me this show, I haven't heard about this. Ticket was few hundred rupees and an hour long. I wasn't really able to enjoy it as I was quite late to the show. It was a lot of drum works. Walking on burning ashes particularly interest me.

I found the whole performance is quite energetic.

Worth a Visit
Nollaiggl... [TA], ,

An hour of Kandy Traditional dancing .. lots of energy and acrobatics and some fireworks .. venue is pretty basic .. like one of those old 1960's cinema halls .. but the dancers give it their all and are totally "lost" in the dance and the music

Not African drumming but there is fire
edgut [TA], , Prague, Czech Republic

These dance routines go by fast, the male drummers are not so energetic like those in African dances, but it's interesting to see the different costumes, colors, and movements as well as to learn what they mean and stand for.

Good value
muscatste... [TA], , Muscat,Oman

A dance show which last for an hour for on 500 rupees. A colourful show culminating in a walk on burning ashes for a couple of the performers. Highly recommended.

This is a must visit to do while in Kandy.
Chipiling... [TA], , Washington DC, District of Columbia

Anyway, there is not too much to do. This Performance is quite interesting. Yes, you have to pay to get in, and takes like one hour.
We had a lot of fun at this performance. Very local, interesting and full of tradition.

Holidays in Sri Lanka
OliviaAbu... [TA], , Abu Dhabi

Beautiful Dance performance! We were sitting on the second row and we could appreciate all the spectacle! Dances, music and fire dance were amazing! Dancers were very good!

Surprisingly good
SarahBExe... [TA], , Exeter

Wasn't sure quite what to expect but these dancers were excellent. A very entertaining show and definitely worth the money. Fire walking was an added bonus.

A wonderful evening
coljpsing... [TA], , Chandigarh, India

The dance performance was out standing, the dancers did their best to entertain the tourist, it gives us good insight into the culture of Srilanka.

Unexpectedly good
jenniegSu... [TA], , Storrington, United Kingdom

We wondered quite what we were doing in the ancient crumbling Red Cross Hall after a busy day, but one the dancers and musicians exploded on the stage we were really amazed at the performances. Be careful if you are in the front row as the fire eaters and fire walkers are very close to you and throw flames casually around.

The best place for Talents
kum2006 [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka

This is a place which offer their place to
Talent Shows at the same time they offer food for the above mentioned items to a very efficient cost and the food is very tasty.

Average, not the most existing show
FreditoS [TA], , Colmar - France

After visiting the temple of the tooth, we went to the dance performance.
The theatre was pretty crowded, most people being part of organised tours.
The show itself wasn't very existing: it was very repetitive. I almost fall asleep.

It is worth seeing but could beach shorter.

Beyond expectations
Unimpress... [TA], , St. Gallen, Switzerland

Was not looking forward to this, but was very plesantly surprised as it is not normally my kind of thing. , entertaining, partially undercover Propartiallyfire eating and walking outside. Drinks served at your seat.

Average performance
anandjais... [TA], , Nagpur

I am sure Sri Lanka has better culture to showcase than the dance performance we saw. Waste of an hour.

Traditional Sri Lankan Dance
Shane3211 [TA], , Sydney

Having been to Kandy several time this is the first time we attend this cultural event and was not disappointed. Good value for the price charged for this and I strongly recommend to fellow travellers. If you wish to get a good seat, please get to the venue at least one hour before the show. Suggest you watch the show from the balcony The venue is old and not comfortable, but the drumming and dancing is great.

Traditional folk dances
YTCHENG [TA], , Hong Kong, China

The performance was inside a venue by the lakeside and lots of people came to watch the shows.
The dancers wore different sets of costumes to match the themes of the show while the drummers have their fantastic drumming performance all the way. The most breathtaking performance was "walking on fire" which was exciting but a bit thrilling. Worth to have a look.

Time travel
Geordie26... [TA], , Huntly, United Kingdom

The venue is something else.Completely authentic and entertaining.Try to get a seat near the front as everyone gets excited when the fire walking begins.

akk1966 [TA], , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The dance performances wer very energetic and well rehearsed. The had work of the performers was clearly reflected in the performance. Loved it and world recommend to tourists visiting Kandy. The fire walk at the end of the show was breathtaking!

Greats I me had by all
PerthBob1... [TA], , Perth

loved the dances and the dancers. It was full of lively entertainment and was very enjoyable. The costumes were bright and colourful We left on a high. The fire walkers also pleased us.

from dancing peacocks to fire walking
Carmel M [TA], , Johannesburg, South Africa

it was really great - the dancers were on stage which we liked. It felt like a real performance rather than a cultural visit. The dancing was great, the sounds vivid and then of course the acrobatics and fire eating was amazing to watch

Helen B [TA], , Queensland, Australia

Good to see some local culture. The finish was done with fire walking on hot coals. The concert takes about 30 - 40 mins and can be seen before going to the Temple of the Tooth. They are walking distance apart. Concert itself was ok, not spectacular.

Rich Variety of Kandyan Dance
SaharaHar... [TA], , Singapore City, null, Singapore

We were very pleased to experience a wide array of various dance segments and styles by the dance troupe. After the show, we were brought outside to enjoy an extension of the performance of fire twirlers and walkers. A must see in Kandy.

Exiting dance performance.
girlhenri... [TA], , Amersfoort

We travel with our 4 year old son. And sitting quiet is a challenge.
The show is one hour and shows a lot of different dances.
Even for kids very interesting since some acrobatic moves and fire are in the show.

Recommend it.

Nice preformance
Pipsarg [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

Nice way to spend a few hours. We watched the dancing and fire walking. Very helpful staff, the site is a little old and needs some work but the dancing wa great

Lively, loud and colourful performance
amazonlad... [TA], , North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

We did this performance while on our tour at Kandy. The show was colourful, exciting and very loud drumming, the costumes were fantastic. It was good that we got written information as to what all the dances meant. The performance lasted an hour and finished with fire walking, very interesting and worthwhile.

worth watching
lulu a [TA], , Kuwait City, Kuwait

It was really nice to watch the cultural Srilankan dance. We enjoyed the evening specially the dance on the burning coal. The costumes and masks were very colourful and the dancers were quite professional.

Nice performance
Dannyshar... [TA], , Hamilton, Ontario

I had seen this performance back in 2010 and I went again to see it in 2014. But this time I didn't enjoyed it the way I enjoyed it first time. It is one time watch only. Acts are slow and many of them lack energy and vibrancy.

Good traditional performance
herecomes... [TA], , Doha, Qatar

Good place to see local cultural dance forms. Some very good performances.

Sitting area without any air-conditioning or even fans for that matter. Not properly maintained

Great dance
Amitab S [TA], ,

It is very traditional. colorful and athletic. Worth watching if you are in Kandy. Some of the dance moves will surprise you.

Rangahala Cultural Kandyan Dance !!
SHAILESH... [TA], , Sohar, Oman

It was a magnificent performance for an hour between 5 to 6 p.m. at the Kandyan Cultural Centre situated near the Lake at Kandy.

There were 11 items in the program. Ceremonial Drums, Puja dance, Tambourine, Snake and a mythical bird dance, Peacock dance, Fire dance, Drum Orchestra and finally Fire Walking.

Dancers male and female performed very well. It was worth the money and time !!

Youssef B [TA], , Doha, Qatar

It gives an idea about the traditional dance and the colors and dresses are really nice, but seats were unorganized.

Graceful dancing show
Jhinuk [TA], , Bangalore

This is a beautiful show. Make sure you collect the handouts describing each dance forms. Very gracious dancing and some amazing acrobatics. The dancers expect a tip in case you take pictures with them in addition to overall tip. You need to pay anyways to view the dancing

Much better than we expected
Alastair... [TA], , Marlborough, United Kingdom

A really entertaining 90 minutes or so. Held in what looks like a Village Hall, the show was far more professionally played out than surroundings would have suggested. Well worth a visit.

Very entertaining
Victor G [TA], , London, United Kingdom

I did not think I was going to enjoy this but I was proved wrong, the dancers and music was very entertaining and colourful, this was not just for the tourists most of the audience was Sri Lankan.

Nice Experience!!
skvn [TA], , Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

It was nice experience. Must see for travelers to Srilanka... this is traditional dance form of Srilanka and was a pleasant experience.

Julie T [TA], , Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

Brilliant dance performance - really enjoyed the Ves dance, and the firewalking afterwards. Beautiful costumes and a great insight into traditional dance.

Jules1946 [TA], , Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom

This is well worth going too. So many different dances and sounds and costumes, and at the end fire walking. They also give you a list of what all the dances mean so that's so helpful..

Better to be seen in Asia
TomBaul [TA], , London, United Kingdom

The dancing was decent, but not of great quality. Though this is a nice insight into the culture of Sri Lanka, with particular regard to the costumes and music. The playing around with fire at the end was average. Compared to shows like this I've seen in Southeast Asia it is hard to call this great, but it is worth doing and quite interesting.

dance performance
pia s [TA], , Monterey, California

intimate experience, where you meet dancers after the performance. During my visit rain came down with force, we kept moving around the theater not to get to wet. This all created an atmosphere of joy and closeness. You are in the mountains ,carry an umbrella. The costumes where intriguing and dancers performed with great skill.

An interesting taste of local dance culture
Shm00 [TA], , London, United Kingdom

While not wholly authentic, this 60-minute show was fast-paced and very entertaining, especially the fire-walking at the end. The costumes and music were wonderful.

Seen them once seen them all.
BismarckM... [TA], , Goa

Found people dozing during the performance. I had a quick nap too. Pretty boring except for the last bit. The fire walking. But everyone must've seen that atleast once in their lives elsewhere. Unless you have nothing to do don't bother. The good seats are "reserved" by travel guides. It's free seating btw. Bad ventilation in the hall. Only couple of fans work. Gets warm.

average dance
pgarodia [TA], , New Delhi, India

I saw this dance in June of 2014. It was an average performance. It started a bit late but covered everything that was on the program. I have seen many dances like this before so I was not too thrilled about it. Like the earlier reviews say the soul was missing in this. Their fire dance at the end was probably the best performance.

joekepam [TA], , Jakarta, Indonesia

compare our country dance performance it is so bored but I appreciate and nice to know other culture when i visited a country...
some of the dancer not rely with the team...just follow it..fortunetely kendangs save their performance ..and nice fire dance, with 500 srilankan rupee its worth it

It's just not what you think it is
iamsurfer... [TA], , Hong kong

I can't believe I wasted an hour of my life for this, the whole show was of very low standard, there are only one or two dancer that knows what they were doing, I know the whole dance is a story and it has a deeper meaning, but the whole performance is much worse than a normal elementary school performance. After the show started for 20minutes me and my husband were already struggling to stay awake, I thought they will have a fire walk later, may be they leave the best for last. It so doesn't !! Even the fire walk was a joke, it last no more than 5minutes I have seen much better in other place. I think they put up this performance mainly for tourist on a tour package as you can see most of them are retired european on a packaged tour.

Don't waste your time

Very touristic
AndrewCol... [TA], , Cape Town

Nice to see and some of the performers are really great but it feels like a tourist trap. Some of the performers were mediocre - great it get a glimpse of the culture as it was though.

Very interesting!
gidrub [TA], , Netanya, Israel

Very strange performance for westerns but very interesting. You will listen to Sri Lankan music (mostly drums), see dancers and see the traditional customs and musks.

Nickitick... [TA], , Weymouth, United Kingdom

This performance gives you a good over view of the different dances performed in Sri Lanka and a snap shot of the fire walking, performed at Hindu rituals. It can be very hot and sticky and it is advisable to spray with insect repellent. Some performances can make you feel that the dancers are just going through the motions but others can be very good, There are a few hawkers buzzing around outside and in so be firm but polite if you do not want to buy. Be prepared to move forward to the stage area at the end of the dance performance in order to have a better view of the fire walking.

Worth the fight for a parking spot
Justine C [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

We were a bit concerned that seeing this after the Perahera would be repetitive, but we really enjoyed it. It was a good variety of dances, clear explanations and the fire walking was a huge hit for the kids. Definitely recommend this.

Love it
Mrs Nasse... [TA], , Muscat, Oman

We enjoyed it...
It represents many info about sri lanka..
You have to read about each dance when you get the tickets, otherwise you will not have any idea what is going on...

It was ok ...
rainbow20... [TA], , Thame, England, United Kingdom

The theatre is ok, health and safety a bit dodgy with chairs balanced on concrete ledges. We enjoyed the show and the fire walking was interesting to see.

Nice way to spend some free time
Urska R [TA], , Ljubljana, Slovenia

If you are interested in traditional music and dance I would recommend this performance. They perform several different dances. You get a list of them and a short explanation at the entrance so you get the idea about their meaning. At the end of the show you can also see a fire walk.
There are several different places that offer this shows. We watched the show at the Red Cross Hall next to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic as suggested by our homestay owner. Tickets are about 500Rs. The show starts at 5 p.m and lasts about an hour.

Very entertaining
Europa201... [TA], , Sydney, Australia

I was very sceptical about this show, and only went because our driver really pushed it on us, but it was fantastic. Really entertaining, short dances give you a quick glimpse of Kandyan arts. There is acrobatics, fire walking and fire works, all packed into about half an hour.

LucyMorre... [TA], , Liverpool, United Kingdom

This was something that our driver organised so we weren't expecting to do, but it was absolutely amazing! The dancing, drumming and costumes were brilliant and the fire walking at the end was amazing! We paid 1000 rupees each and it was an hour long, well worth it for some traditional Sri Lankan dancing!

Not Bad
Emma M [TA], , London, United Kingdom

A cultural performance aimed to attract tourists. Although I am not a dance fan , I liked the colorful dresses and the drumming. First time I am seeing Sri Lankan Kandyan dance. Not bad.

Not great..mediocre at best
Lorna W [TA], , Doha, Qatar

An adequate experience for those who are new to cultural experiences. The show was well coordinated and the performance was mediocre. Our family, well travelled and exposed to many cultural events, were bored. Our children liked the walking over hot coals at the end. Reminds me of the school trips classes sometimes take. 500 rupees a ticket, an hour long. I would not go again.

Nice show
RDLMN [TA], , east sussex

We watched the show at the Kandyan Art Association and Cultural Centre. Fabulous costumes, drumming and dancing. Lasts 1 hour. Get their early to get a seat as the guided tours reserve several front rows.

Local Dance & Culture
elmsie7 [TA], , Perth, Australia

Well worth the visit. We were lucky and got seats 4 rows back so had good view. The performance is performed in a hall next to Kandy Lake so there are other activities around as well. Unfortunately for us there was a cloud burst an hour before the performance so we got pretty soaked (remember always carry your umbrella in May). The performance was very good and suitable for all ages. The performers were very enthusiastic and looked happy. Great costumes and you could easily interpret the dance story line for most dances. A fire walking show was performed after the dances which was also excellent entertainment. You go through the usual process afterwards of 'donating' to support the dancers, up to you to decide. Overall a very good show

local dance
Amelia M [TA], , Toronto, Canada

A pleasant way to spend an evening. I liked that there was a flat fee for all and foreigners were not charged exorbitant rates.

just the right length
Lee67 [TA], , N yorks

The show was at the YMBA in what appeared to be a village hall. Despite being 1/2hour early we had to sit quite a bit back, which spoilt the view. A few rows at the front had been reserved for groups.
The dancing was interesting and only lasted 3/4 hour followed by a fire walking display outside. All together only 1 hour, which I felt was just right. The cost is lkr500.
Some of the dancers looked at bit bored, but it kept my children entertained.
There is a tip box at the end.

avinda201... [TA], , Dunedin, New Zealand

Bought the ticket to the cultural show at YMCA I thought it was value for money. There were nearly 300 others at the show and they all enjoyed the experience

Pathetic show
Mariam P [TA], , Karachi, Pakistan

Despite of reading so bad reviews we went there n was waiting for the moment for the awful performance to get over we waisted our money!

Beautiful and Culturally signficant
flyhi_nel... [TA], , Taif, Saudi Arabia

This performance with the drums and dance is amazing. It lasted over an hour and was a great performance by all involve. The auditorium get crowded so it may be wise to get there slightly early.

Nice show
jesschua6... [TA], , Petaling Jaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

Good performance on the whole. The interior of the performing hall was dark and gloomy. Toilet facility was run down with ants crawling around the walls of the toilet. The chairs look old and worn out. No enough of ventiliation.


I loved the passion and flamboyance of their very polished performance. Very colourful and interesting throughout the performance

Not Exciting
DPMMumbai [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The performances were not great and it is very difficult to sit through the program for 1 hour.the hall was warm with no AC or Fan, it was in bad shape. The dance performance looked similar apart from change of costumes which was a differentiating factor.
The Music remains unchanged.
Avoidable unless you feel very compelled to visit the show.

Great fun
Ambra_Cho... [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

On a whim we decided to do this, the local dancers were great. Loved seeing all the stories told through dance & costumes. Was packed out - not a spare seat. A must do if you are heading all the way to Kandi. March/April 2013.

Not sure but some good bits.
Kevin F [TA], , Nottingham

Firstly let me confess I am not a dance fan so my comments come with a caveat. Our guide was local and told me not all this performance was genuine but then you expect it to be aimed at the tourist trade.
Having said all that this colourful and entertains for an hour. The dances and music are a bit repetitive but give some idea of the culture of Sri Lanka. The drummers and plate spinners are talented.
Overall if you like this sort of entertainment then fine, I don't think however it is a particularly genuine experience.

FamilyTra... [TA], , Muscat, Oman

As this was foisted on us by the company with whom we had arrange our trip, we had reservations that it might be tacky and touristy, and overpriced. It was none of those things, except it was aimed at tourists. Although in a rather dingy performance hall, it was well performed, varied and visually stunning. Both of our children happily sat through the whole thing. There were fine costumes to be appreciated, acrobatics to impress and lots of drumming. The rain forced the calling off of the fire walking. Much better than expected

dance and music
Bert H [TA], , Biddinghuizen

Kind of the standard tourist trap. Nice costumes and dances. Music is so so to our western ears and the fire dance is not very convincing

Variety of dances
JeanneX23 [TA], , Thulusdhoo Island

This hour-long show kept its pace moving along, with a variety of dances, both male and female, as well as drumming and acrobatics. Fire-eating was also included, with coals and fire walking rounding off the show.
If you are not with a tour group, I suggest you get there early, otherwise you might be stuck behind someone tall. Choose a seat in the front row of the higher step up.

A bit of culture
oxanal [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Nice experience! Beautiful dancing and stunning costumes! At the end of the show the man will play with the fire.

Fully worth it!
PastorVas... [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka

If you are a TOURIST to both my beloved-Kandy and Sri Lanka.... this is a Must-See. In leass than 75 minutes you get a fair over-view of our songs, dances and cultural beliefs (i.e. fear of evil and love of peace). Tickets can be bought through your Tour operator, Hotel, Guest-House or at the entrance. No need for a guide or your driver.

Bryan_Jod... [TA], , Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka

Lovely to see all the costumes, an drumming, did get a little repetitive.

You can take photos of the dancing, which is nice.

Best part comes when the fire walkers come out at the end, everyone gets up and gathers around them to watch them walking over hot fire coals. Then it all ends and they just leave the hot coals for everyone to see how hot they are.

So with no Sri Lanka people around, we did our own walking over the hot coals

A chance to see Sri Lankan culture through dance
nicknickx... [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Very hit and uncomfortable chairs . Only 1 hour and you can purchase drinks/ snacks fairly cheaply . A good way of seeing some traditional dance and fire walking at the end . Children may find it a bit tedious.

cultural dancing
cleopatra... [TA], , Cape Town

very contrived definitely aimed at tourists, the juggler was impressive. the highlight was the fire walking which is right at the end . Go early to get a decent seat

a wonderful expereince
Gemma H [TA], , London, United Kingdom

we watched a variety of different dances and listened to music that provided a picture of Sri Lanken history

Good attraction in Kandy
World1981 [TA], , Nairobi, Kenya

We were to the art center, close to the tooth temple. And it was good enough for this kind of shows. Good dancer and good show. I know it is a tourist show, but it was the best I have seen for it kind.

Seen better!
Ashrita K [TA], , Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

So there Are two venues, and I think our guide took us to the unofficial one, though we paid the same as the official one costs. The dance was very average and more tricks than actual dance. Having watched the dance form at its best before, it was a let down!

Worth watching.
Hanif4786 [TA], , Dubai

This is one place where you should visit in Kandy if you wanna experience some traditional folk dance of Srilanka.The dancers immerse themselves in the dance and really entertain you with their heart and soul,not to be miss.

You will love it if foreign culture fascinates you
Sadie K [TA], , Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan

I was travelling solo so my guide cum driver took me to this show as there isn't much to do in kandy other than visiting kandy lake . I reached the hall a bit late and the show had already started ..Since my driver was a regular there I was ushered to the first row best seat which had a reserved sign on it .. Lol.. Being in the centre and in the first row the dancers and the puppets interacted with me and kept me mesmerised with their skills .. It was the best folk dance I had ever seen. It was action packed and there wasn't a single dull moment. I think it all depends what your expectations / taste is because I saw some people feeling bored there as well .. And as I visit new countries to experience their culture so I just loved it . Rest kandy is a place where you can take some books a long and have a peaceful week to be with yourself.

Srilankan Folk Dance
MKBP [TA], , Bhubaneswar

The performance was very good, with a variety of folk dances. However , the following points need attention and improvement.
1. The tickets are pricey.
2. The seating arrangement needs a lot of improvement. There is no slope , hence you are likely to be obstructed by the person sitting in front of you; it is really difficult to take photographs without disturbing others.

Cheap and Cheerful
Mouse1982 [TA], , Bristol, United Kingdom

Good fun, quite cheesy, great atmosphere. We had front row seats which was quite lucky as we were close up for the impressive fire walking at the end. Don't go expecting perfection and you will be charmed.

Fire walking was amazing.
Nigel D [TA], , Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Our kids loved it so anything that keeps them entertained for an hour goes up the ranking. Even if I found it sleep inducing. However the fire walking was really cool. I had never seen it before. At 1100r a little pricey but still worth it in my books.

nice experience!
Alexa C [TA], , Moscow, Russia

All tourists are greatly invited to this national performance. you will see several dances and performances, hear lot's of drum music and really enjoy! if you stay a bit longer - you will be granted with fire-walking show :)

ashan-tra... [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka

there was exultant colorful amazing feeling.that show the cultural of srilanka very well . hope to see again.

Great experience
Smh26 [TA], ,

A wonderful show, well worth a visit.
The hall is very hot with no air conditioning so just be prepared for that but it was very enjoyable.

Different dance
samara_00 [TA], , Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

In this hall, we saw different cultural dance which was good. The best thing is a man walking on fire.

Very Good, could be even better
Isha B [TA], , New Delhi, India

The first things that strikes your mind when you enter the hall is 'this is going to be a waste of time', but hey its a cultural dance show. Talented dancers and truly enjoyable drums. It was a cute act put together. However I definitely think that they can do even better!

It's ok
Philie4u [TA], , Cointrin, Switzerland

This is really there for tourists. The dance gets pretty quickly boring, however, at the end, they walk on fire and that's quite nice.

Amateur show great talent
Nigel B [TA], , Rotorua

Amazing outfits in very ordinary hall. But rather old fashioned in a way. Our driver assured us that similar dances performed at village festivals . Complete with a bit of fire walking at the end

Kandylake dancers
SukiLoven... [TA], , Lovendegem

his is something you just must see! It is typical for Kandy. We visited them now already three times, The first time in 1993. We liked it then most, but don't know anymore if it also were the Kandy lake dancers.

Nice, but can be a little more professional
NeetaRamn... [TA], , Bangalore, India

While we enjoyed the dances, the dancers seem to be taking it rather casually. Movements were not very coordinated - esp considering that they do this everyday, and have had more than sufficient practice.

Perhaps I am comparing this to the other dances that we saw in Bali - which were far more impressive.

very entertaining
SylviaHen... [TA], , Surrey

This was great fun. Brilliant drumming and exciting dances and acrobatics. All topped off by fire walking!

Stourbrid... [TA], , Stourbridge

Great dancing and fire eating. How the men spin and spin without falling over!!! The fire walking didn't last very long but was good. The costumes and masks are colourful and interesting.

Kandyan Dance
lakshmani... [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka

This is worth watching you get to know what Kandyan dancing is and it is on almost daily so even if you are on a very short visit to sri lanka you can make it as it is very short with a little of everything

Good but VERY hot
Anna J [TA], , Gateshead, United Kingdom

Get there early as it gets very full very quickly but it is definitely well worth seeing. It is very hot so I'd definitely recommend taking in drinks or buying the ones available there. You do get a breakdown of what each dance means which is helpful and some of the dancers are amazingly skilled.

susan g [TA], , Lincoln, United Kingdom

The venue is fine and we had pre paid seats so we could see everything that happened on the stage. A list in English of the performances was very helpful so we had some idea about the drumming, the dancing and the meaning of the costumes. The fie walking afterwards was amazing. Whilst not the most polished of performances we wouldn't have missed it especially at the price.

Not so exciting if you are tired after a long journey
the_clerk [TA], , durham

We were extremely tired after 36 hours of traveling and I had trouble staying awake during the performance . The constant beating of the drums became an annoyance rather than entertaining. Some of the dances were energetic and vibrant but best done after a good nights sleep.

Best Cultural Dance we've ever seen
Gill G [TA], , Cheltenham, UK

Yes, you do sit on plastic chairs and yes it is a bit hot, but the show was fantastic!! We got there early and managed to get seats down the side and very close to the stage. Lots of the front seats had Reserved tickets on them, but not all. We thought it was very well performed and excellent value for money. Staff were friendly and we bought cold lemonade when in there.

It's touristy but I wouldn't have missed it
jaya-lakh... [TA], , Stockholm, Sweden

for 500 rupies you have app an hour show with dances that finishing off with fire walkers. it's pretty amazing, i'd love to be back for a real festival to see the real stuff.

Not our favourite experience at all
pensioner... [TA], , Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Located in a large airless hall, with rows of seats closely packed together on a hot late afternoon, this was not a pleasant experience. We were some of the first there for that performance and yet the first dozen rows or so were all reserved!? It was so uncomfortable, my wife had to move just to find some air and space. The dance performance is very colourful with lots of drumming. Yes it highlights Sri Lankan culture, however though the dancers performed with great enthusiasm , apart from one or two skilled performers, it was all very amateurish. With a more professional approach in a more suitable venue, it could be very, very good. Maybe we were expecting too much?

Just ok
tianyi z [TA], , Beijing, China

The show took about 1 hour, including various types of dance and fire walking. It's ok, but not so spectacular. For that time, if you can only choose one thing to do, I would suggest a walk around Kandy lake.

Worth a visit
annettet [TA], , Camberley UK

We had not realised there were a least a couple of shows on at the same time, not sure which one is considered best but I thought the dancers and costumes were very good and enjoyed the evening especially the fire thrower, they all seemed to have such a good time putting on the show it makes you enjoy it even more.

Nice authenticate dance.
Kejain [TA], , Bangalore, India

Very traditional dance, dont miss this.
Kandy is a cultural city and you cant complete the cultural tour without visiting this place.
Awesome fire dance. Try to get seats in first two rows.

you can plan your trip in following sequence.

1) Kandyan dance.
2) temple of tooth.
3) walk around kandy lake,
4) go for dinner.

A great show!
Djumbe [TA], , Vancouver

every evening at 5pm this show provides 5 or 6 short dances with great costumes and masks for the tourists. just the right length of time and not expensive. Worth it to arrive early and reserve a seat then stroll around the lake until the show starts. A must see in Kandy.

Hang on to the end for the fire walking
holdenute [TA], , Bonn

The dances were short enough to give a view of local culture and the costumes were amazing though the guys in our group were not enthralled by it! It's worth waiting for the end, and get ready to move from your seat and push your way to the front as the firewalkers do this on the floor, not the stage,so you cannot see anything from your original seat! Don't be shy, get up and shove your way to the front with the crowd. The firewalkers were very impressive and worth seeing.

Fatima786 [TA], , Cape Town

These energetic young dancers showed us the true spirit of Kandy through their dancing. They were excellent and the their costumes were truly magnificient. The fire-walkers at the end of the show were breathtaking. Would recommend all tourist to pay these superb dancers a visit.

Done solely for the tourists
marklucey [TA], , Oxford, United Kingdom

Very average. Performers all looked very bored and dance routines very stilted. Not worth the money.

Only for tourist
Chrystel4... [TA], , Bordeaux, France

It gives some ideas about dance in Kandy but it is just packaged for tourist and be ready to give tips again and again. It is worth having a look but not more.

Enjoyable performance - an hour just about right
backpacki... [TA], , London

This is a worthwhile thing to do in Kandy - it's only an hour so doesn't take up the whole evening. It's not like it's the most amazing thing ever but it is good fun and the firewalking at the end is cool. Get there early though because group tours go and pinch the seats at the front!

Very enjoyable
Moth [TA], , Monte-Carlo, Monaco

We really enjoyed the dance performance we attended. The night we were there, there were only about 20 people in the audience, which was a little disconcerting in a room that would have seated 150 at least, but it meant we all had a great view and could admire the agility and expertise of the dancers from close up.

Not very impressive!
Adeosthal... [TA], , Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Did not find it very impressive and partly could be because of the lack of preparedness of the dancers. Could have been much better!

Colourful, energetic and loud!!!
Eileen W [TA], ,

We saw this show in September - just read all the other reviews and, yes, the venue is very tired and the chairs are plastic but come on guys give them a break ...... The show was amazing and we really loved it especially the most amazing fire walking at the end. The audience were invited to go down to the front where they set up the fire walking so we were just a few feet away and it was awesome!! Got loads of great pics.
So my advice is, remember where you are- ie not a super rich country - overlook the plastic chairs and the run down theatre - take it for what it is - a great cultural show and you will leave with a huge smile on your face !!!

Much hyped but an average show
Shyamalad... [TA], , Kolkata (Calcutta), India

It was in bold letters in the tour package as a must see. A shaby hall with plastic chairs and pathetic ambience. Performance is very average and for a person from India , a land of at least 100 forms of ethnic dances, it was below average. The performers were old, ill dressed and as a whole a very low cost production.

However, for someone non-asian, fire eating and walking on burning coal might be interesting.

fun to see but hard to see
Mandy N [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

Performance went for 45 minutes and was a little bit hard to see through other tourists hands holding their phones in the air to record it. Seats are not tiered and the other tourists behaviour made it tiresome. It could be solved by telling tourists that they are not allowed to use their phones to take photos, videos so they actually watch the performance. The dancers could then sell DVDS of the dances for tourists who want to take them home to watch.

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