Award-winning American television comedy series Modern Family made a special reference to Sri Lanka’s classical dance icon Chitrasena in its latest episode ‘Spring-A-Ding-Fling’.
The plot featured the beloved, legendary Spanish teacher, Señor Kaplan played by guest star Will Sasso, who returned to class from a sabbatical in Sri Lanka and stole the spotlight from Cameron, played by Eric Stonestreet who had just organized the school’s most successful fundraising event, the “Spring-a-Ding-Fling.”
Will Sasso presented gifts from Sri Lanka to other colleagues, he even pronounced Anurdhapura perfectly.
When Sasso went head-to-head against Stonestreet at the school dance, he truly mentioned something of real significance to Sri Lanka. The two characters were desperate to be the most beloved teacher faced off during the faculty dance. “This guy walks in like he is king of the dance after doing God knows what in Sri Lanka – building schools in underdeveloped areas. What does that even mean?” a frustrated Stonestreet says ahead of the confrontation.
As the two teachers dance during the faculty dance, Sasso pulls out more dance tricks saying, “While on sabbatical I learned a thing or two from Sri Lanka’s Chithrasena.”
Perhaps the writers of Modern Family were alluding to iconic Sri Lankan classical dancers Chitrasena and Vajira. The Chitrasena Dance Company is considered to be Sri Lanka’s oldest and most prestigious dance schools. Chitrasena passed away in 2005.
Last October, the writers of Big Bang Theory included references on the Sri Lankan community in Los Angeles.