Published: Friday August 7, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday August 7, 2015 MYT 7:25:14 AM

Dancers to add rhythm to festival

Festival curator Datuk Ramli Ibrahim and representatives from various dance theatres involved in the festival.

THERE will be dance performances of various genres, workshops and lectures during the inaugural Kuala Lumpur International Dance Festival 2015 from Sept 3 to Oct 4 this year. The festival is the dance component of DiverseCity: The Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival (KLIAF) 2015, which was launched in May. It will present new works from Aswara, Dua Space Dance Theatre, Temple of Fine Arts, Alamak Entertainment, Sutra Foundation, MyDance Alliance and UPSI. One of the highlights for the festival is the 12 world premieres of national and international performances. Festival curator Datuk Ramli Ibrahim said the number of people watching dance performances has been decreasing and hoped that the festival could provide entertainment and stimulation. “The festival hopes to harness the creative potential of our diverse cultures. The dance component is also about multi-disciplinary collaborations.

“I am interested to encourage and catalyse the creation of a body of original Malaysian dance-theatre works. Art, culture and dance can be part of nation-building,” Ramli said. Federal Hotels International group marketing, sales and business development and operations director Ooi Lee Ping said Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival is the ultimate platform to showcase the diversity of culture, arts, and creativity that encompass a variety of contemporary and traditional art forms of dance, music and arts. The festivals are supported by The Federal Kuala Lumpur, Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur, BBpark, and Plaza Low Yat. To promote the festival to the general public, Sutra Foundation will be presenting dance flash-mobs on Aug 8 and Sept 9 at the front facade of Low Yat Plaza (along Bintang Walk).
A performance by DPAC Dance Company that will be featured in Tepak Tari during the festival.

Ramli, who is also the chairman of Sutra Foundation, provides the artistic direction for “Ganjam-Odissi”. Sutra dancers will be accompanied by musicians from Odisha for this performance. GuoGuang Opera from Taiwan and Aseema Trust (Chennai) aim to show how Chinese Opera and Indian folk dances can be relevant and simultaneously be part of current contemporary traditions. Among the artistes performing include I Hema Nandhini, who will give a solo bharatanatyam performance, while Kimball Gallagher (international pianists), Chaing YiLing (soprano), Sangeeta Isvaran and Suresh Kaliyath will give the accent and flavour to link the diverse genres of dance-theatre. The diversity aims to appeal to audiences with different interests. For example, “Pak Pandir Yo!” by street dance talent Alam Wakaka, a modern hip hop dance version of classical traditional characters steeped in our folklore, may be for those who are interested in hip hop or modern interpretations.

The media was given a preview of some of the upcoming performances by Alam, DPAC, Sutra Foundation and Dua Space Dance Theatre. Aside from dance performances, there will also be exhibitions such as “I am from Ganjam, so are the Images” at Panggung Sari Lobby, Istana Budaya, featuring paintings by Odiya artist, Dr Dinanath Pathy. “RESTU-Guardian Spirits”, an exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculpture, at the DBKL Auditorium Foyer pays tribute to animal lover the late Pak Mie; the exhibition is a fundraising effort for RESTU, the animal shelter home started by Pak Mie and his wife, Mak Intan, in Alor Star, Kedah. A free lecture demonstration, designed for students and youths, will introduce the audience to the collaborative elements which include the training of a dancer, costume, lighting and set design.

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