Pentas Seni Merdeka set to give Kuala Lumpur a new cultural bounce

A scene from the Ronggeng Melayu dance performance at Pentas Seni Merdeka’s debut showcase in KL on July 16. Photo: Handout

How do you boost Kuala Lumpur’s arts and culture appeal?

The inaugural Pentas Seni Merdeka, a free monthly public arts initiative by Think City and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), is a good start.

Pentas Seni Merdeka made its debut along Jalan Raja in KL on July 16, with street party scenes and folk dancing accompanying a Ronggeng Melayu live performance presented by Nusantara Performing Arts Research Centre.

The ronggeng, inang and joget are genres of music that traditionally accompany a social dance and the singing of pantun.

Performances by DBKL’s Cultural Artistes and Combo added to the traditional entertainment on stage.

“Pentas Seni Merdeka is an art initiative that makes full use of public spaces and recognises the importance of cultural and creative content in an effort to revitalise the federal capital.

“Therefore, we hope to see more collaborative efforts in making public spaces more attractive to be enjoyed by all levels of society,” said Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias after officiating the event.

Pentas Seni Merdeka will be held along the capital’s Jalan Raja on every second Saturday of the month.

Set against the iconic backdrop of Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, Panggung Bandaraya and Bangunan Mahkamah Tinggi, these cultural performances, workshops and other family-friendly activities will definitely keep the street buzzing.

The next Pentas Seni Merdeka event will take place on Sept 10, with subsequent editions planned on Oct 8, Nov 12 and Dec 10. Each edition will focus on a different traditional art form, with cultural activities also showcased.

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