Month-long MyDance Festival packs a diverse, lively schedule for the masses

  • Arts
  • Thursday, 01 Jun 2023

Aswara dance faculty performers in a scene from the 'Duskfire' show. Photo: LH Tang

This month, dance organisation MyDance Alliance will roll out the sixth MyDance Festival, with the theme “Unity in Diversity”.

The Petaling Jaya-based festival, which runs from June 3-25, is out to reunite the dance community and to present a series of diverse live performances.

“It’s been 10 years since our last MyDance Festival,” says Wong Jyh Shyong, festival producer and MyDance Alliance president.

“And it is definitely time to reconnect with each other in this unique platform for dance in Malaysia.”The aim is to also spotlight collaboration and share this event with younger dance artists who have never experienced a MyDance Festival.

“As well as welcoming back established companies and friends who have been with us since MyDance Alliance was founded as an organisation in 2001,” he adds.

The festival will present four different programmes across various arts spaces in the Klang Valley.

The festival opening gala at Petaling Jaya Performing Arts Centre (PJPAC) on June 3 and 4 will highlight some of the most accomplished Malaysian dance companies, including Temple of Fine Arts Kuala Lumpur, Dua Space Dance Theatre, ASK Dance Company, and Kenny Shim Dance Collective.

Dua Space Dance Company in the 'Wild Script' show. Photo: Dev LeeDua Space Dance Company in the 'Wild Script' show. Photo: Dev Lee

It will also feature students from the dance departments of local tertiary education institutions like the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Sultan Idris Education University and Universiti Malaya. Traditional dances from Malay, Indian and East Malaysian cultures will grace the stage, alongside contemporary dance works that highlight the creativity, skill and talent of Malaysian dancers today.

This is a great opportunity for long-time dance fans to catch their favourite performers, as well as for arts lovers who are new to dance to discover what makes Malaysian dance special.

The second week of the festival will spotlight the popular practice of site-specific dance, which is presented in venues beyond the traditional stage.

"Dancing In Place", a long-running series of site-specific dance presented by MyDance Alliance, will bring dance to the lesser-known nooks and crannies of 1 Utama Shopping Centre. Shoppers and fans are welcomed to this free event on June 10 and 11, which will feature new works by seven local dance artists: Alla Azura Abal Abas, Andrew Igai Jamu, Ayu Azril Ali, Iqram Company, Mohamad Adlan Sairin, Nurulakmal Abdul Wahid and Syamil Norzalahuddin.

A 'Dancing In The Community' event, which is designed to take place in public spaces. Photo: Ridhwan Saidi A 'Dancing In The Community' event, which is designed to take place in public spaces. Photo: Ridhwan Saidi

“It’s great to see the public be surprised by dance when they least expect it,” says Rithaudin Abdul Kadir, Dancing In Place producer, who is a site-specific performer himself.

“Especially with the unique costumes and the graceful or impactful movements, Dancing In Place can create experiences that are unusual for a shopping centre ambience,” he adds.

In the third week of the festival, choreographer Lau Beh Chin will spearhead a production entitled "Dancing With The Community: Beyond Moving With Artisans", an interactive performance on June 17 and 18 at PJPAC that combines dance, craft and culture, in collaboration with theatre artist Ridhwan Saidi and young dancers Wong Chi Ying, Winnie Tay and Lee Bee Hui.

Dancers from community groups, people with disabilities and young people from the local Chin refugee community will be part of the collective celebration that aims to encourage greater inclusivity in our local dance culture.

MyDance Festival 2023 will conclude with a discussion forum convened by Dr Nurulakmal Abdul Wahid, addressing the future of Malaysian dance at 1ncubator Studios, PJPAC on June 25. Dancers and dance fans are encouraged to reserve their seats.

As a non-profit volunteer membership organisation which brings dance practitioners and dance enthusiasts together to support and promote dance in Malaysia, MyDance Alliance is presenting this flagship event again, with support from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.

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