THE first Diabolo Masters Championship held at Ipoh Parade shopping mall was a one-of-a-kind East-meets-West competition that left the audience in awe.
The contest had participants playing the traditional diabolo or Chinese yo-yo while showcasing modern elements of street dancing.
The battle between participants was in a freestyle format, which saw 30 people and five groups from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, and Perak taking part.
In the Solo Battle category, university student Lin Hau Woei, 21, edged out 18-year-old Low Chin Wei in a tight battle to clinch top spot.
Despite winning RM1, 000 in cash and prizes, Lin said he could have performed better.
“I give it seven out of 10, ” said Lin, who has been playing diabolo for nine years.
The Group Showcase category was won by six-member group Zone XD, claiming RM2, 000 in cash and prizes.
Ipoh Parade marketing and promotions head Alan Thoo said the championship was part of the mall’s first Oriental Festival.
“We decided to try something different with a traditional staple, and we were glad the Malaysia Diabolo Association (MDA) was on board with us.
“By fusing elements from street dancing, which we are very familiar with, we created something new and exciting out of a very old game.
“Traditionally a performance that requires hours of training, the diabolo performances in the Solo Battle category were visibly more frenetic as participants had to think with their nimble fingers as they performed continuous tricks to the beat of the music chosen by the deejay, ” said Thoo.
MDA president Low Wey Shyan commended the participants for their performance.
“Most of the performances we see are a result of tireless practice and strict choreography.
“The participants really stepped out of their comfort zone.
“This is a good start as it is the first in Malaysia and there is still room for improvement, ” said Low.
The mall also held its inaugural Acrobatic Lion Dance Championship that had 10 troupes from Kelantan, Selangor, Pahang and Perak taking part.
Khuan Loke Dragon and Lion Dance Association from Sungai Way, Selangor won and took
home RM5, 000, certificates and medals while second-place winner Kelab Tarian Singa dan Naga Persatuan Pembinaan Kuantan won RM3, 000.
Khuan Loke troupe leader Eric Fong said their win was a pleasant surprise.
“We were up against some well-known lion dance associations, so it was a little unnerving.
“But we trained hard to stay in good form, and winning the competition was a big morale boost for us.
“Joining competitions like these will help us stay focused on what we do best, which is dancing on stilts, ” said Fong.
The competition was co-organised with the Catholic High School Alumni Association Dragon and Lion Dance Troupe from Selangor.
Did you find this article insightful?