'Life in the Jungle' to be restaged this coming Aug 23 and 24


KUCHING: “Life in the Jungle”, a ballet based on Iban legends and performed to wide acclaim in January, will be restaged this month in response to public demand.

The organisers have sought corporate and government support to enable this unique cultural performance to be seen again.

“After our successful January run, we were inundated with positive feedback and requests for additional shows,” organising chairman Mike Lim said.

Two new performances will be held at the old State Legislative Assembly building in Petra Jaya at 7.30pm on Aug 23 and 4pm on Aug 24.

Lim said the audience experience would be enhanced this time with raised seating at the venue for a better view of the dance moves.

The previous staging of “Life in the Jungle” was praised as a triumph of classical and traditional music and dance with a distinctly local flavour. It is based on the legend of the “pong kapong” (cuckoo bird) in pollinating jungle fruit trees and the Iban naming ritual.

The story had been retold by Heidi Munan and used in an operetta in 1984 while the orchestral score was composed by the late Datin Julia Chong.

Heidi and the family of Datin Julia are involved in the 2014 productions which mark the 30-year anniversary of the original show.

Layna Ballet Academy director Chan LayNa is the choreographer and artistic director of the production.

The Sarawak Symphony Orchestra conducted by Victor Leong will again accompany the young dancers with musical arrangement by Anthony Wong based on Datin Julia’s score.

The Institute of Teacher Education Batu Lintang will also provide its choir as well as native dancers and musicians to complement the ballet and orchestra.

The restaging is another chance for the audience to enjoy the beauty of ballet and the inventive way in which the choreography captures the movements of jungle creatures.

It is also a chance to experience live orchestra and choir performances, in addition to vivid costumes and sets designed by architect Megan Chalmers.

“We thank the organising committee as well as the generous supporters and sponsors of this event that will enable us to raise much-needed funds for worthy causes,” Lim said.

Proceeds raised from the production will go to the Sarawak Kidney Association, Lions Club for their local Sight First project and Meeting Needs, an organisation that helps the underprivileged and physically-challenged with mobility devices and other assistance.

“Witness the power of our local youth and the talent that we have right here in Kuching, while contributing funds to the less fortunate.

“Take this rare opportunity and bring the whole family to enjoy live classical performing arts blended with homage to our treasured native heritage,” Lim added.

Tickets priced at RM100 and RM55 are available at Sweet Flavours behind One Jaya Mall in Jalan Song here.

For more information, call 016-223 2108 or 017-228 0833 or email lifeinthejungle2014@gmail.com

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