Malaysian festive drum team bringing its beat to Europe

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Jun 2017

Rhythm and dance: JB Drum Team and Orang Orang Drum Theatre performing in this file picture. — Photo courtesy of JB Drum Team

JOHOR BARU: A homegrown 24 Festive Drums group will be proudly showcasing their dynamic performance in Europe by participating in eight international folklore festivals across France.

The group is a collaboration between two festive drumming teams – JB Drum Team and Orang Orang Drum Theatre from Kuala Lumpur.

Their performance, Remembering An Era, will depict the struggles of Chinese immigrants on their journey to Malaya.

JB Drum Team coach Jarratt Leong said the tour is from July 7 to Aug 22, where 15 performers, including himself, and five stage crew members will make their way across France to showcase their art.

He said the opportunity came when Orang Orang Drum Theatre received an invitation last October to perform in France.

“My team has been working with the theatre for other projects since last September and they asked us to come on board for the tour upon receiving the invitation.

“We could not pass up such a valuable opportunity to showcase our Johor Baru heritage with people from other parts of the world at the festivals,” he said yesterday.

Leong added that it would be the group’s first time performing in Europe. They had previously taken to the stage in Singapore, Guangzhou and Macau.

About Remembering An Era, he said the 45-minute piece touches on culture, heritage and the struggle of immigrants, “which we believe is a much talked about and relatable issue, what with the global situation right now”.

“I think language will not be a barrier as we mostly express the moods and emotions through our drum beats,” he said.

There will also be two or three side shows to be presented at each festival, incorporating Malay and Indian percussion to showcase Malaysia’s rich and diverse cultures, Leong added.

The tour kicks off at Festival de la Menitre in Nantes and covers other events like Festival du Puy en Velay in Lyon and Festival de Montignac in Bordeaux.

A fundraising concert for the tour, which includes the group’s main piece, will be held on June 17 at Excelsior International School in Seri Alam.

Tickets are priced RM50 and RM100. Contact Gan See Shyan at 016-708 9811.

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Youth , festive drums , Johor , festival


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