National Dance Tour in KK Saturday


From left, Liew, Cheong, Iskandar, Jainab, Leong, Lo and Wang at the press conference.

KOTA KINABALU: The public will have the opporunity to enjoy traditional and contemporary dances when the ‘Connecting Communities … National Dance Tour’ initiated by the Faculty of Dance, Akedemi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (Aswara) is held this Satuday, June 8, at the National Department For Culture And Arts (JKKN Sabah).

The event, sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation, is jointly organized by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu (SPArKS) and supported by JKKN Complex Sabah as the official venue.

In a press conference here yesterday, Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said while the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had done a lot for the community, it was still insufficient.

Hence, corporate involvement was crucial in such activities as they had the financial resources, she said, commending Sime Darby Foundation for presenting the cultural show.

Jainab said the dance tour reflected the spirit of 1Malaysia as the dance styles featured in the events included Malay, Chinese, Bollywood and Jazz.

She added that children who took part in the workshop, particularly village children, could learn how to dance through the workshops.

As the 13th general election has concluded, Jainab urged the people to establish a caring and united society.

Meanwhile, Datuk Adeline Leong from the Sime Darby Foundation said the Dance tour was the first of its kind to cover all states in Malaysia, involving 20 of Aswara’s best dance graduates and students, as well as its renowned teaching staff.

To date, the dance tour has covered six states in Malaysia, which were all sponsored by the foundation, Leong said.

She said the Aswara Dance Company consists of seven principal dancers who have graduated from Aswara, five senior apprentice dancers, six junior apprentice dancers and one guest dancer.

The troupe is under the tutelage of renowned choreographer and dancer Dr Joseph Gonzales, dean of Dance Faculty in Aswara and also judge in reality dance television shows such as Sehati Berdansa and Mari Menari.

Aswara, as she informed, is a higher learning institute established with a vision to become an art learning and training institution recognized regionally and internationally. It offers diploma and degree programmes in filming and videography, writing, music, theatre, dance and fine arts studies.

“In the effort to promote a better appreciation and understanding of cultures through dance, especially the dying traditional dances of Malaysia, Aswara is staging dance performances and workshops showcasing the nation’s diverse cultures and heritage.

“With programmes such as these, these dances will have a chance to survive the modern times through the practice by professional dancers and appreciation of the public,” she said.

The dance tour this Saturday will be a fusion of modern and traditional dancing, Leong said, which would be an enjoyment to the participants.

The dance tour was part of Sime Darby Foundation’s contribution to the community through arts and culture, one of the five pillars of the foundation.

The dance workshop will be held from 10am to 5pm on June 8 at JKKN Complex, while registration is from 8.30am to 10am. The event is open to teenagers and adults.

Participants will learn Malay folk and classical dance, Chinese dance and classical dance, Bollywood and Indian classical Bharata Natyam, hip hop, jazz, improvisation and contemporary dance during the workshop.

On the same day at 8.30pm, Aswara Dance Company will be performing a dance concert entitled ‘3 Faces concert’ at the auditorium in JKKN Complex. The public is advised to arrive early for the event.

Both the workshop and dance concert are free-of-charge.

Registration for the workshop and concert tickets can be obtained from the counter at JKKN Complex entrance during office hour.

There are 500 tickets available for the dance concert and it will be given out on a first come first served basis.

For more information, call Benjamin 012-8273939, Albert 016-8205532, Lenore 012-8013939 or JKKN Complex 088-237051.

Also present at the press conference were organizing chairperson Benjamin Lo, Rotary Club Kota Kinabalu president Iskandar Ahmad, SPArKS president Cheong Kok Ann, music producer Roger Wang, and Christopher Liew from the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu.