KOTA KINABALU: More than 1,700 people are expected to patronise Sabah Fest 2011, the state’s largest and most colourful cultural event of the year.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun said at a press conference on the upcoming event yesterday that the event will be preceded on April 30 with the cultural extravaganza and followed with the premier show on May 1.
Both events will take place at the Magellan Grand Ballroom of Sutera Harbour Resort near here.
The state government will spend some RM700,000 for the two-day event and patrons will have to purchase a RM50 ticket for admission.
“We’re hoping for more local support. We also want our locals to consider the RM50 ticket they have to purchase for the show as a symbolic gesture of their support towards the local theatre community,” he said.
More than 600 dancers, musicians and skilled handicraft makers in the state will be at the venue over the two days.
“The event is to provide both visitors and locals alike the opportunity to witness Sabah’s rich and unique culture,” he said.
The grand launching shall take place during the premier show on May 1 by the Head of State, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Mahiruddin and his consort, Datin Seri Panglima Hajjah Norlidah Datuk R M Jasni.
Patrons of the 23rd edition of the Sabah Fest will be entertained to a one-hour musical theatre style production based on a local folklore of the legendary Nunuk Ragang entitled ‘Papakang – The Odyssey of Seven Brothers’.
The legend tells of how the seven brothers who were sons of a Nunuk Ragang chief of Kampung Tompios, Ranau, squabbled over a magic ‘papakang’ stone and separated from each other following a famine at their village.
It tells of the youngest son, Aki Lintobon’s quest to unite with his brothers and also of his travels and adventures.
The festival will showcase the unique dances and rituals from eight districts – Ranau, Pitas, Kudat, Kota Belud, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Keningau and Penampang.
It will also showcase dances seldom performed such as the ‘Dindang Dusun’ from Ranau, ‘Sumarikayau’ from the Pitas’ Sungai (river) community, ‘Pokudinding’ from the Dusun Tindal in Kota Belud, ‘Pangalai Dayang’ of the Suluk in Batu Sapi Sandakan and ‘Gabiluk’, a dance performed by the Dusun Subpan in Lahad Datu.