KOTA KINABALU: The eighth Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) is taking on a different concept this year, Sabah Cultural Board general manager Dato Rosmadi Sulai said.
This year, folk songs and music would be performed by the participants, including those from Sabah, he told reporters at the welcoming dinner for SIFF participants on Monday night.
“In the past it was about folk dances but the 8th SIFF focuses on folk songs and music and this is one of the reasons why the participation is less. This is also the first time we are trying to showcase folk songs and music of the participating countries.
“We took this step as the Sabah Cultural Centre, which is the normal venue, is being upgraded. God Willing, the work will be completed by next year and we will bring back the folk dances. At the moment we have received about 80 participation for the folk dance competition next year,” he said.
Rosmadi also said the concept change for SIFF was to ensure the continuity of the festival.
This year, the event is being held at the Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara auditorium from June 25 to 26th.
“The auditorium’s capacity is for 600 and the stage is not big enough for dancers. That is why we have to change the concept this year,” he said adding that this year’s participants were from Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea and Sarawak.
There will be competition among the participating countries this year, only performances of folk music and instruments, he said.
“The Tarian Rakyat Negeri for schools however will still be on,” Rosmadi said, adding that 40 schools are participating in the competition.
The dinner was officiated by deputy Sabah Cultural Board chairman, Jaimil Samitah.