Loi Chin Yu Answers His Calling

By Dr. Wong Oi Min My Calling My Act, My Stage is being marked as a return to the stage of performer and choreographer Loi Chin Yu after a four-year hiatus following his departure from the Nyoba Dance Theatre group over creative differences. It was a period during which Loi gave priority to a practical […]

Other Than Angkor – Pt. 2

By Gabrielle Low Among the lesser-known temples at Angkor is a pyramidal mass of hewn stone blocks called Baphuon, completed in the 11th century as a representation of the mythical Hindu Mount Meru. Partly due to its size, the temple was also structurally unstable. By the time the French explorer Henri Mouhot stumbled upon Angkor […]

Other Than Angkor – Pt. 1

By Gabrielle Low ‘Stung Treng 216 km’ flashed on the blue signboard as our bus sped along the highway. I was only a third of the way through the journey from Phnom Penh to Cambodia’s northern outpost of Stung Treng — the name of both the province and its capital — near its border with […]

Nomadic Dancers of Kuala Lumpur

By Joseph Gonzales The 2nd National Chinese Cultural Dance Competition organised by the Chinese Language Society of Malacca and Multi-Media University was held at the Taman Budaya Melaka from Fri 10 – Sun 12 Mar 2006. A total of 45 groups, consisting of Chinese Dance associations, secondary schools, cultural clubs and private dance schools, including […]

Crawl, Wriggle, Squirm, Walk, Run, Jump!

By Revathi Murugappan “My mother told me I was very good at art, singing and dancing so she wanted me to be an artiste like her. But my life changed after I contracted polio,” says Manri Kim, the youngest and tenth child of Honju Kim, a Korean traditional dancer. Polio eventually led to Manri’s paralysis […]

Enough Is Enough!

By Revathi Murugappan We’ve heard it before (and will continue to hear it). Man fed up with world full of greedy phony people engrossed by money, property and status; man infuriated with local entertainment scene glorifying commercial aspects and worshipping western values with total disregard for artistic values, pride of race, and aesthetics. Man cannot […]

The Undanced Heroes of Malaysia

By Kakiseni Two years ago, French human resource consultant Cyril Rayer took a sabbatical – to “leave the analytical approach to work” and to capture instead the meaning of work through photography – to travel through Asia. Starting at Iran, he visited factories, studios, stages, places of worship, farms, NGOs and even political parties, finally […]

The Goddess of Big Things

By Leah Ray Belly Tribe – don’t you love the name? – was staged at Velvet Underground, Zouk, one sweaty Sunday night two weeks ago by resident belly dance masters Nancy Bakhshy and Paola Blanton. They are the co-founders of Yalla Bina! (Arabic for “Come On Let’s Go!”), a department within The Dance Space at […]

We Still Haven’t Found What We’re Looking For

By Revathi Murugappan Ever play a round of table tennis with your eyes? Yeah, that’s right, with your eyes. Audiences at The Kwang Tung Dance Troupe’s In Transit, staged at KLPac’s Pentas 2 (23 – 25 Sept) did just this – partake in some eye exercises while enjoying the performance. Markedly different about this performance […]

Swami Shanthanand Saraswathi, 1934 – 2005

By Shankar Kandasamy Swami Shanthanand Saraswathi came to Malaysia in 1970, and like all visiting Hindu monks, gave a series of talks and Bhajans (Hindu hymns) at the Vivekananda Ashram here in Brickfields K.L. His charismatic personality, marked by his charming voice, spiritually uplifting dynamic talks, sweet songs and down-to-earth friendly nature drew large crowds. […]

The Idiot’s Guide to Natya

By Lee Jia Ping Until last weekend, classical Indian Dance was boring to my uneducated eyes and the music, too high pitched for my liking. It was a good thing then that I was persuaded to go for Dance a Prayer at the Indian High Commission, on the evening of Sat 10, Sep 2005. It […]

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Adaptation

By Lim How Ngean Adaptation mania has hit Chinese-language theatre recently. Starting with the concurrent showings of Lee Swee Keong’s Woman Born From Dragon and the Dramatic Art Society’s Blanche in July, it continued with the Cantonese Bard offering The Taming of the Shrew earlier this month at The Actors Studio Bangsar while Loh Kok […]

I Can’t Dance

By Zedeck Siew “Ai, careful,” Mdm Surianty Liu says as I topple over. It is 11 on Sunday morning. She is getting slightly impatient with my bungling. “I already covered these steps yesterday,” she says, in a Hong Kong inflection of Bahasa Indonesia. “But we try, yes?” The Malaysian Dance Festival 2005 ran from the […]

No Silk Purse

By Antares Titiwangsa is a nice lyrical sort of name. The Titiwangsa Range itself conjures a sense of adventure and romance. So when dancer/choreographer Ramli Ibrahim and lighting/set designer Sivarajah Natarajan combined forces with avant-garde composer Valerie Ross to produce a dance spectacular dedicated to the spirit of Titiwangsa Lake, around which a bustling park […]

Waiting for the Next Generation

By Rogayah Shahariman Not being a dancer or choreographer herself, Rogayah Shahariman doesn’t want to be known as a “dance expert.” Nevertheless, her keen following of the scene seems unusual. More so in a country where dance, particularly contemporary dance, appears to be one of the least marketable (and fund-able) of the arts. Perhaps she […]

Taking On New Meanings

By Dr Mohd Anis Md Nor Passionately academic and handy with anecdotes about every dance practitioner in this country, Dr. Mohd Anis Md Nor is a walking encyclopaedia of Malaysian dance history. Highly respected as a professor of ethnochoreology and ethnomusicology at University Malaya, he has been, for the last six years, the adviser for […]

What A Virgin Needs

By Lim How Ngean One might expect celebration galore to usher in the very first audience members to the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. But all is quiet, nay, peaceful. On this calm evening, cars ambled bumpily down a winding, mud-and-gravel road to come suddenly to a complex with the most contemporary architecture of steel, […]

Dancers on the Run

By Selvi Gopal During intermission, as people walk out for a toilet break or a hit of coffee, it is not uncommon to hear them whispering about the first half of whatever show they had just seen. There I was at the performance of Inside Out, squeezed between many ladies in their elaborate saris, and […]

The Immortals

By Jeremy Mahadevan When wandering through the labyrinthine extents of ancient monuments, wonders of the world and so on, one doesn’t expect to come across bulletholes. But Angkor Wat is studded with many such reminders of the violence that has engulfed its surroundings. In the light of an early December morning, thrown up from behind […]

Experiment in Bronze

By Antares On opening night of Monkey Business, director Krishen Jit wasn’t sitting like a stone deity in the foyer with an inscrutable look on his face, as is his wont. He was recuperating from another cardiac arrest in the National Heart Institute. However, those involved with Five Arts Centre seemed quite cheerful as they […]

RAMLI IBRAHIM – Finding His Bliss

By Chacko Vadaketh The temples of Orissa have come to Istana Budaya. On a huge gauze screen that stretches the entire stage, images of temple carvings are being projected. Through the screen, you see the whole set, made of massive arches and a ramp, emerging slowly from the depths. It is festooned with gorgeous temple […]

Poetry In Motion

By Prof Dr Mohd Anis Md Nor Joseph Gonzales’s Choreography: A Malaysian Perspective is the first local publication on Choreographic discourse on Malaysian dance that is written by a Malaysian and dedicated to readers in Malaysia and abroad. It is certainly refreshing and invigorating to know that an indigenous writer who is well known in […]

Abusing Prisoners of Wars

By Pang Khee Teik Like prisoners of war, starved, feverish, I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness, beholding such strange visions I couldn’t tell which state of consciousness I was in. This was my experience watching the highly abstract and sleep-inducing Sandakan Threnody by Theatreworks, Singapore, a performance based on the events of […]

Girls’ Night Out

By Yap Sui Lin It is raining torrentially. We – my eagerly-awaiting-Irish-dancing-of-any-kind aunt, my game-for-everything mom and I – are caught in the typical bumper-to-bumper scenario. Can we make it? It seems bleak. Perhaps our burning desire to see ‘Dance of Desire’ at Genting moved the weather gods to stop the rain at last. As […]

Forces to be Reckoned With

By Anne James I consider the Second MyDance Festival as one of the highlights for dance in the year 2003. It showcased 23 dance pieces from all over Malaysia over 3 nights; warts and all. It checks the “temperature” of dance in Malaysia. Any choreographer or dancer worth his/her salt would not want to miss […]

Getting Ready for Riverdance

By Cheryl Lim With less than two weeks to go before the arrival of the acclaimed Riverdance show in Kuala Lumpur, Kakiseni was fortunate enough to speak on the phone with the show’s English production manager, Martyn Drew, who gave some insights on what it takes to make sure this mesmerising Irish dance show travels […]

Secangkir latte bersama Dr Mohd Anis Md Nor

By Adam Tuan Mukriz Adakah anda berpuas hati dengan sambutan orang awam terhadap MyDance Festival 2003? Jika berbicara dari segi matlamat, [sambutan terhadap] MyDance Festival adalah lebih dari memuaskan. Memang pada awalnya kami tidak terfikir untuk menjadikan festival ini sebagai satu upacara yang besar memandangkan tenaga kerja yang ada [kurang mencukupi]. Namun saya bangga kerana […]

Siddharta: Satu Pengalaman Yang Mengasyikkan

By Nizam Zakaria Terlebih dahulu, sebelum meneruskan ulasan drama tari Siddhartha ini, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih yang tidak terhingga kepada Jenny, Editor Kakiseni.com yang telah menguruskan jemputan terhadap wakil Kakiseni.com. ke pertunjukan perdana ‘Siddhartha’. Saya rasa begitu beruntung, kerana berkesempatan menonton satu persembahan yang baik dan mampu menyentuh perasaan. Siddhartha pada asalnya merupakan sebuah […]

A Truly Asian Siddharta

By Nizam Zakaria I’d got myself free tickets to Linkin Park’s concert and had the choice between that or attending the gala premiere of Siddharta, a dance-drama piece by Teater Cahaya, based upon a novel by the same name written by Nobel prize-winning (1946) German author Hermann Hesse. I chose the latter – even though […]

A Method To The Madness (or Be-Kind-To-Robots Week In KL)

By Antares “Pappa TARAHUMARA productions try to liberate themselves from ‘meaning,’ leaving members of the audience free to control their own imaginations.” (from the programme notes) About 20 years ago I toyed with the idea of scripting and directing a paralingual movement theatre piece to be called “Faulty Robots” – wherein our mundane activities and […]