The 60 Second Plug: Teater Ekamatra’s “Madu II”

By Zedeck Siew Fast becoming Singapore’s most important playwright, the strength of Alfian Sa’at oeuvre lies in the wit and verve with which he handles a variety of subjects: Singaporean gay culture in the Asian Boys trilogy – the recently concluded “Happy Endings: Asian Boys Vol 3” had audiences bawling in their seats; the SARS […]

The Business of Theatre

By Jenny Daneels In reply to critical comments in an article we published last year on the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) and the venue’s anchor tenant The Actors Studio (TAS), co-founder and dramatist-director-actor Joe Hasham agrees to an interview with Kakiseni co-founding editor Jenny Daneels to help put things in perspective. Kakiseni is […]

The Red Army on the Russian Steppes

By Antares Since returning from England in the late 1980s, Kam Raslan has carved a niche for himself as a freelance writer and some-time magazine editor (most infamously at the 1990s incarnation of Men’s Review). He is currently a scriptwriter for the Instant Café Theatre Company, a part-time commercial and television drama director, and a […]

Polymathic Spree

By Benjamin McKay A celebrated photographer, filmmaker, writer, and actor (for stage and screen), multi-talented Bernice Chauly is also an activist and educator. She took time out of her busy rehearsal schedule – Bernice appears in James Lee’s production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre – to chat about how […]

Crossing the River

By Benjamin McKay An emerging visual artist whose work has been exhibited both in Malaysia and abroad, Yap Sau Bin represents an emerging generation of artist who attempt to fuse their local experience with a broader global understanding of contemporary visual arts practice. Having studied at the Birmingham Institute of Arts and Design at the […]

Questioning Mark

By Benjamin McKay In an attempt to uncover the mysteries of creative practice in Malaysia, and discern what makes Malaysian artists unique to their time and place, I plan to interview an array of local cultural practitioners over the next year. I begin this enquiry with a conversation with Mark Teh. Mark, 25, has been […]

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 […]

Noise For The Ringtone Generation

By Azmyl Yunor Penang-born Goh Lee Kwang deserves his due credit in the “Malaysia Boleh” rhetoric; he has toured Europe in 2004 (“Europe Pleasures Tour”) way before the Siti-hype at Carnegie Hall. Along with fellow sound/ visual/ installation recluses Klang-born-Melbourne-based Yeoh Yin Pin, Tham Kar Mun and Yandsen Yong, they have received accolades internationally for […]

“It’s OK to Undress Me”

By Gina Fairley Arahmaiani is a master at creating herself. She is a performance artist and her work is intended to provoke – spoken, performed or painted. Arahmaiani is an artist who has represented Indonesia at Biennales such as Venice, Sao Paulo, Havana, Yokohama… and the list goes on. This conversation was recorded with Iani […]

Back to Africa

By Kakiseni Rey Buono chides me: “If you had told me you were going to do an interview about my opinion on the KL arts scene, I would have said I don’t have the time.” But in spite of his obvious disappointment with the insularity of my tabloid questions, he kindly indulged. Until not long […]

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 […]

Farewell My Contemporary

By Kakiseni Saidah Rastam is not one of Malaysia’s best kept secrets. Her cutting-edge music has a reputation beyond our borders. She has been invited for the second time by Goh Boon Teck, director of Singapore’s Toy Factory Theatre Company, to compose with his company. This time, it is for a contemporary theatre piece based […]

Nature vs Nurture

By Jo Kukathas & Haresh Sharma Half a year ago, I brunched with director Jo Kukathas and Singaporean playwright Haresh Sharma at Top Hat. These two motor-mouthed wordsmiths discoursed in such an epic fashion that I had spent the last six months trying to edit down the interview. This is it, at last. At that […]

A Malaysian Jew in New York

By Pang Khee Teik When asked his age, Petaling Jaya boy Richard Chang, now a business news editor at New York’s Reuters as well as an Off-Broadway actor, says, “… if you publicize it, I may never getto play an ingenue or an old man again…” He shouldn’t have to worry. After all, he has […]

The Professional Prizewinner

By Saidah Rastam This is a fairy tale. This is, for me, the ultimate success story. Chong Kee-Yong, 33, grew up in a palm oil plantation in Kluang, Johor. His mother and father were and are farmers. His father wanted him to study economics.  Chong ‘escaped’ from home, and to the Malaysian Institute of Art […]

Fanfare for the Common Man

By Saidah Rastam ‘Serious’ Malaysian orchestral music composition has been limited. Until now. Maybe there has been an increase in educated composers, trained in orchestral arranging. Maybe it’s the results of ventures by institutions such as Akademi Seni Kebangsaan and the International College of Music and by noble musicians who have been passing down their […]

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 […]

I Have Discovered My Vagina!

By Pang Khee Teik Four sunny Saturdays ago, I was invited to an open house at the Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Rumah Teater. Rohaizad Suaidi, who is the entire Theatre Department at UPM, was flustered: the food was late, the people were plenty and hungry, and maneuvering about the small corridor required balletic coordination. But you […]

All The World’s A Stage

By Kathy Rowland John Bell AM OBE, Artistic Director of The Bell Shakespeare Company took some time off his busy schedule to share with Kakiseni readers some insights on the Bard and Australian theatre. Shakespeare has a long history on the Australian stage. Is Bell Shakespeare the first ever national-level company expressly dedicated to staging […]

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 […]

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Plagiarised

By Pang Khee Teik Dina Zaman, writer for Marie Claire and former script editor and veteran of the rough and tumble world of corporate Malaysia, is finally staging her play, Harakiri, a satire on office life based on her experiences at the latter. The play, presented by Chakra Works and directed by R. Rajen, will […]