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 […]

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 […]

A Night in the Life of Gavin Yap

By Kakiseni Paparazzi Despite the intense stage presence that he has, I must admit, it is a relief to watch a Gavin Yap play in which he is not present on stage, and you aren’t subjected to his usual bag of hyper tricks. Though he seems a little nervous about it, the Boy Wonder is […]

Plug and Play

By Gabrielle Low The first part in a series documenting young Malaysian artists and their work. Gan Siong King was giving me a guided viewing of his work, which was at once a guided tour of his house because his paintings are in his kitchen, his stairwell, his living room. To exhibit the paintings to […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

20 Years of Uncertainty

By Jerome Kugan Five Arts’ humble beginning in 1984 was a dismal time. According to co-founder and veteran theatre director Krishen Jit, there was no concerted effort to produce local work in English that speaks of contemporary concerns. “Even though there had been works staged by Syed Alwi, K Das, Edward Dorall and others before […]

Rose Chan The Musical?

By Pang Khee Teik Last week, I put up a poll asking people to vote for the Malaysian woman whose life story they think should be made into a musical. Out of the five names – Saloma, Siput Sarawak, Shamsiah Fakeh, Rose Chan and Mona Fandey – the majority (32%) chose Rose Chan, stripper and […]

The Unifying Forces of Adeline Wong

By Saidah Rastam It’s tough being a composer of orchestral works. You only acquire skill by hearing how your music sounds when played by an orchestra, but you only get your music played by an orchestra when you’ve acquired skill. This, together with intense competition, far too few commissions and a generally impecunious existence, makes […]

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 […]

From Opera To Bollywood

By Elaine Tan After the setback of losing many precious scores and instruments in the flooding of the Dataran Merdeka, Dama Orchestra has dusted off the debris and settled into their new home in Bangsar. We sit on wobbly chairs in the corner of the small room as Dama’s resident soprano Tan Sao Suan, always […]

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 […]