Yayasan Sime Darby In Support of the Performing Arts - Connecting Communities - National Dance Tour by ASWARA

Bukit Kiara, 13 February 2012 - Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) which advocates the development of the arts and culture scene as one of its five pillars, is collaborating with the Akademi Seni Budaya & Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA) to help preserve Malaysia’s traditional dance heritage via a national dance tour.
With an RM380,000 sponsorship for the initiative by ASWARA’s Faculty of Dance which commenced in June 2011, ASWARA has been staging dance performances and workshops in Peninsular Malaysia involving 19 of its best dance graduates and students as well as its renowned teaching staff.

An event to showcase the dances performed by the troupe was held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre today which was attended by YSD Chairman Tun Musa Hitam, YSD Chief Executive Officer Yatela Zainal Abidin, ASWARA rector Prof Dr Hatta Azad Khan, dean of the dance faculty of ASWARA Dr Joseph Gonzales and 100 invited guests.

Guests were left mesmerised with the showcase of classical, rarely performed Malay, Chinese and Indian tradition dances while fusion-contemporary dances received overwhelming applause from the floor.

It was a rare sight to witness the dancers, from different ethnic backgrounds, performing traditional dances in unison, almost flawlessly executing the movements.

One of the dancers, Norbaizura Abdul Ghani is the first Malay woman in Malaysia’s history to perform her Arangetram in Bharatanatyam. She holds a Diploma in dance and Bachelor in Dance (Performance) from ASWARA.

Despite just getting married the day before the event, Norbaizura’s performance of the classical Indian dance Pushpaanjali with Mohd Yunus Ismail was among the favourite during the night.

The 19 dancers who started the night with traditional slow moving dances namely the Malay dance Terinai and Chinese Lotus dance, rocked the stage with Baratanatyam, Iban and Kuda Pasu dances and later the fusion-contemporary Alarippu and Butterfly Lovers. The finale for the night were the Zapin Hanuman and Joget Pucuk Pisang which ended with some of the invited guests joining the dancers on stage.

The troupe is under the tutelage of Gonzales, who is a renowned choreographer and dancer and a local celebrity, having appeared in popular reality-dance television shows like Sehati Berdansa and Mari Menari.

Musa, at a press conference earlier said YSD “adopted” the ASWARA Dance Company to help propel interest in the performing arts among the public, especially the younger generation.

He said the sponsorship, besides strengthening arts institutions also enables dance tours and workshops to be made available to a wider audience.

“We want to instill among the youth a sense of pride and belonging for our local and national arts and culture. YSD wants to be part of the effort to preserve Malaysia’s traditional dance heritage,” Musa added.

Through the workshops, the rare traditional dances of Malaysia can be appreciated by all levels of people not only the youth, but students, adults and even the underprivileged including children with special needs.

YSD’s contribution covers the production team’s wages, lodging and living expenses on tour, promotions and publicity materials, technical equipment, among others.

The dancers are engaged full-time by this programme to carry out the dance tour and workshops for a year.
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Last Updated:
04 Dec 2018
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