December 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm
There are many things about the earth and its living things that never fail to capture our interest and attention. One good example is the fascination that many people have regarding wild animals, in particular the way they move about in the jungle. Many inspirations have been derived from that one simple act, for instance incorporating animal-like movements into dances like the lion dance or a traditional Indian folk dance known as the Peacock dance.
Tapestry 2011 by the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (ASWARA) is a series of performances that was formed with the intention of showcasing Malaysian traditional dances to the public. Each performance usually begins with research on the origins of the dance and its uniqueness. As most of these dances were not properly documented in the past, researchers often face a lot of problems when it comes to determining the actual steps and dance movements involved in each of these traditional dances. This year’s performance concentrates on traditional dance inspired by animals. Each of these performances shows the creativity of the choreographer and the dance creator, both of which are responsible for creating such amazing dance routines.
The Tapestry 2011… Inspirasi Alam Haiwan was held at ASWARA’s Panggung Eksperimen from the 22nd till 26th November. The performance showcased 14 short traditional dances incorporating animal movements. For example, Datun Ulud is a traditional dance of the Kenyah tribe in Sarawak, Malaysia. This dance was invented as a symbol of happiness dedicated to the God of Thanksgiving and was once performed to celebrate the warriors’ return from hunting. This dance is normally performed by women only and the performers will wear a ‘Kirip’ (a hand decoration made by the feathers of the Hornbill) on their hands when they dance.
There was also the Peacock Dance, which is actually a dance that imitates the movements and actions of a peacock. Dancers wear a skirt made out of peacock feathers so that it looks like a peacock’s train when the dancer expands it and another Chinese dance inspired by a fish’s movements. Other performances include the Kuda Pasu, which is a dance by the Bajau tribe in Kota Belud, Sabah. This dance highlights the tribe’s expertise in horse-riding and is often performed during weddings and Pesta Tamu in Kota Belud.
For more pictures of the different types of dances performed during the event, please log on to our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/malaysiadotcom