Reel bites to contemporary dance
HIS name sounds like Italian football legend Roberto Baggio but Bahagia Daharun, who goes by the stage name Baggio, gets his kicks onstage — entertaining music lovers with songs. The lead singer of popular 1990s rock band Damasutra says it’s entirely the result of his bandmates’ “westernisation” of “Bahagia”, giving it an Italian flavour.
“I’m a Perak boy from Batu Gajah or BG, so my bandmates combined Bahagia with BG to create Baggio when we first got together.
“The nickname has stuck because from day one, I loved it! And better still, we all got to know of Roberto and began to admire him as a football hero,” says Baggio in an interview after a performance in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
Damasutra may have been keeping a low profile since its last album in 1996, but Baggio insists that bassist and sitarist Amran, guitarist and pianist Alok, drummer and percussionist Assu and himself are still close friends and keep intouch with each other.
“We had a wonderful reunion concert at Hard Rock Cafe Melaka in 2015 that was well-attended,” says Baggio. ”A year later, we had a similar one at Portfest in Suhaili has been dancing professionally for 22 years. AWARD-WINNING dancer Suhaili Micheline has a funny story to tell when recalling her fondest memory from her journey in dance.
“I was 4. My mother owned a ballet school so I often join in the classes. One time I insisted on joining a ‘big girls’ ballet class just because I was super confident that I was better than all of them,” said Suhaili, who recalled wanting to show off her skills in front of the 13-year-olds.
“There I was, standing amidst them, and I was so obnoxious. It was terrible!” she added with a laugh.
But it was that eager beaver attitude that got Suhaili to where she is today — a professionally trained dancer and choreographer, who has made a name for herself in the arts fraternity.
“I’ve been dancing professionally for 22 years now,” said Suhaili, 33, a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia.
After returning to Malaysia in 2007, she
(“this wound doesn’t hurt, it bleeds colourless blood”).
Baggio is an artiste of Padi Records, and has four children aged 8 to 21 from his marriage to Nurella Saiful. took part in 8TV’s reality dance show,
(Season 1), and became a Top 4 finalist. In 2009, she won Best Featured Performer award for her work and Most Promising Artiste Of The Year at the 7th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards.
No stranger to dance festivals and art residencies here and abroad, in countries like the US, Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Suhaili has just launched her first dance film.Titled , it is a collaborative project, conceived by Suhaili together with Mai Fernandez (director) and Yin Tan (producer) from phoSumpro.
What stemmed from an idea over coffee soon took on a life of its own. Five months later, the five-minute film came together beautifully, featuring movement choreographed by Suhaili.
Without any dialogue, the film breaks down the stories of individuals undergoing obstacles in their lives, with their emotions conveyed through choreography.
“The dance moves are a representation of the characters’ souls. Some find it difficult to express the trials in their lives, while others feel they don’t need to be heard,” said Suhaili.
The dancers were filmed dancing individually on the sand dunes of Klebang in Melaka, a location that “evoked human loneliness”.
Suhaili added: “Pain is universal. We experience it in varying degrees in our life. But healing is found in each other. No matter how alone we feel, our connection bridges this loneliness.”
The team is working to submit the work at international dance film festivals.
Suhaili hopes to create more awareness of contemporary dance.
“Contemporary dance does not have enough exposure yet. Recognition is long overdue.”