Reel bites to con­tem­po­rary dance

New Straits Times - - Groove -

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.