Cul­ture fest

Klcc cel­e­brates the coun­try’s rich cul­ture, es­pe­cially its arts and mu­sic.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ARTS - By SHEELA CHAN­DRAN Wi­rama.

THE National Academy Of Arts Cul­ture And Her­itage (Aswara) has added an­other feather in its cap with a first col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort with the Malaysian Phil­har­monik Or­ches­tra (MPO) Seni En­sem­ble in con­junc­tion with De­wan Fil­har­monik Petronas’ (DFP) sec­ond KLCC Seni Fes­ti­val.

Be­sides mark­ing Aswara’s in­au­gu­ral joint ven­ture with the or­ches­tra, it also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents from the pro­fes­sional dance com­pany to show­case their skills while fo­cus­ing on tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary Malaysian dance per­for­mances.

“This is very for­tu­itous for Aswara be­cause we are look­ing to ex­pand our hori­zons and ex­plore new chal­lenges to keep our danc­ing at its best,” said Aswara Dance Com­pany’s dean Dr Joseph Gon­za­les in an e-mail in­ter­view last week.

The week-long fes­ti­val, start­ing to­mor­row, is a ma­jor cel­e­bra­tion of the best in arts and cul­ture. The event hopes to ed­u­cate the younger gen­er­a­tion on the coun­try’s rich cul­ture, es­pe­cially its arts and mu­sic, and bring back the for­got­ten arts.

Gon­za­les says the fes­ti­val is timely and plays a vi­tal role in pro­mot­ing the arts. “Aswara (or any other dance group) can­not work on its own and needs the sup­port of or­gan­i­sa­tions. There­fore, it is es­sen­tial to care­fully plan such events to reap in as­sis­tance from co-op­er­a­tions.

“Be­sides be­ing the epi­cen­tre of Malaysia’s bustling com­merce and tourism, KLCC is the sym­bol of the na­tion’s drive to­wards mod­erni­sa­tion and af­flu­ence. So it seemed like the per­fect place to high­light mu­sic and arts in a demo­cratic space pop­u­lar amongst the youth and ev­ery­one from all walks of life,” said the award-win­ning Gon­za­les.

With a pre­dom­i­nantly Malaysian theme, the fes­ti­val’s cur­tain raiser is Aswara and MPO Seni En­sem­ble’s col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort on Wed­nes­day(8.30pm).

Themed Liv­ing Tra­di­tions, both groups will per­form six con­tem­po­rary works com­bin­ing mu­sic and dance. The DFP stage will wit­ness Aswara’s siz­zling per­for­mances of Wi­rama (chore­ographed by Gon­za­les), Ta­pak 4 (Shafirul Azmi) and Al­lar­ippu (Umesh Shetty). Fol­low­ing Aswara’s works are three works by MPO mu­si­cians – Lex, Trio Tra­disi and Ves­per­tine For­ma­tions – com­ple­mented by brand-new dances.

Wi­rama is touted as one of Gon­za­les’s clas­sic works which has been staged since 2004. The piece draws in­spi­ra­tion from the pro­to­type

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