Traditional Rakhine and Kayin dance comes to the capital
AFEAST of sound pouring out from nearly 300 instruments, representing the entire Union of Myanmar, will be on display this week as the 22nd Myanmar Traditional Cultural Performing Arts competition gets under way in Nay Pyi Taw.
Singers, dancers and composers will vie with each other musically in the event, promised Culture Minister Thura U Aung Ko, speaking at the opening ceremony on October 18.
“This will be a special event,” he told participants at the Myanmar International Convention Centre.
The traditional dances of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine, Shan and Dawei will all be performed, as all regions and states will be represented.
Two Union dances include “Thar Li Swa Rakhine Pyay” choral dancing by 16 Rakhine women, and the lively Kayin traditional folk dance “Let Twel Nyi Nyi Shei Tho Chi” will be performed by eight men and eight women from Kayin State. Rakhine and Kayin traditional choral dancing teachers have been sent to the states and regions to teach others, said Thura U Aung Ko.
“Professionals from Rakhine and Kayin states and dance professionals from the regions and states which have established a Ministry of Rakhine National Race Affairs and a Ministry of Kayin National Race Affairs will be assigned by ratio as judges for the Rakhine and Kayin dances,” said the minister.
This year, for the first time, the competition will feature performances on the flute, among the 13 types of musical instruments to be heard, as both professionals and enthusiastic youngsters aged 15 to 20 will take part.
In all, 299 musical instruments from Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine and Shan will accompany the Rakhine, Kayin and other traditional, ethnic and village traditional dances, Vice President U Henry Van Thio said at the opening ceremony.
The singing contest will include classical, traditional, modern and national songs, alongside dance contests, ethnic traditional contests and village contests, puppet shows, the narration of religious or historical stories, and Myanmar basic dance accompanied solely by rhythmic beats (gabyalut).
The performing arts competitio aims at preserving national unity, culture and Union character. Taking part will be 722 men and 1044 women from the states and regions, a total of 1766.
All the contests will be held at Yezin Agricultural University, the University of Forestry and the University of Veterinary Science. Prizes will be handed out on October 25 at the international convention centre.
Translation by San Layy