I was quite disappointed that work didn’t let me off early on Mother’s Day. I ended up covering a cultural festival organised by the local council, with six international and local acts. Halfway through, my mum and dad even came around to join the festivities, so it was all good. :) The acts were great as well! They should have given the event more exposure because only a small crowd turned up.
You can watch snippets of the performances in the video above.
First up was the 24 Seasons Drum troupe (Malaysia), comprising students from a secondary school in the district. Their drum movements are based on the agricultural seasons according to the Chinese calendar, which divides the four seasons into another four subseasons.
A traditional Pangut dance from Korea. The dancers were very skilled and the dance involved coordinating various body movements, from head to body, and arms and legs. There was a long white ribbon similar to those played in ribbon sport, attached to their hats, which they twirled in circular, hypnotic motions.
From Malaysia, the dikir barat – sort of a Malay choir with a tukang karut (storyteller) who sings a story while the rest of them accompany him.
Arpeggio Dance Group from Sri Lanka performing fast and complicated drum beats coupled with synchronised feet movements.
I think my favourite performance of the night was the Taiko Drum from Japan. Literally translated to mean ‘big drum’, the performers are real life Zen-Buddhist monks. Starting off with chanting, the show slowly progressed into a full-fledged, extremely energetic drum performance. It was like going into a battlefield with our hearts racing and raring for action.
Last but not least, the colourful Bhangra dance from Malaysia’s Punjabi community.
Great initiative by the local council for having more cultural and art festivals like these!