Three top-notch dance companies – ASK Dance Company, Dua Space Dance Theatre and Sutra Foundation – will bring together cultural and contemporary dance performances on one stage in “All Together Now”. Prepare to be mesmerised by ASK Dance Company, as they take you to explore the movement vocabulary of silat in “Tapak 4” and blow your mind with movements developed by isolating the upper body using a dialogue formed between bounces and curvy shapes in “Hymns of the Abandoned”. Inspired by culture and nature, Dua Space Dance Theatre is set to present a dance interpretation of the philosophy of Mr. Sim Mow Yu (local educator and calligrapher) in “Ancient Inscriptions 万象甲骨”. The same company also promises to deliver profound messages surrounding Mother Nature in “Black & White @ Variation – The Black Snake in the White”. For a taste of contemporary and classical Indian dances, Sutra Foundation is delivering poignant homage to the Sun in “Aditya Archana (Odissi)” and to the elephant-headed God and Rama in “Mahaganapatim & Pibare Ramarasam (Contemporary Indian Dance)”. Don’t miss out on “Satu”, where Sutra Foundation, Dua Space Dance Theatre and ASK Dance Company take the stage together in a celebration of togetherness. This is a commissioned work by George Town Festival 2021.
ASK Dance Company: Tapak 4
“Tapak 4” is a contemporary inspiration which explores the movement vocabulary of silat, a Malay martial art form practiced widely in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. It also draws from silat’s philosophy of “surprise” or “attack and defend”.
Dua Space Dance Theatre: Ancient Inscriptions 万象甲骨
The late Mr. Sim Mow Yu was a respected educator and calligrapher. His philosophy was calligraphy reflects the writer’s personality. As a nod to Mr. Sim’s philosophy, this dance piece attempts to depict the great calligrapher’s personalities: integrity, stability, certainty, dignity, generosity, and honesty. A cane will be used to symbolise the spirit of Mr. Sim, flexible yet gritty, that rooted deeply in his calligraphy.
Sutra Foundation: Aditya Archana (Odissi)
“Aditya”, another name of “Surya” or the Sun, is regarded as a visible divinity and the centre of creation. The Sun is the celestial form of fire – source of light, warmth, knowledge and therefore of life. It is the eye of the world, maker of the day and source of time. As the enchantment of the supreme being, the Sun is envisaged as perpetually creating, supporting, and destroying life, pleasing all by its multifold brilliance, thus, deserving of our adoration. The dance is performed by two generations of performers – senior and junior dancers of Sutra.
Sutra Foundation: Mahaganapatim & Pibare Ramarasam (Contemporary Indian Dance)
“Mahaganapatim”: Homage to the elephant-headed God, the remover of obstacles.
“Pibare Ramarasam”: Praised be Rama, Hero of the Ramayana, whose name is the immortal nectar we drink!
ASK Dance Company: Hymns of the Abandoned
The movements in this piece are developed from the isolations of the upper body using a dialogue formed between bounces and curvy shapes. With the accompaniment of dynamic rhythms, the dancers converse, finding a middle point of the exploration.
Dua Space Dance Theatre: Black & White @ Variation – The Black Snake in the White
This contemporary dance invokes deep reflection about “returning to innocence”, while conveying a moving message about the erosion of ethical values and the reckless damage humans have done to Mother Nature. As grim realities of constant calamities haunting us, this work seeks to deliver another message – in the face of these disasters, how can we think of the future? Using the subtle power of the stage, Dua Space Dance Theatre sends a silent appeal to us against the reckless damage our darker nature has inflicted on Mother Nature and urges us to strive for higher ideals of morality and ethics. White is the colour of innocence and purity. Black, on the contrary, symbolises destruction and corruption. In “The Black Snake in the White”, dancers in colour-coded balloon costumes duel with each other. It ends with the aggressive blacks devouring the elegant whites, bursting their balloons, depicting the destruction to all good and the reckless damage of nature.
Sutra Foundation, Dua Space Dance Theatre & ASK Dance Company: Satu
All embracing celebration of togetherness of the young with the more experienced. “All Together Now”
About the Dance Companies
ASK Dance Company
ASK Dance Company is a Malaysian professional full-time dance company. The company’s philosophy is that one must continuously learn and be unafraid to ASK pertinent questions to be alive. That’s why the company’s dance productions often serve as a platform to kickstart the dialogue, from disenfranchisement to celebrations of life. Through its repertoire and its members’ ethnicity, ASK Dance Company is a shining example of Malaysia’s plurality. The company aspires to become a unique force with a distinct Malaysian identity providing employment, experience and a career pathway for outstanding dancers and choreographers. Additionally, the company intends to play a significant role in bridging boundaries and breaking glass ceilings and bring this to the forefront of national/international consciousness.
Dua Space Dance Theatre
Dua Space Dance Theatre is the first full-time professional contemporary dance company established in 1998. Since then, the company has been releasing full-length performances every year. The company’s performances are internationally recognised, having been invited to participate in various international arts festivals such as Korea Cheng Mu International Dance Festival, Korea Incheon World Dance Festival, Beijing Dance Festival, Guangzhou Dance Festival, Japan Asia Dance Festival, India National Cultural Festival, Philippines International Dance Festival, Singapore Causeway Exchange Festival, Pakistan World Performing Arts Festival and more. The company has also performed in China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Britain, Philippines, India, Spain and South America, including Chile, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay, bringing Malaysia’s performing arts scene to the international arena. In 2018, Dua Space Dance Theatre collaborated with City Contemporary Dance Company Hong Kong at Istana Budaya Malaysia with the title “AMIDST THE WIND”.
Sutra Foundation, a bastion of traditional and contemporary arts, is bequeathed to Malaysia by one of its sons, Datuk Ramli Ibrahim. It carries into the future the thread of Ramli’s vision and contribution to the Malaysian arts scene by striving to develop the breadth and depth of Malaysian performing arts, stimulating the creative spirit of cross-cultural Malaysia. Sutra Foundation has presented outstanding national and international artists and has trained professional and creative staff in lighting, stage management, theatre production and administration, which endeavour to forge a unique ‘sutra’ bond, fostering a universal yet distinctively Malaysian interpretation of the arts. Sutra Foundation has been active during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic period in spearheading continuous and sustainable activities in the performing arts (Sutra Dance Theatre), exhibitions (Sutra & KamaRia Galleries) and teaching (Sutra Academy). Immense care goes into crafting a Sutra Production – be it in terms of impeccable design input, selection of dance talent, devising sets, costumes, lighting or graphics, and marrying them to the choreographic intent and presentation to assure a flawless production.