Perak Dance Festival 2011

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The Perak Dance festival organised by the Perak Society of Performing Arts that took place on July 1-2 was a very successful and exhilarating performance of non-stop beauty, energy and passion.

The Festival featured a wonderful variety of all forms of dance from classical ballet by the Singapore Dance Theatre to contemporary ballet from Bangkok City Ballet. There was contemporary Malay dance performed by ASWARA and Chinese traditional dance by SMJK Poi Lam both impressive visual feasts.

The opening item on the first night was by the energetic Titans Cheerleaders from Ave Maria Convent Ipoh followed by street dance by d’Artiz and hip hop by Danz people from Singapore, all performances of explosive energy. My favourite energy dance though was the performance by SMJK Poi Lam’s modern dance club team called Devilz Crew. Dressed in basketball garb, theirs was a blazing explosion of high spirits across the stage.

Belly dancing by Susan Belly Dance Academy was seductive and captivating. Latin Dance by My Dancesport Studio with individual performances from Jeremie Gan was executed with fiery precision, ballet and Chua Phaik Tzhi from SMJK Ave Maria Convent Ipoh quite captured Michael Jackson’s moves.

Was it too much for a dance festival?  Apparently “it is the thing to do if you are initially introducing what dance is all about to a community for the first time” said Janek Schergen, the Artistic Director of the Singapore Dance Theatre. Similarly, Michael Yeap, founder of My Dancesport Studio, declared the festival as ‘very successful’. “So much variety yet well arranged for a nice festival,” he added.

For Datin Rosalina Ooi, PSPA’s President, the success of the show was all due to the “passion for dance by all the participants”.

Indeed the festival was fraught with obstacles. First the venue was changed at the last minute from the 300-seat Taman Budaya to the 1,000 seat state banquet hall. Then on the morning of the workshop, there were no lights or air-conditioning. “But dancers are a tough lot and when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” chirped Rosalina.

Indeed the first night’s performance had a lot of empty seats. The second night had more attendance as whole families came, perhaps from hearing of the stunning quality of the show. Well if there is another dance festival next year I will definitely be there.

JAG