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JSPA 2018: Here are some things to look forward to in Johor this year!

Johor is continuing to be one of the liveliest scenes in Malaysia, and with the help of organizations like Johor Society for Performing Arts you can be sure to expect more stuff coming your way! Here are some event highlights you don’t want to miss.

The Johor Society for the Performing Arts is a non-commercial society whose focus is in the advancement, promotion, and development of the arts in Johor. As an inclusive artistic platform, their projects and events welcome people from all walks of life to enjoy curated experiences across a diverse range of interests, art-forms, and genres – all under the principle that the arts are not just about entertainment, but are invaluable platforms to educate, engage and empower.

Her Highness Tunku Tun Aminah is a royal patron for the organization, and she upholds the value of the arts. “Even as we pursue new horizons and introduce new ideas and concepts to new audiences, I strongly believe that the arts are for everyone, and that are our projects must be designed with the larger community in mind”.

Festival Director Suzie Yap, also emphasizes the significant impact that JSPA brings. “With eminent international talent sharing the Johor Arts Festival stage with legendary Malaysian performers, JSPA events showcase not only the best of our country and the world to Johor, but the best of Johor to Malaysia and the world”.

Here are some event highlights to look forward to in Johor this year!

LMFAO Comedy Series

Prakash Daniel
Prakash Daniel

Comedy is one of the more underrated areas of the arts. Most see them as simply peddlers of entertainment, but there is a lot of artistry when it comes to timing and set-ups, whether it’s satire, physical comedy, slapstick and more. The LMFAO Comedy Series is an exciting new project that showcases international local comedians throughout the year – giving Johoreans more opportunities to relax, and enjoy laugh-out-loud good times. Last year, there were other comedy shows that were a part of the 14th JB Arts Festival 2017 such as Make Malaysia Laugh Again that featured hilarious icons like Shamaine Othman and Prakash Daniel.

This year, it’s going to be a monthly series in collaboraton with Crackhouse Comedy Club, so you can keep that craving for comedy going all year long! This month’s comedy will happen on the 26th March at Berts Keller, Taman Century, Johor!

KULT Pop-Culture Convention

Source: Project Darkness Rising 2016
Source: Project Darkness Rising 2016

This year, JSPA is expanding its arms to celebrate the anime-loving, cosplaying culture in Malaysia. Back in 2016, Project Darkness Rising 2016 took up the mantle of bringing cosplay to the Johorean audience – yet with so many vibrant cosplay and anime festivals in Kuala Lumpur, the south of our Peninsula has yet to see an event that would be as large as this in celebrating the creativity of all of these proud fandoms. KULT promises to bring that into fruition!

There will be celebrations of films, live performances, workshops, panel discussions and more! The convention will be held on the 28 – 29 April 2018.

PERSPECTIVE: The Showcase, The Project, The Runway

JSPA will also be back with a prestigious fashion extravaganza through three separate events to honour the creativity of our fashion talents – encompassing established icons and up-and-coming ones. The theme this year will be traditional Malaysian wear, exploring the type of creative innovations that be can found within the framework of our heritage. The Showcase will be on the 12 May 2018. Last year, during the exclusive Raya Fashion Runway, the Showcase featured SHALS, Mimpikita, Wajie Ibrahim and Kree.

(Source: Elle Malaysia)
(Source: Elle Malaysia)

Besides showcasing established brands, there will also be an exciting competition for emerging fashion designers called The Project. Their struggles and triumphs will be shown through 5 episodes, to be aired officially on social media and YouTube channels. The Project will go on from 20 May15 June 2018

Last, but not least, Johor’s fashion event of the year, Perspective: The Runway, will also present the best of the best in the Malaysian fashion industry. Last year, people like designer and fashion icon Sazy Falak and the Runner Up of Asia’s Next Top Model S5, Shikin Gomez attended The Runway. This year it will be held on the 4 August 2018

The Classical Music Series

A tremendous amount of respect is also afforded to the splendour of classical music. The classical MusicFestival returns for a fourth consecutive year, invting audiences on a journey to experience classical music that transcends generations, soundscapes and cultures. The festival will be on the 28 June 1 July 2018. Last year, the festival brought to life the beauty of film scores through The Empire Strikes a Chord: The Music of Star War

Lai Pak Kin, president of Philharmonic Winds of Malaysia
Lai Pak Kin, president of Philharmonic Winds of Malaysia

s Through The Lens of Classical Music and also honoured many traditional and contemporary genres through the platform of classical music. (To find out more about the Classical Music Festival last year, click here).

This year, there’ll be more cultural exchanges too, with the presence of collaborations between Johor Society of Perfomring Arts and Eurasia Association of Performing Arts. They will be organizing the Euroasia Strings Competition and the Piano Festival to celebrate and identify outstanding young musicians at various stages of their musical development, and develop the performance capabilities of young musicians in Johor Bahru.

The 15th Johor Arts Festival

Tony Memmel
Tony Memmel (Source: Reverbnation)

Last but not least, is the great big festival to wrap up the year – encompassing music, dance, theatre, fashion, film comedy, heritage arts and visual arts! With performance by Plague of Happiness as the opening event, Tony Memmel, the one-armed guitarist, and a variety of Culture Malaysiana that kept us on at the edge of our seat last year, there’s only so much we can expect for 2018!

One of the country’s longest-running arts festivals, the 15th year of the Johor Arts Festival promises more exciting performances, workshops , exhibitions, and activities by both internationally-renowned artistes from across the globe, as well as emerging, home-grown Johor talents. Stay tuned and follow for updates!

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