The Faculty of Dance at the formidable institution, ASWARA will present the annual celebration of contemporary dance entitled JAMU from 14th to 16th December 2018 at Experimental Thetare, ASWARA, Kuala Lumpur that showcases performances under the direction of eight dance lecturers.
In formulating the theme of this year’s JAMU, traditional Malaysian dances are incorporated by the choreographers who have a background as professional dancers and graduates from respectable academia and they are namely; Norsafini Jaafar (also acting as Artistic Director), Mohd Seth Hamzah, Zamzuriah Zahari, Yunus Ismail, Norbaizura Abdul Ghani, Ng Xinying, Faillul Adam and Murni Omar.
An interesting and impressive detail regarding three of the choreographers for JAMU 2018 is that they’ve completed their studies and practise of the Bharatanatyam Arangetram under the Temple of Fine Arts which is highly admirable for non-Indian dance practitioners. The institution of ASWARA’s Faculty of Dance itself is celebrated for their works after achieving 10 BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in several categories and productions such as for music, choreography, costume design and lighting and ensemble performance.
The previous year, JAMU 2017 was held at Black Box in ASWARA and presented students performing the dances after going through a rigorous audition process to not only realise the vision of the choreographers but to further develop the talent of the students and maximise their experience in performing.
One of the choreographers and a lecturer of the dance faculty, Faillul Adam described the process of preparing for JAMU 2018, “It challenges each choreographer to re-look at the meaning and idea of tradition, and how it may reflecT contemporary dance. It is the dawn of a new era in Malaysia- with ‘Malaysia Baru’ so where is the place of tradition in our lives? How important is tradition? In challenging the choreographers with the theme, we hope to create works that reflect Malaysia in varied ways-works that are intercultural, intra-cultural and/or multicultural. Negotiating between academia and practice, tradition and identity that is ever evolving.”
Featured Image source: ASWARA.