THE HASANAH REPORT 2022
Celebrating Teochew opera and Kelantanese Mak Yong and Mek Mulung
Drumhouse : Honouring a Cultural Heritage is an enchanting combination of traditional Teochew instruments and opera with metallic tones of the gamelan, varying timbre sounds of the shigu drums and Kelantanese Mak Yong and Mek Mulung.
Head of Arts and Public Spaces, Zainariah Johari, said the ArtsFAS initiative is “an organic way of combining culture without being forceful or pretentious.”
She explains the role of ArtsFAS — besides championing the livelihood of artists — in unearthing gems and growing a diverse audience group. This time around, students from 20 schools had the opportunity to enjoy this musical production made possible by over 74 artists working together.
Dancer and actor Zamzuriah shared what an incredible experience it was for her. “Although both are popular in Malaysia, the Malay community may not be familiar with opera and the Chinese with Mak Yong…It’s an opportunity to better understand our cultural identities.”
The ASWARA Dance Faculty Dean wishes such integration of cultures would happen more often for all to appreciate.
Recalling fond memories of playing the gendang, tabla and Chinese drums while growing up, Bernard Goh, Founder and Artistic Director of HANDS Percussion has long wanted to pay tribute to the art form of his ancestors while “having a taste of merging cultures”.
This show comes after 3 years of no performances due to the pandemic. “We must thank ArtsFAS for creating job opportunities for all of us,” he says on behalf of all the artists who worked on Drumhouse and for the confidence instilled to pursue this idea in a big way.
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