Empower Arts, Animate Communities

Chapter 4:
Forging Traditional Dance in Malaysia

DOI: 10.54165/9789887928522/04

Joseph Gonzales, Imran Syafiq Mohd. Affandi

The multitude of traditional dance genres in Malaysia is reflective of the diverse ethnic constitution of the nation. These include the dances of the indigenous peoples and the migrant communities that have settled in Malaysia for more than six centuries. Many of these traditional dances are being practiced more and more rarely, bringing them to the edge of extinction and seeming irrelevance in the 21st century. This paper documents the efforts of ASK Dance Company based in Kuala Lumpur, that has championed the propagation of traditional dances through its outreach projects since 2011, with the financial support of the Sime Darby Foundation. The paper will provide an overview of the company and chronicle the teaching and learning projects that have reached more than 20,000 people and how these have enabled the company to sustain itself in a challenging professional landscape. This paper also addresses how the company navigated the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 

pp. 45-62 (PDF)

To cite:
Gonzales, Joseph and Imran Syafiq Mohd. Affandi, “Forging Traditional Dance in Malaysia”. In Empower Arts, Animate Communities, edited by Benny Lim & Hing-kay Oscar Ho, 45-62. Hong Kong: Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2021. https://doi.org/10.54165/9789887928522/04