After finishing my long miserable dreadful lectures in the Friday morning, me and my buddies decided to go for a drink (just coffee, harmless coffee) at the University Cafe. Yeah, we need to de-stress. We need to get off a little while. Somewhere outside the Cafe, we noticed something rather familiar being prominently displayed - the Malaysian Flag. Being all inquisitive and curious, we stepped in the place and found out that there would be a stage cultural dance performance in the following afternoon in the University lawn itself.
The setting of the cultural dance was just perfect. Situated right in the middle of the dry multi-purpose lawn, and performing there during lunch time was just great. Since it was just outside the University Cafe, many people would flock that area. How much better could this be, sitting on the grass, munching your food away while watching a free cultural presentation from a foreign land?
The performers/dancers for the event came all the way from the local university in Malaysia, University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Most of the students were Malay, since most of the dances are of Malay in origin, and there were a few Chinese and Indian performers as well. Perhaps the students have so much free time in their hand that dancing has become their routine putting aside university academic life, and has earned themselves this tour to Australia. Darn, I am so envious looking at the students given a chance to just travel to places, and all they need to do in return was just shaking their heads a little, waving their hands up and down and probably sway their butt a little to the right. What a treat it was for them to tour Perth.
It is rather fascinating to witness this unusual event to be held in my University, since this is a so called Ang Mo land. Most people here would not even know where Malaysia is, they would probably know better where Singapore or Thailand would be. Seeing the terrible horijibeer MCs speaking such broken and uniquely English with Manglish accent had undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows on the level of English command in Malaysian local universities. Come on... the MCs could not even pronounce Appre-ssssss-iee- sss-sen, ahem I mean appreciation properly. What a joke that was. To represent the University itself, and worse, representing Malaysia and speaking in public at such place where English is the dominant language, they surely could have picked someone with much better English standards. No offense here, but I think the MCs sucked big time. And I believe the ang mos and everyone else present would say so too.
Alright, enough of my complaining and lets move on to something more interesting. I gotta admit though I did enjoy the overall performance. I was not thoroughly overly excited about the whole thing, just that the cultural dance was not something you can see everyday in Malaysia, they are only performed on special occasions, and sometimes we even have to pay for the performance. Well, it appeared suddenly in my university, and yeah, why not go and have a look-see? Something rare and, better even free, should not be taken for granted.
I believe one dazzling point in the whole dance was the outstanding costumes. You gotta admit those traditional costumes selected for the dance were full of variation and rare features that even I, who have seen many cultural dances back in my home land, had never seen before. The colors and texture were absolutely stunning and brilliant, and they each signified the background and culture of the country. Just take a look at the photopraghs.
I would not say that the dance was of top quality, nor would I have expected them to be. The performers were quite well synchronised, but not perfectly matched up in tempo all the time. Little flaws and mis-allignments can be spotted obviously from time to time. This was just a display of art, it was not a competition, so perfection was not a necessity. I gotta admit judging from the way they perform, they did their part, and much effort was given into it. Good job for the dancers. Of course, their overly fake smile on their face may seem a little welcoming and sweet in the first place, but when the wide smiles were stuck on their face throughout the dance, it just, kinda felt, freaky. It gives me a creep when seeing people smile to me non stop. There is just something not right about that.
The first few dances were rather slow, and loooooong, a stretch too long to my liking. Towards the middle of the event, the beat started to pick up, and the music of much faster pace was played alongside the dance, making the exprience more lively and less yawn-inducing. Even the dance moves were faster and more dramatic. Luckily none of the dancers fell rolling down the lawn. That would have been the main focus on this blog entry.
The photos wont do much good in capturing the best moment and atmosphere of the dances. With the limited battery life in my camera, I managed to record a few video clips of some of the dances. I have uploaded the ones that I liked most, and please watch the following video clips if you have so much spare time to kill.
SHAKING BUTT DANCE
Seriously, they shook their butt so much that I am beginning to think that their waists and butts must have pretty darn strong muscles by now.
SARAWAK CULTURAL DANCE
Go Sarawak Go !!!
With red as the main color and fans as the traditional accesories
On the whole, I think it was an uberly cool idea to organize such event to promote Malaysia in Perth, especially in the University grounds. Not many chances were there to show our colors and unique culture to the people in foreign places. The look on the Ang-mos faces when they saw the dance was just priceless. It was as if they have never seen such weird moves and costumes before. I hope that the audeince could grasp the right impression portrayed by the dancers. I hope they see the uniqueness and the magnificence of Malaysia through the entire dance performance. I wish, somehow, they would remember those dances in their scrambled brains, and God, let them know that it was from MALAYSIA !! Would be a waste if they could not remmeber the country the dances come from.