From Bharatanatyam and ballet to electroluminescent action, we highlight three dance performances on point with their delivery
Kuala Lumpur is picking up the pace this month with a dance extravaganza that features three very distinct styles from across the spectrum. Whether you want to relish in the gracefulness of the Singapore Dance Theatre’s Ballet Illuminations, the subtle nuances of Bharatanatyam or the high energy visual feast of iLuminate, May is covered with choreography.
Singapore’s renowned dance company graces us this month with a set of exquisite works by award-winning choreographers including George Balanchine, Natalie Weir, Ma Cong and Singaporean dance maestro Choo-San Goh. The Singapore Dance Theatre has become synonymous with versatility and talent, bringing to the stage a blend of classical, neo-classical and contemporary repertoire.
This will be their fifth consecutive year performing at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, and under the guidance of Artistic Director Janek Schergen, the company has staged some truly timeless and inspiring presentations. Dance – A Prayer The age-old Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam takes centre stage in this performance by 20 members of the Mahavidya Dance Theatre (MDT); the youngest at the tender age of five.
This unique show incorporates multimedia aspects with interactive film projections in unison with dancers. MDT co-founder and choreographer Sheela Raghavan-Tan notes that: “We use multimedia to bridge dance and the audience, and it has been a successful channel to explain the story behind a Bharatanatyam number while allowing us to take the audience on a journey with us.” Catch this classical dance that delicately combines body movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and footwork, performed against a mesmeric, new age backdrop.
Grand Stage Show ‘TAIJI’ World Tour In Malaysia
After three years of intense training and planning by leading martial artists, ‘Taiji’ brings together experts in a variety of fields including wu dang, tai ji quan, crystal ball dance, kung fu, tai ji boxing, the universe ring, jujitsu and more.
Each of these disciplines harnesses the essence of tai ji mysticism while focussing on the suppleness and flexibility of the performers. The result is a spectacular showcase of spiritual teachings, extraordinary stunts and visual effects that come together in seamless fashion to blow your mind!
Iluminate: Artist of Light
Fusing choreography with cutting-edge technology, iLuminate is the hottest new dance act currently blazing a neon lit trail across the globe. Equal parts innovative, unique and mesmerising, the New York company is the brainchild of Miral Kotb, a software engineer and dancer who wanted to unite her life’s passions – performing arts and futuristic technology.
The result is an inventive dance phenomenon that saw iLuminate take third place in the sixth season of America’s Got Talent. Artfully presented with panache in a swift 75 minutes, performers don custom suits bedecked with wireless LEDs, lighting up in precise sync as they strut their stuff on a darkened stage, using the dazzling lights to ‘paint’ colourful trails across the pitch black background.
Coloured streaks of light outline set pieces, lending a cartoon-like effect to the show so that it seems like you’re watching an action comic come to life on stage. The animated display of syncopated choreography sees dancers in acrobatic sequences with styles embracing ballet, freestyle, breakdance, hip hop and salsa.
A show highlight is the section-by-section assembly of a ‘robot’ on stage, formed by various members who each represent different parts of the ‘body’ – a routine that requires surgical precision and impeccable timing. Whether young or young at heart, iLuminate: Artists of Light is a ground-breaking visual show set to grace the Genting International Showroom for two straight months.
Expect to be taken on a brilliant journey that blends visual trickery, pumping music and air-tight choreography – as long as you follow the light!
WHERE KL Pac, Sentul Park
WHEN 8.30pm (1, 2 May), 3pm (2 May), 2pm (3 May)
TEL 03 7880 7999
Grand Stage Show ‘TA IJI’ World Tour In Malaysia
WHERE Damansara PerformingArts Centre
WHEN 8.30pm (29 May), 3pm and 8.30pm (30 May)
TEL 03 9222 8181
Dance – A Prayer
WHERE Damansara Performing Arts Centre
WHEN 8pm (4 May)
ADMISSION By donation
TEL 03 4065 0001
iLuminate: Artist of Light
WHERE Genting International Showroom
WHEN 3 May-28 June
TIME 8.30pm (Mon-Fri), 4pm and 8.30pm (Sat), 4pm (Sun)
TEL 03 2718 1118