SIBU: The 8th Sibu International Dance Festival which started on Tuesday night saw world class performances by three troupes that kept the audience glued to their seat. This welcoming night however was for sponsors of the annual event. The shows from August 15 to 17 are for the paying audience with performances by a total of 24 teams from 14 countries.
The first show, which featured three troupes, was captivating with performances of the highest international standard.
The three troupes were Liao Mo-Hsi Dance Theatre (Taiwan), Hornland Dance Theatre (Sibu) and Kinnara Kinnari Dance Community from Indonesia.
The Taiwanese troupe, with their performance entitled ‘Watching Rain in April’ returned to the festival this year with the dance moves created by Liao Mo-Hsi. Formed in 1990, their performance is a combination of traditional and modern dance that displays the culture of old and modern Taiwan.
Besides, the Hornland Dance Theatre also gave an inspiring performance entitled ‘The Land of Hornbill’. The dance is inspired by the magnificent Rajang River which symbolises the multi-cultural nature of Sarawak.
Meanwhile, the performance by Kinnara Kinnari Dance Community of ‘The Legend of Roro Jonggrang’ was a combination of traditional, modern and contemporary dance.
The festival began to attract dance teams from Europe since its second edition. This time, a team from Sweden, Virpi Pahkinen Dance Company, is taking part.
There are also three teams from the United States of America who will each perform to their own unique and distinct themes. The groups are Something Positive Inc. from New York which will focus on African dance, Britta Joy Peterson from Washington on city life and the world renown Cohan/Suzeau Dance Company from Kansas.
The Cohan/Suzeau is making its fifth appearance in the festival this year. Sibu International Dance Festival is run entirely by Hornland Dance Theatre, a non-profit organisation.
Organising chairman, Chen Ing Kuan said there were no other organisation that has ever hosted an international dance festival for eight consecutive years.
“Every year there would be teams that return to perform again. Last year, there were eight teams and this year six teams are here again. This is very rare in Malaysia,” he said.
The tickets for the dance festival are priced at RM60 (VIP) and RM30 (normal).