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Malaysia Tourism Ministry Launched First Virtual Festival

Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, Chairman of Sutra Foundation: “Gerak Angin was conceptualised to breathe new life into the performance arts scene in Malaysia.”

Watch the reimagined folktale of Sang Kancil at the premiere of How Beruang Lost His Tail, directed by Lim Kien Lee. Music Press Asia

Watch the reimagined folktale of Sang Kancil at the premiere of How Beruang Lost His Tail, directed by Lim Kien Lee. Music Press Asia

  • Though live events have been authorized since July, the performing arts sector is still hustling to recover as theatregoers all over South Asia are still taking a breather from buying tickets to attend live event.
  • Partnering with Masakini Theatre, Sutra Foundation and Surprise Venture, Gerak Angin is Malaysia’s first virtual arts festival.

What’s most striking about the music industry right this moment, particularly in live entertainment, definitely isn’t about when or how live venue will reopen again. But how entertainment can enter the living rooms of live in quarantines and lockdowns.

With mass media focusing on how we’re coping with covid-19, Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) was working quietly behind the scenes, assembling some of Malaysia’s ethnically diverse cultural groups.

Partnering with Masakini Theatre, Sutra Foundation and Surprise Ventures, Gerak Angin is Malaysia’s first virtual arts festival. It is a 17-day affair showcasing over 200 of Malaysia’s finest traditional performers. Featuring new works from seventeen production companies across music, theatre and dance on their YouTube channel.

Visual director Karthik Venkataraman (above) is talking to the team from Dua Space Dance Theare. Photo: S. Magendran

Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia: “There has never been an arts event or festival of this scale and form in Malaysia and we are proud to be bringing you Malaysia’s First Virtual Arts Festivals in all its glory. Gerak Angin truly embodies the national artistic and cultural spirit through the companies involved and the performances that will be on show.”

“Malaysia has one of the most vibrant performance arts cultures – shaped by decades of growth from a kaleidoscopic background of people and places. Gerak Angin is a celebration of that immense heritage. It captures the essence of being Malaysian and reawakens and uplifts spirits, something we all need at this time,” she added.

Totalling over 800 working hours, today Gerak Angin has already premiered eight out of its 17 day’s event. Beginning with traditional Kelantanese classical Malay music and dance by Sutra Foundation led by Artistic Director, Dance & Music, Ramli Ibrahim and Geng Wak Long. Its highlight includes working with wayang kulit (lit. ‘film skin’) performers.

Amongst the musical performances are Geng Wak Long, KL Jazz & Arts Centre and Pusat Budaya Pusaka: dance production companies — Sutra Foundation, Dua Space Dance Theatre and Cempaka Performing Arts Company; and theatre companies — STEPS, ACX Productions and Theatrethreesixty.

Today, Cempaka Performing Arts Company’s (CPAC) original theatre musical production — Dames & Dimes — is premiered as Gerak Angin’s eight and latest performance. Click below to watch:

For Gerak Angin’s full list of programmes, click here.

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