Ethnic Music & Dance Show Sulur Nakasari 2.0 Returns to Istana Budaya

Sulur Nakasari returns to Istana Budaya. Music Press Asia

Istana Budaya’s latest production Sulur Nakasari 2.0 is all about bolstering its creative artistry from within its ethnic dance and music segment. For two evenings in a row starting tomorrow (Jul. 28), Istana Budaya with its very own production theatre group will mesmerize with some of Malaysia’s most modern interpretations of traditional dance and arrangement of classic songs in the Malay language.

The show brings to life 12 types of dance and 18 traditional song arrangements and will be accompanied by musicians of its residence orchestra, the Orkestra Tradisional Malaysia (OTM), as well as dancers from Artistana.

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In its consuming effort to articulate fluid poeticism that flows with its dancers and musicians, each song is a momentous celebration symbolic of how tradition is passed on into the 21st century.

To add more astonishing appeal to its concert program, local celebrity artists – Bob Yusof and Hazra Dollah – will be serenading some of Istana Budaya’s newest songs composed by Muhammad Shahwalnaz Hussin and Anis Azam.

Proportionately, their appearance alongside the graceful dancers and affectionate musicians even at the recent private press viewing gave a stark reminder of their determination to give it their all.

Chinese zithers, gamelan, seruling and a didgeridoo-like wind instrument are just a few of the traditional musical instruments used alongside modern instruments in the orchestra.

Istana Budaya to host traditional dance music show. Music Press Asia
[Inspired by the Aboriginal tribes of Malaysia, the song ‘Jeraus’ – composed by Mohammad Radzi Rosli – echos the hunting instincts and ability to source food in the tropical rainforest. Image courtesy of Istana Budaya. Music Press Asia]

With every impulse to focus on the fashionable, intricate and colorful movement, it is the sum of overwhelming beauty so uniquely distinct even in comparison to what we have here in Southeast Asia. Significant to how cultural performances are consumed today, these traditional dances and music classics are an important milestone in flexing Istana Budaya’s creative expansion.

Not only it is luring younger audiences to return to cultural venues, Istana Budaya’s effort in experimenting with new productions with its latest audience is part of a reset to how culture is innovatively expressed post-pandemic times.

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Sulur Nakasari is an authentic Istana Budaya production created by its stellar line of choreographers and composers. It remains an educational platform for tutors and students specializing in traditional and ethnic dance and music.

Previously, while ethnic music and dances were only seen at outdoor festivals, or as opening and closing items accompanying national events, Istana Budaya is making a bold move to put ethnic creativity centerstage; as main actors on a professional stage. Along with it, preserving artistic assets of historical significance.

Sitar player Sulur Nakasari 2 Istana Budaya. Music Press Asia
[A sitar player serenading Tiong, a composition by Mohammad Radzi Rosli at Sulur Nakasari 2.0 at Istana Budaya, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Istana Budaya. Music Press Asia.]

This concert program is Istana Budaya’s most ambitious attempt ever since the pandemic. In its part as Malaysia’s Palace of Culture, Istana Budaya is playing a distinct part in providing cultural accessibility to its audience, as well as reintroducing the glorious days of traditional artistic expressions uniquely Southeast Asian to suit the savvy, culture-conscious audience in the post-pandemic era.

Information & Tickets

The ticket categories for RM50, RM80 and RM150 are now sold at 20% discount. For more ticketing information, please visit Istana Budaya’s official website, here.

Ticket holders for Stall and Gold Seat will also stand a chance to win a WMOTO motorcycle worth RM7,500.

Bob Yusuf Hazra Dollah serenading dance at Istana Budaya. Music Press Asia
[Bob Yusuf Hazra Dollah serenading dance at Istana Budaya’s very own production of Sulur Nakasari 2.0. Music Press Asia]

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