Inai

 

Inai Dance was initially a court dance performed mostly during royal wedding festivities, especially during the inai (application of the henna) ceremony.

The dance was exclusively performed by the ladies-in-waiting (inang).

Like the mak yong, the Inai dance suffered the general fate of neglect and eventually was absorbed into the folk arts tradition.

Today, there are three types of inai dance. The dance which still strongly betrays its courtly origin is the mak yong inai dance. It is usually performed in wedding scenes in plays such as Raja Tangkai Hati.

The second one is the Perlis inai dance (better known as 'Terinai') which incorporates the use of candles in the dance.

The dance still exhibits its former courtly traits in its fine and elegant movements.

Unlike Mak Yong, Inai dance which exclusively performed by maidens, the Perlis Inai Dance includes a solitary male dancer within its ensemble.

The third type is the Pasir Mas Inai Dance which can be performed by either one or two male dancers.

Its movements are quite different from other two Inai Dance, and in probability, this dance did not originate as a court dance.

In this dance as performed these days, the dancers do a special backbend and pick up money, using the mouths, that has been given them by the audience.

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