THE DANCE PROGRAM

The Dance Program offers full-time and part-time courses in the field of dance. The primary focus of the course is to produce dancers of high calibre and ability, with a sound knowledge of both traditional and contemporary styles. Besides this the academy also realises the necessity to produce graduates who are able to think and work creatively, produce performances, and even embark on dance research. This holistic approach to dance training is truly pioneering in this country and is slowly establishing Akademi Seni Kebangsaan as the premier Arts Education Center in Malaysia.

Among the courses offered are:

  • Malaysian Dance from the court and folk traditions as well as Chinese and Indian Dance
  • Modern dance including Graham, Cunningham, Hawkins, and others
  • Classical Ballet
  • Composition and choreography
  • Labanotation
  • South East Asian Dance
  • Dance History
  • Anatomy and Injury Prevention
  • Tai Chi
  • Silat

And numerous other courses.

In view of our goals, the Dance Department has assembled an impressive array of talent that includes all the luminaries of Malaysian Dance. Among the lecturers are:

  • Sharifah Mahani
  • Lee Tang Kok
  • Anuar Abd. Wahab
  • Mew Chang Tsing
  • Choo Tee Khuang
  • K. Shankar
  • Marion D’Cruz
  • Ramli Ibrahim
  • Loke Soh Kim

and guest lecturers.

The Dance Program has also conducted numerous workshops and lecture demonstrations on dance, choreography and has worked closely with the various Malaysian cultural bodies to elevate the standard and understanding of choreography. These National level programs have been very successful and have generated a higher level of performance at the National Dance Festival held every year in Kuala Lumpur.

The faculty has also collaborated with international guest artists like Sara Shelton Mann, Susan Braham from the United States of America. This was with the cooperation of the Asian Arts Council, Wolfram Mehring with the assistance of the Goethe Institute in Malaysia, Tim Davey with the support of The Australian High Commission and Mara Morris.

With the help of the International Foundation of the Arts and Culture in Australia, Suhaimi Magi, the Assistant Director of Dance received a scholarship to pursue a workshop at the Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. In 1999, the Northwest Asian American Theatre in Seattle offered another faculty member, Mew Chang Tsing a residency program. Loke Soh Kim spent time in the USA doing workshops with a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. In June 2000, Malaysia’s first representative to the prestigious Young Choreographers Workshop at the National Institute of Arts in Taipeh was Junainah Lojong, a graduate of the dance program. It is hoped that through these exchange programs we will develop as artists and promote a greater appreciation of Malaysia.

The Dance Program of  the National Arts Academy believes in close corporation with other institutions of higher learning. To this end we have a good rapport with Middlesex University in the UK, Western Australia Performing Arts Academy in Perth and are in the midst of discussions with other institutions around the world. Besides its academic pursuits, the importance of performing and watching others companies perform is crucial to the development of the dancer. As such, the Academy hosts a bi-annual international Dance Festival called the TARI series beginning in 1994. We will host the 4th Festival TARI 2000 in the coming year. These festivals were very well received and critically acclaimed.

It is also our hope that via these performances that are fully supported and encouraged by the Ministry of Culture Arts and Tourism, Malaysia will be seen as a center of performing arts, arts education and arts research in this region. It is also hoped that through these various programs, Malaysia will indeed be placed firmly on the international arts scene.

For further information, please contact:

Joseph Gonzales

Head of Dance

National Arts Academy

33rd Floor Empire Tower,

Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur

 tel: 03-2164 9180  -   017-881 3735; fax: 03-2164 9186;

e-mail: gonzales@dancemalaysia.com

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