Saturday, December 8, 2012

Awesome ‘warrior’ performance

Jumble Station recently teamed up with Antah Healthcare to present a Dikir Puteri or Warrior Princess dance for its 50th anniversary celebration at the Sime Darby Convention Hall on Dec 6 2012. Under the guidance of single dad Adrian Ong, 10 girls from Antah Healthcare were trained in the traditional art of a female warrior dance complete with its delicate gestures and symbolic movements. Most of the girls had never attempted a Malay ceremonial dance before but they caught on soon enough and were passionate enough to want to practice the various dance steps every lunch break they could get! On JS side, some 16 volunteers were recruited including the children of single parents – Hasrun’s two boys Hamizan and Heikal as well as Adrian’s two girls – Farah Nisha and Farah Diyana. All were put through their paces in terms of learning to clap and do the dikir hand movements in unison without anyone missing a beat. Heikal at first could not grasp the complicated steps and burst into tears but after a little persuasion and patience, he finally caught on to it and believe it or not became the best dance performer not to mention the cutest and the handsomest to boot! The night of the grand performance, the dance team made a truly grand entrance with Adrian in his guise as Siti leading the way followed by the tiny warriors and accompanied by the older female warriors to the astonishment of the VVIP guest Tuanku from the Negri Sembilan Royal Family. The audience were then entertained to a lively rendition of P Ramlee’s song Ai Ya Cik Siti and Ah Pek played by single dad Hasrun Manaf (whose kung fu stance and ceremonial Chinese strides into the dining hall was jaw droppingly impressive) before being held spellbound by the smooth, slick and thoroughly professional dance performance of the Dikir Puteri dancers and the accompanying warriors. What made the show so mesmerizing was the fact that it was 1Malaysia at its best – the Puteri was Zsa Zsa a Malay single mother while four other handmaidens were Indians, the Dikir Puteri clapping troupe comprised, Chinese, Malays and Sabahans – plus the youngsters were so adorable in their earnestness to perform correctly throughout the show. Yun and Adrian’s impersonation of P Ramlee and Saloma’s comic hit song “Yang Mana Satu”sent the crowd into stitches as they verbally jousted on stage but the final applause was reserved for the lively a-go-go twist number “whooly booly” which saw the two boys and two girls donning shocking pink and blue wigs while gyrating gamely to the dance steps. Overall what made the performances so stunning was the riotous display of colours that went into the costumes, headdresses and “sampings” as well as the infectious joy and fun apparent in all the JS & Antah dancers. That everyone had a great time was obvious with many of Antah management and staff totally impressed with the level of sophistication and dedication that went into the conceptualizing, execution and final delivery of the shows itself. One thing is for sure, we do have inherent talents at JS that should be tapped further for the benefit of the Malaysian community… yes indeed!

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