Monday, September 26, 2011

Whither Dancesport In The Olympics?

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a press release on 2 September 2011 announced that six cities have been put forward by their respective National Olympic Committees to apply to host the XXXII Olympiad in 2020. The cities in alphabetical order are: Baku (Azerbaijan), Doha (Qatar), Istanbul (Turkey), Madrid (Spain), Rome (Italy) and Tokyo (Japan). The Host City of the 2020 Olympic Games will be chosen at the 125th IOC session to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7 September 2013.

In early July 2011, the IOC had also agreed on a shortlist of sports that will be considered for inclusion in the sports programme of the 2020 Olympiad. The sports are: baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu; one of which could be added to the 2020 sports programme to be voted on by the 125th IOC session. It would be great if squash is included in the Olympic Games, as Malaysia is strong in this sport and our chances of winning medals in this event is good.

Hopes for dancesport to be considered for inclusion in the Olympic Games have once again been dashed. In spite of the popularity of dancesport in nations like China, Japan, USA, Russia and the European Union; not much headway has been made. When will dancesport ever make it's way to the Olympics, if ever? The world dancing fraternity must put aside all politicking and work hard for dancesport to be made an Olympic event. Dancesport is now a medals event in the Asian Games and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chan Pui Yi's Glee

If there is one thing Chan Pui Yi (pic) loves to do more than anything, it has to be dancing. Play her some good music and Pui Yi would just dance circles around anyone. The 20-year-old girl simply loves to move. Pui Yi started learning classical ballet at age five, but quit when she turned 11. However, that doesn't mean she stopped dancing altogether. "I did hip hop dancing and cheerleading while in secondary school" says Pui Yi who has picked up several dance genres along the years. She is now into street jazz and contemporary dance and can even do burlesque.

This dancer has appeared on several TV commercials and has performed in local musicals such as Always In Wonderland and Prom The Musical. "I love to dance and am part of a dance group called Awesome. We perform at corporate functions and have even joined several dance competitions," says Pui Yi. Although she is occupied with her dance commitments, Pui Yi stresses that she still allocates time for her studies. Pui Yi is currently pursuing a degree in law and adds that she is also interested in obtaining a diploma in dance someday.

"I love studying law, it is something I wanted to study, and I enjoy it. But I also want to go overseas and get a proper diploma in dance," Pui Yi reveals. She is also very keen to establish herself as a dance choreographer and teacher. "I know that it is quite difficult to establish yourself as a dancer here. That is because very few people appreciate dance and there is no demand for it in Malaysia," she says. Nevertheless, Pui Yi feels that there is hope for one to make it as a dancer in Malaysia in the future. "You can still make it here, I know some people who have done well for themselves as choreographers," she adds. (The Star)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Into The Centre Of Dance

Sutra Foundation is presenting Into The Centre, an international dance production celebrating the timeless spirit of both Eastern and Western dance traditions co-produced by Sutra Dance Theatre of Malaysia and Battery Dance Company of New York. The show is under the artistic direction of Ramli Ibrahim and Jonathan Hollander. It will feature a world premiere, revivals and repertory items performed by a cast of dancers from Malaysia and the USA. Four performances will be presented from 22 to 25 September 2011.

September 22 - Premiere and Gala Night

September 23 - Presented by Malaysian American Alumni Partnership and Fullbright Alumni Association of Malaysia

September 24 - Public Night

September 25 - Presented as Watsons Corporate Night

Venue: Auditorium DBKL, Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur

Entrance to Into The Centre performances is by invitation only

Enquiries: 603 4021 1092



The Sutra Foundation was established in 2007 to develop awareness of traditional and contemporary performing and visual arts, upholding the philosophy of nurturing a society that appreciates art, while embracing the nation's cultural diversity. Spearheaded by Ramli Ibrahim, one of the most accomplished artistes of his generation, the foundation is his legacy to Malaysia. The foundation encompasses Sutra Dance Theatre - where new choreography is crafted and performed; Sutra Academy - where future dancers are trained; and Sutra Gallery - where visual artists exhibit their works. All of these activities are concentrated in the premises of Sutra House, the foundation's nerve centre.

Monday, September 5, 2011

World Tango Championships 2011

A Colombian couple was named winners of the salon tango category at the World Tango Championships 2011 held recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Staving off the challenge from 39 other couples in the finals, Diego Benavidez Hernandez and Natasha Agudelo Arboleda (pic) became the first Colombians to win the category at the tango competition. A jury of seven experts picked them over John Erban and Clarissa Sanchez from Venezuela after a dance-off between the two pairs. The third placing went to Brian Nguyen and Yuliana Basmajyan from the United States of America.

Twenty couples took part in the finals of the stage tango category. Argentina managed to salvage some pride when it's pair of Max Van de Voorde and Solange Acosta was crowned champions, and three other Argentinian couples took the second, third and fourth placings. "In the salon tango category, one grades the elegance, the timing, the form in which the motions and characteristic steps of salon tango are carried out," says Oscar Velazquez, a dancer who served as a judge in the semifinals. "In stage tango, one pays attention to the wardrobe, the choreography, the movement. One looks that the essence of tango in the contemporary dance isn't lost."

Some 500 couples from around the globe participated in this year's competition which was the ninth edition of the annual event. The Argentine tango was developed by the lower urban classes in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay in the Rio de Plata basin during the early 19th century. It slowly spread through all social classes of the region and then all over the world and became popular in Europe, the United States and Japan. In 2009, the Argentine tango was granted 'intangible cultural heritage' status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).