Desmond (standing, fifth right) and the dance troupe are all smiles after winning the Malaysia Dance Festival 2015.
The dancers presenting a dance titled ‘Kambang Si Awang & Si Dayang’.
MIRI: Local dance troupe Sanggar Budaya is now the pride of Sarawak after being crowned the overall champion of the Malaysia Dance Festival 2015 at Kuala Lumpur City Hall recently.
Apart from emerging as the overall champion, the dance troupe also won the district/ethnic dance category and placed second in the traditional dance category.
It was also awarded the Best Costume Award for traditional category and Best Choreography Award for district/ethnic dance category.
The choreographer cum troupe leader Desmond Sagoh expressed his happiness at the achievement.
Desmond said the festival was organised by National Culture and Arts Department and took place between June 4 and 6.
“We are very excited and never expected to win the title of overall champion in this prestigious national level dance festival.
“With this achievement, we hope it will help to lift the image of Sanggar Budaya, thus prompting more of the younger generation to support any activity that can preserve the beauty of culture and arts in the state,” he stated when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.
Before participating in the national level dance festival, he said Sanggar Budaya was the champion of a similar state level dance festival in 2014.
He explained that being the state level champion did not mean that the troupe could automatically represent its respective state.
“Each of the champions from every state has to be reviewed and re-evaluated through an Arts Manifestation programme at every zone, such as the northern zone, east zone, south zone, central zone and Sabah and Sarawak zone,” he said. After much deliberation, the Regional National Department of Culture and Arts would finally select eight dance troupes to compete in the semi-finals in Kuala Lumpur.
The dance troupes that qualified were two from Kelantan (Le Waris and Petra Tari SMKIP), Kumpulan Kesenian Pewaris from Terengganu, Kumpulan Nyala Dance Theatre (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur), Kumpulan Tari Aliff (Johor), Kumpulan Rentak (Selangor), Kumpulan Badan Kesenian Malaysia Army Force from Perak and Sanggar Budaya Miri from Sarawak.
For the semi final, Desmond revealed that they had performed a traditional dance dubbed ‘Tarian Gerenek Anak Mudak’ and ‘Ngajat Kesong & Ngauk Ai’ for the ethnic dance category, which ushered them into the final round.
During the finals, they presented a Malay dance titled ‘Kambang Si Awang & Si Dayang’ and a Bidayuh ethnic dance called ‘Ma’an’.
He thanked the Sarawak Social Development Ministry and the Sarawak National Department of Culture and Arts for giving them a chance to represent the state for the festival as well as Assistant Minister of Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin for his support Sanggar Budaya’s activities.