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Catch dance and music performances at the Shantanand Festival of Arts

Ramanatakam, a dance ballet in Bharatanatyam genre. — Picture courtesy of The Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia
Ramanatakam, a dance ballet in Bharatanatyam genre. — Picture courtesy of The Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — From tomorrow till September 10, the Shantanand Festival of Arts by The Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia (TFA) will feature over 20 unforgettable dance and musical performances by local and international artistes. 

In addition, the festival will also offer workshops to the public to allow them to get up close and personal with the performers or pick up different skills. 

The festival that celebrates the National Day is an annual event organised by TFA, a non-profit organisation. 

“TFA has a very rich, 36-year history, playing an integral part with the dance and music education and performance in Malaysia,” explained Festival Director Kumar Karthigesu. 

Last year, according to Karthigesu, the festival attracted 4,000 people. He adds, “This year, we expect more than 5,000 people to come and delight in the festival’s atmosphere.” The festival will be held at TFA’s building in Brickfields.

The highlight of this year’s festival includes three feature-length productions, a first for TFA. You can watch Anthar Agni, a musical that pays tribute to fire as a source and mystical and powerful entity. 

This performance will also feature a collaboration with a Sufi singer, Chinese musicians, Spanish dancers and musicians from India. 

Catch the Ramanatakam, a Bharata Natyam genre dance ballet with a Ramayana theme and specifically, based on the writings of the South Indian (Tamil) poet Kamban. 

There is also a local element with Under the Kayon Tree, a musical by Ankur Ensemble, that brings to life Malaysian folklore on Sultan Parameswara, Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat and Hang Li Po. 

Other noteworthy performances, according to Karthigesu include the premiere of a 10-minute monologue ( and subsequent workshop) by actress Farah Rani and the Kedah-based Mek Mulung dance performance and workshop by Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara. 

The Faliq Auri Trio will perform their own brand of Celtic Rock music fused with Malaysian rhythms and there is a chance to hear The KL Sape Collective from East Malaysia. There will also be Bhangra, ballet and classical Indian dance performances. 

Music workshops will be held on September 2 and 3 while the dance workshops are on September 9 and 10. Each workshop is estimated to last around 90 minutes. 

You can purchase the tickets at TFA’s office located at 116, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, KL. Alternatively, call 03-22743709. 

In line with TFA’s mission as a non-profit organisation, the tickets are based on a “pay-as-you-wish” model. 

“At TFA, we try to allow access to people from all walks of life to watch, enjoy, and be inspired by performances such as these. We rely on faith that people who can afford will contribute generously, and thus subsidise the admission for those who can’t,” said Karthigesu.

There are also limited invites available to dine at Annalakshmi Resturant, TFA’s Indian vegetarian restaurant, before watching the shows. 

* For more information visit http://www.tfa.org.my/

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