Saturday May 5, 2012
Drumming to the rhythm
Story and pictures by ALLISON LAI
REFINED and thumping beats accompanied by colourful and vigorous folk dances made up a memorable night of sight and sound during the 15th Archipelago Drum Festival held in conjunction with the 9th Malacca Historic City Day celebrations.
The four-hour show saw 25 cultural drum troupes and 647 performers thumping and dancing their way into the hearts of an estimated 10,000 spectators who had gathered to witness the event.
Locals and tourists alike made their way to the concourse area in front of the Malacca Historic City Council building at Dataran MBMB in Ayer Keroh as early as 7pm on to get a good spot to witness the performances.
The event was officially kicked off when Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob struck a traditional Malay gendang three times accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and other state leaders.
Taking the lead for the night was the colourful performance by a troupe from the Faculty of Music from the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara).
The other drum troupes and performers were also invited up on stage for a joint unity performance as a gesture of their comradeship.
Keeping the beat for Malaysia were troupes from Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and those from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Aswara.
A total of 16 foreign troupes that put up spectacular showmanship included those from Egypt, Jordan, South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Legendary rocker Ramli Sarip, singer Noraniza Idris also entertained the crowd during intervals while popular local celebrities Sharifah Shahira, Zakiah Anas and Nabil Raja Lawak emceed throughout the night.
A ten-minute fireworks display culminated the event and lit up Dataran MBMB’s beautiful landscape and its surrounding, much to the amazement and delight of the crowd.
Earlier, Mohd Ali, in his speech congratulated the city council for being recognised as one of the ‘Resilient Cities’ in Malaysia together with Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Putrajaya Council by The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), a world disaster reduction campaign by the United Nations.
He also commended its success of being given a four-star rating in the public sector agencies by the Housing and Local Government Ministry recently and urged the council to strive for greater excellence in the future.
On the night’s event, Mohd Ali said such cultural gatherings were an ideal platform to foster closer ties between Malacca and the other countries participating at the event.