The program has already begun, that is, by soliciting the services of traditional dance masters from across the country who have taught these dances to the company. Many of these dances are facing extinction and are not gaining a foothold with today’s youth.
Malaysia has a rich cultural dance heritage that is being slowly swallowed by modernization and urbanization and yet ASK Dance Company believes that these dances still have a relevance in today’s contemporary society whereby many are influenced by digital mainstream media and not experiencing live performing arts activity.
FORGING TRADITIONS: BEYOND BORDERS 2.0 is a continuous community outreach project of Forging Traditions: Training the Trainers that has been conducted from 2017 – 2020 (Phase 1- Phase 3) focusing to give training of dance skills and knowledge to the community for FREE. It is a 2 years project of e-Learning traditional Malay dances course. Dances that will be taught are ‘Asas Zapin’ and ‘Asas Joget’. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we have shifted the dance workshop to virtual learning as advised by the Ministry of Education.
Forging Traditions: Training the Trainers is a free four days workshop comprising traditional Malay dance lessons aimed to be taught to training teachers, dance activists, students and those who are interested in learning and teaching traditional dances.
This community programme sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation is to ensure that every aspiring dance artist at these institutions is given sound education about the nation’s traditional cultural diversity (especially in Malay dance). Malaysia’s Malay traditional dances are unique and range from court traditions, folk arts and dances rooted in rituals, with very few experts involved in these fields.
Thus it is our aim to achieve excellence in dance through education and aspire towards higher standards. In this way, we can also work to keep these traditions alive.
Connecting Communities was the first in the series of community outreach projects in the form of dance workshops conducted by ASK Dance Company sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation.
Connecting Communities aimed at promoting dance in Malaysia as well as the appreciation and understanding of cultures through dance, enabling talented individuals who are not able to afford formal training to experience dance, and to create a healthy environment by encouraging dance activities as a positive lifestyle choice. These aims are achieved by staging workshops and performances throughout the country that showcases Malaysia’s diverse cultures and multicultural heritage, and also engaging the young including the underprivileged by offering free workshops and interactive talks throughout the year.
By combining performances with workshops, ASK Dance Company intends to engage the local communities through dance. By learning the form and context of the dances of the various ethnic communities, ASK Dance Company will be able to educate the youth to appreciate the multiple dance practices in our country.