Exploring the contestations of tradition in Malay dance
The role of Malay dance as a way to transmit values and tradition of the Malay community over the years has significantly evolved with the effects of globalisation and modernisation. At the start of its practice, Malay dance was heavily influenced by the community and its practices, of folklore that has been passed down from generations before us, of the dance forms of the neighboring countries that make up the Nusantara and was brought into Singapore through its role of a trading hub due to globalisation in the 1900s. However, with rapid modernization, these subject matters may not be as relatable/relevant to the current generation and hence, defeats the purpose as a way to communicate our values and traditions to current audiences. In addition, the topic of tradition is also heavily contested due to the different types of understanding that a person may have of it. While Malay dance holds the traditions and values of the Malay community, it is also important to note that tradition in itself is constantly changing and evolving with the times.
This dissertation aims to analyse how two practitioners – Mdm Som Said and Mr Noramin Farid – have actively reinvented the traditional Malay dance through their companies, allowing the art form to continue to prevail through the modernisation of culture. In addition, the research also intends to understand the contestations of tradition from the perspectives of the two different practitioners and how their understanding of the concept of ‘tradition’ is included in their works.
Sep – Dec 2020
Big 3 Media Pte Ltd
Mar – July 2016
Dua M Pte Ltd