The Melaka Art & Performance Festival (MAPFest), the largest and only festival at a UNESCO World Heritage site, returns to Melaka for its fifth instalment from 22- 24 November 2013.
The site-specific festival has put Melaka on the world map since its inception, as it brings dazzling performances from across the globe. The festival attracts tens of thousands of international and local festival-goers to the historical site for three days of international quality performances.
Held from 10am to 10pm daily in the vicinity of St. Paul’s Hill, the contemporary performing arts extravaganza features more than 50 local and international artistes from 10 countries in a variety of dance, visual art, film and music performances.
Andrew Ching, founder and producer of MAPFest said, “The sucess and recognition of MAPFest is further strengthened as we have been requested to recreate the Mapping segment of MAPFest in Indonesia and Australia. This clearly shows that MAPFest is widely accepted internationally and is now seen as one of the foremost performing arts festival in the world, and I expect it to grow bigger.”
For the first time, MAPFest will also be kicking off a new Australian sister festival, Mapping Melbourne – Asian Contemporary Arts Festival (Australia), produced by Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) which will run from 5-8 December 2013. MAV has been working with Tony Yap Company (TYC) as a partner of MAPFest for the last four years, along with their sister festival, In The Arts Island Festival (Java/Bali/Indonesia), in June 2013. Mapping Melbourne creates new links and pathways into Australia for artistes involved in MAPFest and In The Arts Island Festival.
“MAPFest is a meeting point for local and international artistes to showcase their love for the arts. I think with the differences comes a celebration of what unites us as people. MAPFest 2013 is a not-to-be-missed festival that guarantees a smashing time in the heart of Melaka,” added Andrew.
One of the many highlights for this year is the opening performance named Naik Naik. It is a moving tribute where 10 talented Malaysian and Australian artistes will be performing from the A Famosa Fort to the top of St Paul’s Hill. Created over a two week intensive collaboration, Naik Naik aims to showcase Melaka’s unique multicultural heritage and contemporary identity.
MAPFest 2013 includes an extensive MAPPING program which features site-specific perfomances at six historical sites on 23-24 November from 2pm to 6pm. This platform will see local and international artistes to perform from site to site, while audiences join them by exploring the notion of ascent. The performances showcase traditional arts alongside contemporary expressions with innovative uses of new technology.
The Cerita Pendek (Short Works) section features a variety of performances from international artistes including cross-cultural pieces of performance theatre. One of the many inspiring Cerita Pendek is Ikoto – Place To Be, a mix of traditional Japanese dance, hip hop dance, contemporary dance and theatre. Featuring Tho Anothai, a French/Laotian hip hop artist and Ikko Suzuki, a contemporary Japanese dancer who met during an improvised duet performance in MAPFest 2010. This year, both talented dancers will collaborate and present an exciting duet performance together.
The festival also features a line-up of feature-length films from Australia on 22-23 November. Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey’s I am Eleven video documents the lives and thoughts of eleven-year-old children from 15 countries. A workshop conducted by WeiZen Ho, explores voices in diverse ways of departure into the world of vocal expressions, will be held on 22 November. An artiste forum that explores the multi-facetted notion of “ascent”, facilitated by Cheryl Stock, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Creative Industries Faculty from the Queensland University of Technology, will be held on 24 November.
The festival will culminate on 24 November with the finale performance, Eulogy for the Living, directed and choreographed by Tony Yap. It is a haunting piece of performance art which allows us to delve deep into our bodies and souls as we celebrate what it is to be alive. All MAPFest artistes will be performing in this finale. This will also be a tribute in memory of the late I Nyoman Sura, a talented Indonesian choreographer and fine dancer who had performed in previous editions of MAPFest.
MAPFest 2013 is directed by Tony Yap in his capacity as Festival Creative Director. He was one of the principle performers with IRAA Theatre from 1989 to 1996, and has worked extensively in Australia and internationally, including the Agamemnon Festival Colline Torinese in Italy, and The Trojan Woman at the Vienna International Art Festival. As the founding Artistic Director of Mixed Company (now the Tony Yap Company) in 1993, he has made a commitment to the exploration and creation of an individual dance theatre language that is informed by psycho-physical research, Asian Shamanistic Trance Dance, Butoh, Voice and Visual Design.
MAPFest 2013 is produced by Arts & Performance Festival Melaka Sdn Bhd together with the efforts of E-Plus Entertainment, the Australian Government, the Australian High Commission, Australia Malaysia Institute, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Embassies of France, the Tony Yap Company, Mercatus+ Malaysia, Asialink, the Thai Embassy, Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia, the Ireland High Commission and Kakiseni.
MAPFest remains free and accessible for all. For more information, visit www.melakafestival.com.