As Malaysians come together to celebrate unity, patriotism and their love for the country this Merdeka month, Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA) together with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has officially launched Panggung Rakyat and its programme highlights for 2019.
Panggung Rakyat serves as a public arts platform that seeks to educate, engage and energise Malaysia’s unique arts and cultural heritage through a series of specially curated authentic traditional performances and interactive workshops, displays and talks performed and facilitated by established artists and arts groups.
The public arts and cultural initiative was officiated by Minister of Federal Territories, Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid bin Abd Samad.
YB Tuan Haji Khalid Abdul Samad says, “Malaysia will not be the country that it is today without the coming together of cultures, heritage and most importantly, its people. This initiative is a step in the right direction to ensure that these important parts of our history are not forgotten but carried on for the generations to come. With federal territories and urban well-being under my Ministry, in addition to the Tourism, Arts and Culture Council being under my purview, arts and culture will always be and remain as a core ingredient in our urban policy.”
To be held every month until the end of the year in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Panggung Rakyat delivers an enjoyable night of performances, food and family fun activities for all. This free event occurs every third Saturday of the month from 9pm to 11pm. The first Panggung Rakyat was a huge hit after a focus on Makyong, one of the most historically important and authentic art forms in Malaysia originating more than 400 years ago from Kelantan.
Leading the charge for the Makyong performance is Zamzuriah Zahari, a locally and internationally renowned Makyong performer and lecturer at The National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heirtage (ASWARA) Faculty of Dance. She is joined by UNESCO Tokoh Makyong Fatimah Abdullah, 3 elder Adigurus, 1 young Adiguru and 1 Kelantan Tokoh Makyong.
Created by the Malay communities in Northwest Malaysia, the ancient theatre form is a dance-drama performance that has an important place in Malaysia’s cultural history and is recognised by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Panggung Rakyat was conceptualised to provide the Rakyat with an inspirational and immersive arts and culture experience to witness the beauty and dedication of the performing arts and artists that make up our centuries long cultural history. It is strategically located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur in Jalan Raja, sandwiched between the historical Merdeka Square and one of the city’s most iconic buildings- Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.
CENDANA hopes to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation for the beautiful cultural elements that are weaved together to form the rich and colourful fabric of history in the country.
CENDANA Founding CEO, Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin says, “At CENDANA, we are consistently engaging our advisory panels, stakeholders and the arts communities in collaboratively raising awareness on the importance of our arts in our history, and after almost a year of engagement, we are delighted to be bringing artforms to the people via Panggung Rakyat. It is a great way to ensure that our artists and arts groups, their works, reflecting our stories, our traditions and rituals are seen, heard, appreciated, and promoted to a wider audience. We are honoured to be working with DBKL in providing this platform for art forms such as Makyong that is steeped in culture, history and rich in meaning to be kept alive through performances such as this.”
CENDANA will be working together with local arts and cultural organisations such as PUSAKA and Nusantara Performing Arts Research Center (NusPARC) to bring authentic arts performances to Malaysians for the remaining year. Save the dates for the next few performances coming your away at Jalan Raja:
● 21st Sept 2019: Portuguese Dance
● 19th October 2019: Ronggeng Dance
● 16th November 2019: Kuda Kepang Dance
● 21st December 2019: Bhangra Dance
CENDANA invites business and corporations to contribute to this arts and culture effort. Businesses and corporations will be provided tax deduction for their contributions. For further information, visit www.cendana.com.my.