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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

Kota Belud dancers on the world stage

Syah receiving a memento from Rinrada Aunyaratroungroj, Chairperson of Thailand Dance Organisation.

12 January 2024

By Nabalu News Journalist

KOTA BELUD: A dancer and a choreographer from Windbreeze Cultural Association Kota Belud will represent the community and the State in a creative dance performance in the International Art Camp in Cheongju Korea on January 24 this year.

The Association Chairman and choreographer Mohd Hairul Nazmie Talib, known professionally as Syah, shared that the event was organised by Korea Dance Organisation and Chungcheong National University.

According to him, he would have loved to go with a bigger group but the lack of fundings was an impediment. He would be accompanying a dancer who would perform a solo creative performance inspired by the Bajau dance, he said adding at the same time he would be attending a seminar with International Dance Organisation (IDO) for the world dance festival 2024 also in Korea.

When he returns to Sabah, he would be involved with the Malaysian Qualifier where they would be looking for new talents.

Dancers showing off their Malaysian Pride.

This was an exciting development for the Malaysian dance community as the Malaysian Qualifier event scheduled to take place from 5th to 8th March would accord dancers opportunities to showcase their skills. This highly anticipated event would be open to all dancers, providing an opportunity for participants to show off their skills and compete for the chance to represent Malaysia in the Dance World Cup final in Prague, Czech Republic, in July.

Besides that, Syah would also be attending a dance competition in China in May as a member of the international jury.

“The Association has a list of activities until this year end and we are very excited to attend to all of them,” he said adding that the most recent was last year where they competed in Thailand.

They also won gold for that competition, he said, adding a few more glitters to their gold collections through the years, as the association was incepted in 2012.

They had joined in many international competitions. During the International Dance Organization's World Dance Festival in Korea 2023, Syah's remarkable skills were on full display. He achieved remarkable success, securing several golds, silver, and bronze medals in various categories. His accolades include a gold medal in the Group Folk Dance Junior category, as well as gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Solo Folk Dance Junior and Children divisions.

Syah (middle) in a commemorative photo.

Previously, adding to his winning streak, Syah and his group triumphed at the Beautiful Blue Danube Festival held in Hungary in 2022. The group's outstanding performances earned them a series of gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Group Folk Dance Junior and Solo Folk Dance Junior and Children categories.

As a dance teacher and choreographer, Syah's contributions to the world of dance extend beyond his own performances. His dedication to nurturing young talent and sharing his expertise has earned him widespread recognition.

In 2021, Syah was honoured with the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Asia's Outstanding Achievers ceremony, hosted by the ASIA AWARDS AND RULA AWARDS. This  accolade acknowledged his significant impact on the dance community and his invaluable contributions to the art form.

 Syah's coaching academy was recognised with the esteemed "Asia's Outstanding Coaching Academy Award" at the same event, acknowledging his commitment to mentoring and developing future generations of dancers.

In addition to his teaching and coaching endeavours, Syah's choreographic prowess was also celebrated. In 2020, he was bestowed with  "Choreographer of the Year" award by the Benefis Fundacja in Poland. This  honour acknowledged his innovative and captivating contributions to the world of dance.

Syah's dedication to promoting dance heritage among children and youth was recognised at the International Culture Caravan Festival and Contest organised by the Benefis Fundacja in Poland in 2020. He received a special award for his efforts in preserving cultural traditions and fostering a love for dance among younger generations.

His journey in this field had been exception and should be lauded.

“In a pioneering endeavour, our organisation has established twin primary objectives focusing on the empowerment and advancement of gifted adolescent individuals, specifically those hailing from rural areas. This platform seeks to cultivate their artistic prowess and validate their potential to compete and excel on a global scale,” he said.

"Our initial aim revolves around providing a stage for these budding talents to exhibit their artistic ability. I am convinced that talent transcends geographic confines and we are steadfast in our resolve to dismantle obstacles and forge pathways for these teenagers to shine. Through a platform that acknowledges their distinctive capabilities, our intent is to kindle inspiration and fortify their resolve to pursue their dreams and ambitions,” he elaborated.

According to him, their secondary objective revolved around nurturing and educating the younger group to embrace and exalt their cultural legacy.

“We uphold the belief that cultural lineage warrants reverent celebration. We have an array of programmes and endeavours to instill a deep-seated pride and reverence on our dancers for their ancestral origins. By nurturing an ingrained love and comprehension of their heritage, we encourage these adolescents to embrace their identity and contribute to the perpetuation of their rich cultural heritage.”

"By merging these dual objectives, we have confidence in our potential to ensure a profound and transformative influence on the lives of these young individuals. Through our platform, they will not solely have the avenue to exhibit their aptitudes, but to grow into assured individuals who take pride in their cultural legacy,” he said.

On Windbreeze Cultural Association, he said it was founded in 2012 based in Kg. Taungusi, Kota Belud, Sabah. It was initially known as Windbreeze Dance Company. The group had been actively involved and participating in various local and international festivals around the world

WindBreeze mainly trained and performed traditional and folklore dances such as Sabah Traditional / Folk dance, Malay folk dances, Indian Classical dance Bharatanatyam, Contemporary / Modern, Jazz, Ballroom and Commercial dances. Their dancers were trained to play traditional Musical Instrument such as the Kulintangan, Gong and Gendang among others.

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