coming full circle
Gather your energy because you’re going to need it to keep up with the Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival (KLIAF). Taking up residency in Malaysia’s capital city for the whole of September, the festival – now in its third year – will electrify Kuala Lumpur with an imaginatively curated assortment of artists and performances.
“It’s like asking me to choose a favourite child!" says Datin Sunita Rajakumar – the festival director and driving force behind KLIAF – when asked to reveal her top picks for this year’s international shows. “They’re each extremely special in their own way. Che Malambo and The Sachal Ensemble are stories of succeeding against the odds, which is very inspiring, while Letter’s End is clever and quirky with a poignant twist."
Che Malambo, an Argentinean dance company that celebrates the South American cowboy tradition of the gaucho, promises to be a show-stealer with its fiery Malambo traditions and lightning-quick zapeteo footwork. More contemplative souls will be charmed by The Sachal Ensemble’s Songs of Lahore performance, which fuses traditional Pakistani folk music with iconic Western jazz tunes to produce masterful cross-cultural recreations.
Australian playwright and performer Wolfe Bowart will also be in town, merging clown theatre, circus skills, stage illusions, puppetry, interactive film and physical comedy in his visual theatre work, Letter’s End. Exploring the forgotten treasures of the mind and its memories, Bowart’s performance presents an opportunity to let yourself be truly spellbound within the realm of the theatre.
“Performance and visual arts are one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication – they tap on a universal commonality that exists between all of us," remarks Datin Sunita. “I hope the various stories shared will help each visitor make a little more sense of the world around them. They generate empathy for those who are not exactly the same as us and consequently, in a virtuous circle, a better understanding of ourselves."