The papers in Diversity in Motion were written for a Dance Seminar held in conjunction with the MyDance Festival 2003 (MDF 2005), under the theme of Diversity in Motion. The MyDance Festival was organised by MyDance Alliance, a non-profit organisation of dancers and dance enthusiasts that supports and promotes dance in Malaysia. MyDance Alliance is also the Malaysian Chapter of the World Dance Alliance, which acts as an advocate and support group for dance worldwide. Being part of the MDF 2003, the seminar was held at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, on September 27″‘ 2003 under the sponsorship of its Cultural Centre.
This was the first time that a seminar for Malaysian contemporary dance was jointly organised by the MyDance Alliance (The Malaysian Chapter of the World Dance Alliance-Asia Pacific) and the Cultural Centre. It is hoped that this effort will continue to provide the links between dance scholars and practitioners from various fields of dance to meet and deliberate on issues of dance in a public forum.
As the papers presented here were written for seminar presentation rather than as chapters for a book, each paper stands alone. As such, repetitions of points and information between them may surface. The editor has not attempted to correct or reduce any of these repetitions and each paper should be read as a self contained essay. All the papers were written to be thematic in approach with focus made on particular aspects rather than a unified whole. The papers range from aspects of dance research, fusions of indigenous ideas on contemporary dance, chronological writing of dance, the making of contemporary dance, and collaboration in dance choreography. Writers of these papers are figures of renowned talents, researchers, critics and writers of dance in Malaysia whose contributions to dance knowledge are far reaching and highly appreciated. Whilst this publication is a first of its kind, the meetings of minds amongst dance enthusiasts is a continuation of discussions that have taken place over several decades. It is part of the process of familiarising with the unfamiliar in the world of dance in Malaysia.
This book can be considered as stepping stone in bringing dancers and dance writers to converge together to look into dance from various viewpoints. Dance in Malaysia has in recent decades been generating considerable interest among local and international observers with many companies and choreographers showcasing newer interpretations on traditional and modern repertoires. Young dancers, new choreographers and renowned dance artists have demonstrated their works over the years throughout the country and abroad but few have remained in print or being published. This book will provide a unique opportunity to experience a sampling of the diverse emotive and kinaesthetic dimensions of contemporaneous synergies in Malaysian dances. It is hoped that this book will contribute to the enhancement of dance knowledge in Malaysia.