Variety and diversity highlights of RWMF workshops
VISITORS TO THE Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2014 got a dose of how the exchange of culture can come in different forms.
The third day of RWMF had nine workshops running concurrently at three locations at the Sarawak Cultural Village: Dewan Lagenda, Iban Longhouse and Malay House.
In the Maori Songs, Dance and Movement semi-interactive workshop conducted by Horomona Horo of New Zealand, visitors got to experience and learn on the Haka and other traditional movement and symbolism.
Among them, was the hongi, which means a meeting of two people, is a traditional form of greeting in New Zealand between two people who have just met. Horo explained that the two have to touch noses twice, once to exhale and once to inhale.
It was further explained by him that the exhaling and inhaling motion was to signify or symbolise the interweaving of two breaths and the binding of two people and also their genealogy and ancestors. A hongi can be exchange between two men, two men and also between a man and a woman.
Aside from the exchange greeting of hongi, visitors at the Dewan Lagenda also get a one on one lesson on how to learn the Pukana and the Haka dance.
The Pukana is the facial expression done by both Maori men and women. When doing a Pukana, a man will stick his tongue out as far as he can and open his eyes as wide as physically possible. For women, when performing a pukana, they may also have to open their eyes as wide as they can but instead of sticking their tongue out they make a particularly strong movement with her lips as if making a sad face.
Yayasan Warisan Johore’s workshop performance was led by a female dancer known as Luna (Rohayu Mohd Yusoh) who taught the visitors how to do the Zapin, a dance which has Arabic influences in it.
During the interactive dance workshop, the visitors were taught four dance moves: samping, samrh (authentic Arab Zapin), Zapin Malaysia, and lis (a dance step which is done towards the end of the zapin dance).
According to Luna, a taksim – another dance move that was not taught during the workshop – was usually performed to initiate the zapin dance.
Towards the end of learning all four dance moves, visitors were then divided into two groups, men and women, where they did the joget and were involve in some sort of dance battle between the opposite sexes.
Other workshops also conducted at Dewan Lagenda was Anusthana Nriya, an interactive workshop by Karinthalakoottam, where visitors got to learn the ritual dances of Kerala.
Meanwhile in the Iban Longhouse, the Vibrating Air workshop was conducted to introduce the audience to the different types of flutes around the world led by Stephen Micus from Germany who demonstrated how to play Shakuhachi, nokhan and the tin whistle.
Also performing during the Vibrating Air workshop were Muhammad Halim of Talago Buni in which he played the Salunag, saunai and bansi; Baun Lenjau of Lan E Tuyang who played the Selingut; Sufian bin Asran of Yaysan Warisan Johor in which he played the bamboo flute and Giulio Bianco of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino where he played the recorder flute.
Other workshops conducted were Gongs of Borneo featuring members of the Bisayah Gong Orchestra, Febrianti of Talago Buni, Leva Khudri Balti and Sofwan of Talago Buni and the Taut and Tight workshop which featured different plucked stringed instruments which included Adam Rhodes from Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Yvonne Tay of Ding Yi Music Company, Mohad Syafiq Awang of Yayasan Warisan Johore.