Malaysia’s artistes to take centre stage at Jubilee Park

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Artists present tradition dance performances at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Some of Malaysia’s most prominent artistes will take centre stage at Jubilee Park on Sunday to perform a variety of cultural performances and music presentations, in conjunction with the Malaysia Truly Asia showcase.

The showcase will feature a remarkable host of cultural performances by troupes from Istana Budaya and the National Department for Culture and Arts, HANDS Percussion Malaysia, Sutra Dance Theatre, with musical shows by Malaysian artistes Syafinaz and Datuk Zainal Abidin.  Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 Francisa Luhong James will make a special appearance at the event.

Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, Founder of the Sutra Foundation and internationally known choreographer/dancer will lead the Sutra Dance Theatre performance. “Expo 2020 Dubai is a place where the cultural diversity of the world is celebrated. These many different cultures are brought to the shores of the UAE for the global community to experience, enjoy, and learn. We are particularly proud to be a part of this celebration,” said Ramli who received India’s Padma Shri award in 2018 for his contribution to the Odissi dance form.

Bernard Goh, Artistic Director and Founder of HANDS Percussion Malaysia added “Presenting our Malaysian-made traditional and contemporary percussion performance on a global stage means that we get to share the beauty and uniqueness of our music and culture to an international audience.” Their performance includes an original musical composition including instruments such as the timbale set, big red drum, Chinese drums (shigu), bonang, gendang, jidor, and the Chinese cymbal.

The dance performances will see unique plethora of Malaysian cultures from Odissi, an Indian classical dance style to traditional routines of Malay, Chinese, and Bornean customs. “Our troupe has been rehearsing daily for over a month now, to ensure we deliver on a truly remarkable and amazing spectacle which vividly reflects Malaysia’s culture for the international audience at Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Mohd Ferdaus Hassan, Istana Budaya Production Department Assistant Director.

Malaysia’s music legend Datuk Zainal Abidin will also be belting his top hits, Damai IV, Manis, and Hijau. Speaking on the occasion, he said: “I am proud for this opportunity to perform modern Malaysian music to the world. This is also an exciting time for me personally as it will be the 30th anniversary since my song Hijau made its debut.”

The Malaysia Truly Asia showcase represents the melting pot of rich cultures that exists harmoniously in the nation. Datuk Ramli quipped, “You will see Malay and Chinese dancers performing an Indian classical dance side-by-side, which reflects how art unifies people of different races and backgrounds.”

The performance is in conjunction with the Malaysia Day which is the flagship event of the Malaysia Pavilion at the World Expo, spotlighting the nation’s achievements and progress across key sectors including economic, social, cultural, science and technology, as the honour day accorded by Expo 2020 Dubai to participating countries. This occasion also marks the 100-day milestone of Malaysia’s participation at this third largest event in the world.

The public are invited to watch the show from 8.00pm at Jubilee Park in the Mobility District in Expo 2020 but do come early to grab the best seats.

Malaysia’s self-built 1,234.05 sq meter pavilion is the first net zero carbon pavilion at the EXPO. The Pavilion features a rainforest canopy inspired by the majestic tropical rainforest of Malaysia, blending cultural elements with nature and functionality into a futuristic building.   

The Pavilion carries the theme “Energising Sustainability” to represent the nation’s commitment and approach to sustainable development. It is segmented into four sub-themes; “Energising Today”, “Energising Tomorrow”, “Energising Harmony” and “Energising Business”. Malaysia’s activities during the EXPO will include permanent 3D displays, daily cultural performances, craft demonstrations, café operations as well as 26 weekly thematic trade and business programmes.  

The business weeks will involve a large contingent of 21 ministries, 70 departments and agencies and five state governments initiating and supporting the programmes. They will also bring weekly business delegations from the industry that will participate in pocket talks, product launches, business matching sessions and signing of MoUs. Malaysia Pavilion will also host and participate in summits and forums throughout Expo.  

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is the lead ministry for Malaysia’s participation at the mega event.  Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) is the implementing agency.

Meanwhile, Australian universities and thought leaders join global experts in discussions about new frontiers in tourism and innovative approaches to technology during Travel and Connectivity Week at Expo 2020 Dubai, from 9th to 15th January 2022. They will share practical insights and studies on sustainable tourism and digital connectivity, as the sector balances the impact of the expansion of our digital world on our physical reality.

The following topics will be discussed:

Circular tourism models which put local communities first;

Ecotourism as the new norm;

Future decarbonisation of transport; and

How ‘Smart Cities’ can ensure sustainable travel and connectivity.

Australia is committed to sustainability in tourism and uses data science, and the latest technology and analytics to preserve its spectacular landscapes, attractive lifestyle, rich ancient cultures and diverse population as it promotes and attracts global tourism. Australia is a must-see travel destination with some of the world’s best culinary, arts, sports and cultural experiences. Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai highlights why Australia is a destination of choice to visit, experience and explore.

On 11th January 2022, from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm, Yusuf Omar, co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories, a global video publisher reaching millions of people daily on social media platforms, conducts a masterclass workshop, ‘New Frontiers in Tourism,’ at the Australian Pavilion. A former CNN Senior Social Media Reporter, multi-award-winning journalist, TEDx, UN, and News Xchange speaker, Yusuf was Mobile Editor at the Hindustan Times in India and a correspondent in Syria and Congo. He explores the new frontiers of tourism as a change in systems rather than as a new destination and advocates embracing regenerative and circular models which put local communities first.

On 13th January 2022, from 4 to 6 pm, Professor Anne Hardy, Associate Professor Cultural and Heritage Tourism, Tourism and Sociology, of the University of Tasmania, presents ‘World Majlis: Off the Beaten Path, Travel in the 21st Century’ at the India Pavilion. She discusses mass-market tourism and ecotourism as the new norm and showcases Australia’s expertise in digital technology and its commitment to sustainable tourism. She says: “We were interested in understanding exactly where tourists go and so we designed an app called Tourism Tracer which uses GPS and includes a survey. It helps researchers understand exactly who the tourists are and where they go to in real time, so tourism authorities and the industry can actually understand exactly where tourists are travelling.” Tourism Tracer’s success resulted in changes in the way that destinations such as Tasmania collect visitor information. Since its development, it has been used in many other national and international jurisdictions and has now been commercialised.

On 14th January 2022, from 1 to 3 pm, Professor Pascal Perez, Director of the SMART infrastructure facilities at University of Wollongong will co-host a panel ‘The Future Decarbonisation of Transportation in Smart Cities,’ at the Terra Auditorium. Professor Perez has 30 years of experience in advanced data analytics and simulation, and complex interactions within environmental, social, and technological systems. He led crowdsourced Flood Mapping in Jakarta and Geosocial Intelligence to Enhance Corporate Capability in Hong Kong. He has a longstanding interest in social patterns and individual responses to technological, environmental and regulatory changes, as well as the influence of demographic transitions on the sustainability of urban, transport and health policies.

Dr May El Barachi, Associate Dean of Research and Head of Industry Outreach and Executive Learning at University of Wollongong Dubai (UOWD), will join Professor Perez as co-host of the Smart Cities panel. An Egyptian Canadian computer scientist and smart technology expert with degrees in telecommunications. engineering, computer engineering and computer science, Dr El Barachi possesses the breadth of knowledge to conduct large-scale multi-disciplinary projects in biotech, smart transportation, smart cities, inclusion and innovation.

Dr El Barachi will be joined by Dr Mohamad Nassereddine, Assistant Professor at UOWD, who has a keen interest and knowledge in renewable energy, smart power systems, high voltage transmission and advanced smart grid. Dr Haile-Selassie Rajamani, Associate Professor at UOWD, teaches Signals & Systems and Control Theory and has a special interest in Renewable Energy and Power Electronics.

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