Mak Yong Cultural Dance Still Alive

Mak Yong, performed for a millennium. Brought to Kelantan around 200 years ago. Pure and untouched by outside world. In 1995 however, last leading Mak Yong maestro Che Ning or Che Som Sulong died a silent death.

Since 1998, the state of Kelantan banning Mak Yong in a bid to purify the community from all non-halal pre-Islamic culture. Probably because the original Mak Yong performer usually begins with ritual of asking permission from unseen worldly spirits/ goddess above the clouds before doing their acts. After two decades however, Mak Yong that has been recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO) seems have found the very light to not just dying.

Zamzuriah Zahari and her family photographed here roaming around the steet of Kuala Lumpur while performing less spiritual but still magical Mak Yong  dance moves. The smooth art of dancing with the wind, almost-spiritual body movement that follows Mak Yong dancer's mind and body energy combines perfectly with the air of the surrounding.

Seeing the family in traditional Mak Yong's attire mingle and merge with the landscape of nowadays Kuala Lumpur definitely gives hope to this beautiful Mak Yong dance form. She is one of the leading Mak Yong dance curator in "Mak Yong Titis Sakti" performed in KLPac.

Photos credit: KLPac.

Watch short trailer of Mak Yong Titis Sakti video below to get the idea of Mak Yong cultural art. Tribal art from the northernmost region in Malaysia, Kelantan, dancing with addictive traditional music, that sooth both performers and audiences following the flow of the smooth inner/outer body wind.

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