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Malay Dance Forms

[ English ]

Country :
ICH Domain :
Performing Arts Social practices, rituals, festive events
Location :
Zapin is believed to have been introduced to the Malay Archipelago during the 14th century by Arab Muslim communities. The dance is practised today in various countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. Traditionally performed only by men, the dance has evolved to include both male and female performers. Joget is believed to have drawn influences from the Portuguese folk dance, which spread to the Malay Archipelago during the period around 16th century. Joget is also practised by the Peranakan community. Similarly, dance forms such as asli and inang are performed in the Southeast Asia region.
Description :
The traditional dance forms of the Malay communities in Singapore are wide-ranging and diverse, and they include zapin, joget, asli and inang, amongst others. Most of these traditional dance forms were already popular in Singapore during the early 20th century. Today, they are performed at festive events, staged as productions, and also taught to the younger generation through performing arts schools.
Meaning :
Malay Dance Forms are an important part of cultural expression and identity for the Malay Community. It is performed at both traditional cultural events such as weddings, as well as a form of performing arts as cultural festivals throughout the year.
Transmission method :
Malay Dance forms are primarily transmitted through performing arts groups in schools and communities, and maintains a healthy presence in Singapore.
Communities :
Malay communities in Singapore as well as various Malay dance groups are involved in the practice and transmission of Malay dance forms. For example, Era Dance Theatre organises workshops and education programmes to share on Malay dance forms to the wider public.
Information source :
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National Heritage Board (NHB)