1) Tarian Saman from Aceh
The Saman dance is part of the cultural heritage of the Gayo people from the Gayo Lues district in the Aceh province in Sumatra. In November 24, 2011, UNESCO officially recognized Aceh’s traditional Saman dance as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and in need of UNESCO’s urgent protection. The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) named the Saman dance as the best ASEAN cultural preservation effort at the 25th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence 2012. For Rentak Bumi, PUSAKA will be bringing the Sanggar Rempelis Mude Saman Dance Group from the Gayo Lues district, the most renowned Tarian Saman group in all of Aceh.
This performance is held in cooperation with the Aceh-based Geutanyoe Foundation.
2) Rebana Ubi
Popular in the East Coast — particularly in Kelantan — the rebana ubi is the largest of the rebana family of drums. It is used as an accompaniment during ceremonial rites and festivities, particularly after harvest season, as well as for recreation and competitions. Almost one metre high and about 70cm in diameter, it is the only rebana that is vibrantly decorated on the body as well as the face. Each drum is painted brightly and adorned at the top with a large, beautifully carved Kelantanese coat-of-arms — the makhota (crown), a pair of salient kijang (barking deer), crescent moon and five-pointed star. For Rentak Bumi, PUSAKA will be bringing our performer-partners, the celebrated Kumpulan Rebana Ubi Amok Perdana of Pasir Mas, Kelantan.
3) Urumee Melum
Among the most vibrant and essential of the Indian traditions found in Malaysia is the folk tradition of the Urumee Melum. A double-headed hourglass-shaped drum from the state of Tamil Nadu, South India, the Urumee is widely believed to possess deep sacred power, and is mostly associated with the ‘calling of the spirit’ associated with trance rituals. Within the traditions of Kali devotion, the sound of the Urumee is believed to be able to stir the great Goddess into awakening. In more recent times, Urumee Melum ensembles have begun to proliferate, commensurate with a new awareness of the Indian community’s social history in Malaysia, forging a meeting place of working class Indian identity principally among youth, creating a vibrant, powerful and independent movement within the broader spectrum of Malaysian-Indian culture. For Rentak Bumi, PUSAKA will be bringing our performer-partners, the young and dynamic Chinna Rasa Urumee Melum Masana Kali, who inspire awe in audiences each time they perform.
4) Dabus – Perak
The Tarian Dabus is a warrior dance from Perak. Dabus is believed to have been brought to the Malay Peninsula around 200 years ago by traders and religious devotees. Some historians claim that the Dabus was brought from Aceh in Northen Sumatra, while others claim it was brought directly to the Malay Peninsula by traders from Baghdad during the 18th century. The Tarian Dabus is performed by a group of singers and several dancers. The singers chant songs of praise to the Prophet Muhammad and other great religious figures. The chanting is accompanied by the rhythms of small rebana (hand drum). The dancers perform various Dabus movements, including Lang Sewah, Ayun Talak and Susun Sirih. The performance is usually presided over by a ‘Khalifah’. For Rentak Bumi, PUSAKA will be bringing our performer-partners, the distinguished Kumpulan Dabus Tanjung Bidara from Kg. Gajah, Perak.
The caklempong is a small bronze musical instrument that belongs to the gong family. The use of the instrument grew among the Minangkabau community in Negeri Sembilan, and has now spread to other states in Malaysia. The word caklempong is also used to describe the ensemble that the instrument is played in. Other instruments such as the Seruling Buluh, Salung, Rebana and gong are played together with the caklempong to accompany dance performances such as Pencak Silat, Candle Dance (Tari Lilin), Randai and Tari Inai.
6) 100-man Dikir Barat
Dikir Barat is a popular Kelantanese performance form involving singing, spontaneous verse debate and chorus chanting. It is usually performed by two teams of male participants in competition. A Dikir Barat team consists of a juara (leader), a tukang karut (lyric composer), and a chorus. The tukang karut often performs as an invited guest and not as a regular member of the team. A Dikir Barat performance is a lively event charged with excitement. The juara sings popular songs or songs he has composed himself, while the tukang karut improvises versed responses to the other team’s call. As the juara and tukang karut take the lead the chorus repeats after them, resounding in rhythmic chanting and clapping. For Rentak Bumi, PUSAKA will be presenting an extraordinary 100-man Dikir Barat, led by the renowned Kumpulan Dikir Barat Arjunasukma and featuring several veteran performers from Kelantan.