Seni Pusaka

You are here: Home » DiverseCity 2015: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival

For the inaugural Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival in 2015, PUSAKA is honored to be the curator an expansive programme of traditional performance, with a special focus on Southeast Asian and Malaysian cultural traditions. Conceptualised around various themes such as The Divine Beloved (the devotional singing traditions of Mugham and Qawwali), Panorama of Puppetry (showcasing several puppetry traditions from Southeast Asia), Stars of the Burmese Stage, Essences (contemporary-ethnic music) and Rentak Bumi (rhythmic traditions), PUSAKA’s programme for the KL International Arts Festival will bring distinguished, world-renowned performers as well as rarely-seen authentic Southeast Asian and Malaysian community traditions to the Kuala Lumpur audience.


The power and beauty of devotional singing, with some of the world’s greatest living singers – Alim Qasimov, the legendary Mugham singer of Azerbaijan, and Mehr Ali & Sher Ali, celebrated grand masters of the Qawwali tradition of Pakistan. Both the Mugham and Qawwali traditions are based on ancient poetry, influenced by Sufism, that envisions love as a manifestation of Divinity and metaphorically addresses God as the Divine Beloved.

1) Alim Qasimov Ensemble – Mugham singing of Azerbaijan

Alim Qasimov

Alim Qasimov (b. 1957) is the greatest singer of the Mugham tradition of Azerbaijan. He is celebrated and critically acclaimed the world over for his rootedness in the mugham tradition, his mastery of improvisation and for bringing mugham to the world stage. In 1999, Alim Qasimov was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize, one of the highest international accolades for music. Alim Qasimov will perform with his daughter, Fargana Qasimova (b. 1979), and their ensemble. [Read More]


2) Mehr Ali & Sher Ali Ensemble – Qawwali music of Pakistan

Alim Qasimov

Mehr and Sher Ali were born in the Pakistani border town of Kasur in the early 1950s and received their early training in classical music from their father, who was a court classical singer at the small Sikh principality of Patiala (now in India). Their father then became the disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of the famous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and young Sher Ali was the student of Bakhshi Salamat Ali Qawwal. [Read More]



A magical evening of Burmese dance by Shwe Man Thabin Dance Theatre, the most distinguished and renowned dance theatre company in Myanmar. This performance will feature the shining stars of the Burmese dance stage — Shwe Mann U Chan Thar, Tin Maung San Min Win, and dance master Shwe Mann U Win Maung, who will be flying in all the way from New York for this performance. They will performing the ‘zat pwe’, a highly stylized form of dance theatre rarely seen outside its native land.

1) Shwe Mann Thabin Dance Theatre – Myanmar

Shwe Mann Thabin Dance Theatre - Myanmar

PUSAKA is proud to present, as part of DiverseCity 2015: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival, the first ever performance in Malaysia by legendary Burmese dance theatre company, Shwe Mann Thabin, featuring 25 of Myanmar’s greatest living dancers and musicians. Renowned dance master, Shwe Mann U Win Maung, is flying in to Kuala Lumpur all the way from New York City to perform zat-pwe, a stylized dance theatre rarely seen outside its native land. [Read More]



Exploring the essential self through a musical journey that soars from deep ethnic roots to the ecstatic heights of contemporary rhythms. Essences invites audiences to experiences the indigenous cultures of our archipelago through a musical confluence of ancient and modern sensibility.

1) Nading Rhapsody – Sarawak, Malaysia

Nading Rhapsody – Sarawak, Malaysia

PUSAKA is proud to present, as part of DiverseCity 2015: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival, Nading Rhapsody from Kuching, Sarawak. Nading Rhapsody is an Avant-Garde Borneo Ethnic Music band. The young musicians are Boy Keevin (Composer / Bass Guitar), RaWa (Ruding / Acoustic Guitar/ Sape’), Yen (Percussion, Gendang Melayu), Ujang (Percussion, Beduk), Roy (Lyrics / Vocal / Chants), Christ (Vocal / Dance / Gong) and Opah (Vocal / Chants). [Read More]


2) Dewangga Sakti – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dewangga Sakti

Dewangga Sakti literally means Magical Tapestry. Founded in 2000, this ensemble attempts to bring age-old ethnic Malay music to the contemporary audiences of today. The group revives traditional song forms such as zapin, inang, asli, joget, etc. which forms the very foundation of Malaysia’s folk musical tradition. [Read More]



PUSAKA will present a Panorama of Puppetry, featuring two traditions from mainland Southeast Asia (Water Puppetry from Vietnam, and Burmese Marionettes from Myanmar) and Malaysia’s own Wayang Kulit of Kelantan. These diverse puppetry traditions will be performed at an outdoor puppetry stage, which will be specially constructed for the Festival.

1) Thang Long Vietnamese Water Puppetry – Hanoi, Vietnam

Thang Long Vietnamese Water Puppetry

Vietnamese water puppetry is a traditional art form that is distinctive to the cultural identity of Vietnam. It came into existence over a thousand years ago in the Red River Delta and has evolved into a highly sophisticated art form. [Read More]



2) Kelantanese Wayang Kulit – Kelantan, Malaysia

Kelantanese Wayang Kulit

PUSAKA is proud to present, as part of DiverseCity 2015: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival, Kumpulan Wayang Kulit Sri Warisan Pusaka from Machang, Kelantan. The group is led by Abdul Rahman Dollah (Dalang Nawi) and Mohamad Hassan Noor. They are both diciples of the late great Tok Dalang Abdullah Ibrahim, famously known as Tok Dalang Dollah Baju Merah.[Read More]



Rhythms of the earth, featuring drumming and clapping traditions from around Malaysia as well as from our neighbour, the Indonesian province of Aceh.

1) Tarian Saman – Aceh, Indonesia

2) Rebana Ubi – Kelantan, Malaysia

3) Urumee Melum – Selangor, Malaysia

4) Dabus – Perak, Malaysia

5) Caklempong – Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

6) Dikir Barat – Kelantan, Malaysia



RA celebration of Malaysian cultural traditions, featuring master performers from diverse communities throughout Malaysia.

1) Portuguese dance by 1511 O Malio Malio – Malacca

2) Mah Meri – Pulau Carey

3) Mak Yong – Kelantan

4) Kuda Kepang – Johor

5) Awang Batil – Perlis

6) Tarik Selampit – Kelantan