Saturday, 13 July 2013

Rainforest World Music Festival 2013: The Precious Gem

Going back to Sarawak Cultural Village for the final day of Rainforest World Music Festival 2013 was as exciting as previous days though we began to feel the exhaustion. For the first slot of workshop, I decided to attend Knock On Wood held at the Theatre. It featured the wonderful African Marimbas and Akadinda. Marimba belonged to the percussion family and it is a type of xylophone, so does the Akadinda. Akadinda is often associated with royal in Uganda. It is played by musicians outside the royal compound and at public functions too. Audience at the Theatre had a chance learning how to play the African traditional music instruments which taught by Dizu Plaatjies and The Ibuyambo Ensemble. 

For the second slot (3.00 - 3.45 p.m.), I went to Lagenda Hall to join Dances From The Past interactive workshop which featured Spiritual Seasons. This particular workshop was my top favourite because we learned three fun European historical dances. They were Norwegian, Scottish and French. What I loved about it was these dances put a smile on everybody's face. People from all over the world were obviously enjoying themselves, so vibrant and so happy! It made us forgot all the troubles in life for awhile. The workshop radiated the feel of joy among dance enthusiasts and even dispersed the aura onto onlookers standing at the side. At this moment, no one needed special therapy or meditation to experience euphoria in their souls because the atmosphere itself drawn in abundant of positive vibes and it was contagious. It made us felt so good. I guess this could be one of the reasons why people keep coming back every year. 

 Lidia Smirnov, the workshop leader.

 Some eager learners.

This was my favourite dance. Look at their faces.

The last workshop was perhaps the one RWMF visitors most keen to participate. It was called UMXHENTSO! or in other words, The Booty-Shaking workshop. As you can see on the above photo, the hall was fully occupied. My friends and I had to be on the stage to take photos and videos as the floor hardly had any space for us to squeeze in and just to make room for people to dance. The workshop was about ceremonial dance from Southern Africa which featured Dizu Plaatjies & The Ibuyambo Ensemble. Performers involved were Thabisa Dinga (leader), Wendy Thoane and Tutsu. The crowd was incredible and they had no problem following the steps. In fact the thumping sound of their feet was rhythmic which quickly impressed the dance instructor. She even wished she could take us all to Africa! Dizu Plaatjies & The Ibuyambo Ensemble was really famous among visitors this year because of their powerful music and energetic dance. I personally hope there will be another group of African performers shortlisted for RWMF 2014. 

Well, as we know all good things must come to an end. The last interactive dance lesson with the South Africans was a wrap up for RWMF 2013 workshops. I believed we all left the hall with great experience and unforgettable memories. If I were to be back, I would surely make it a top priority to attend the workshops. For world music festival goers, watching the nightly concert is not enough to feed our hunger for merriment. You need to get to know the music and performers better to realise the worth of every penny you spend on the festival. The workshop is without a doubt the real gem of RWMF. I would like to apologise for unable to cover every single workshop being held at different locations for a stretch of three days. It was not possible because we were lacked of manpower. There were only Sentia and I to do that. Hopefully next year we could have more local bloggers volunteering for this task. To read more about what my fellow friends from Sarawak Bloggers have to say about RWMF 2013, do visit their sites.

Before I decided to drive back to the town where I work (almost 5 hours of driving), I took a few more shots at the home of RWMF. 

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