Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#UNESCO | Mak Yong Theatre ”Kesaktian Anak Raja Gondang”

 A rare opportunity.
A rare performance.
Mak Yong.
UNESCO "Masterpiece Of The Oral And Intangible Heritage Of Humanity"

Another UNESCO tick on my list.

Being invited to a Mak Yong Theatre ”Kesaktian Anak Raja Gondang” in Istana Budaya was simply....... *still speechless*. My ultimate dream would be seeing it performing live in Kelantan, sneaking in at the backstage, taking those classic black and white shots of performers getting ready and interviewing the performers themselves.

In 2005, Malaysia's Mak Yong theatre was awarded with "Masterpiece Of The Oral And Intangible Heritage Of Humanity", a prestige recognition by UNESCO body. I feel there is an urgent need to develop and educate the younger generation on this lost art; Mak Yong. Reluctant to undergo long hour of rigorous apprenticeship and with less then 10 veterans performers; there is a great concern that this country might just lose its biggest intangible heritage - Mak Yong.

From Wikipedia :
Mak yong is considered the most authentic and representative of Malay performing arts because it is mostly untouched by external sources. Although most traditional Malay dances were influenced by India, Java and other parts of Southeast Asia, mak yong's singing and musical repertoire are unique. Of the major stories performed in mak yong, most are derived from Kelantan-Pattani mythology. Some of those obtained from outside the Malayan-Thai region have now died out elsewhere such as Anak Raja Gondang, a story originally from the Jataka tales but now almost unknown in India.

Mak Yong has been preserved until the present day thanks largely to oral transmission, which requires long years of training. In today’s society, few young people are willing to commit to such rigorous apprenticeships. As a result this important tradition is undergoing steady decline, as attested by reduced dramatic and musical repertories and a shortage of seasoned performers.

*All photos was taken with iPhone 4.

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