Tukang Rantek CiritaAseania Hornbill DancersLangkawi's Best Sarawak Dancers

I was born and raised in Sarawak, in a village called Pichin. Since my schooling days, I brought packed food, prepared with love by my mother from my kindergarten days until my Form 5 days. I don’t like canteen foods as I will have to spend additional money, energy and time to acquire one. Those schooling days were tough, and there is so much to be talked about, but there is one thing I really look forward to – Gawai time. During Gawai, Bidayuh peoples will gather at the long house, we call it “awah Gawai” to have a large gathering and be happy and merry. On the second day of Gawai, there will be the dances and rounds. For the first few years of my life, I took it for granted. But little did I know, it actually shaped me – forms and solidifies inside me as part of my identity and culture – a typical Bidayuh (that explains why I love to dance and sing, and “drink”).

Being away from home, I love to find something to connect to. Even the love of my life also a dancer (we knew each other for a long time, but grew closer as we prepare for a dancing competition, and we actually won it. It’s called International Cultural Festival 2011, organised by UTM Skudai. I can’t find the video, but its backstage video can be seen here.)

From my friend’s blog, Aziemah, I found few rare photos of me back in 2011.

Amin, Chris, Kama, Ajo, Map and I were doing the intro.

And… we won ICF’11 despite having technical difficulty with our audio system.

So when I travel to Langkawi for work purposes, during one of the dinner at Aseania, when there is a dance performance, I became excited. To make it even better, the dancers led by Shamsol Amy performed dance from Sarawak, and Sabah. At first I was skeptical, because usually the Sarawak dances performed outside of Sarawak and by non-Sarawakian is so-so. However, the performance by Aseania is quite good as well. The first thing that caught my attention was the music used. Balau oh Balau, the same music that we used in our performance! The dance moves captivates me and makes me interested to capture it in stills. Even before that, there was a magic performance as you can see below.

Magic Show

After the dancing performances, there was a pyro-works by Aseania staff as well. The pyroworks was amazing! I love it. I was busy with my camera throughout the performance to ensure that I captured it. Most of the interesting parts are captured here, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

By the way, good job to Shamsol Amy and the team for the beautiful dance performances. Keep up the good work!

All images © Claudius Weson Photography (2018)