Friday, 18 October 2013

Dikir Barat - Malay cultural song and dance performance.



Last weekend we again visited Gardens by the Bay at dusk, as ever the lights from the Supertrees were stunning, but this time we had a different reason for visiting. Wahana Deksu were performing a free show of Dikir Barat at the Supertree Grove.

If I understood correctly Dikir Barat is a Malay Karut song and dance which is performed in groups of traditionally men but now often women. It is found in both Thailand and Malaysia but Malaysia now promotes it as part of their culture and it has spread to Singapore. It is often performed competitively.

The group is led by a main singer (tukang karut) who sings pantuns (pantuns are traditionally Malay oral poetry but these days the theme can be anything, often improvised and often humorous or political)


The group (awak-awok) sit crossed legged on the floor and repeat back to the tukang karut what has just be said. The awok- awok during the performance clap and sway along the with the music, giving a lively and visually stunning performance. They are also sometimes accompanied by Malay percussion's, as was the case with Wahana Deksu (my apologises if this is just a basic description and I hope I have explained it correctly!)


Below are some photos from the show. It was quite difficult to take these as there was such movement but hopefully the slightly blurred hands and arms give you a feeling of this movement!  They brought children (and one mum!) up onto the stage and got them to join in.

The colour, sound and movement from this was really an experience and if you get a chance to view this, it really is worth it. All the women seemed to be thoroughly enjoying performing which added to the visual spectacle.

I hope you enjoy the photos (some courtesy of hubby!)