The Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) is having a different kind of open house this Chinese New Year.
Instead of ang pow packets, cookies and family reunions, the Petaling Jaya-based performing arts venue is gearing up for a one-day arts event.
The DPAC Spring Festival 2019 takes place at DPAC’s Theatre on Feb 17. It has a line-up of dance performances, choral works, jazz music, percussion-based action and even diabolo skills (hour-glass shaped cups spun using a string attached to two hand sticks).
In total there will be seven performances to keep the masses entertained.
Staying true to the concept of an open house, entry to the festival is free. Each audience member can redeem a maximum of four tickets each for one show.
That’s quite a family deal. There will be afternoon and evening show sessions. The big attraction is Hands Percussion, the multi-award winning percussion ensemble, which is more than capable of filling up venues.
With an international reputation, Hands Percussion is known for its efforts to keep percussive heritage alive while introducing new dimensions to theatrical drumming. It’s also a good chance to catch Hands Percussion live and in a CNY mood.
“Events like these are a great way to bring a community together to experience music, culture and the arts. They help people to connect and engage with one another,” says Bernard Goh, Hands Percussion co-founder and DPAC’s artistic director.
“Exposure to new and different things is good,” he adds.
If you are into new movements in dance, then the Kwang Tung Dance Company (KTDC) is one to look out for. Established 38 years ago, the dance company is known for its experimental productions in contemporary dance.
Those who watched KTDC’s Nanyang-era dance theatre Bisikan Monsoon last year will be geared up for a taster of the group’s 2019 programme.
La Voce Choir, the first Malaysian choir to represent the country at the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros in Spain in 2017, is another crowd-pleaser on the cards with its sublime choral performances – from Disney favourites to original material.
Sara Heng, probably the only solo performer at DPAC Spring Festival, is set to dazzle with her guzheng (a Chinese zither).
Heng, a graduate of Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, continues to demonstrate a unique approach to guzheng music with her East Meets West repertoire. Tickets to her DPAC Spring Festival performances are being snapped up fast.
If things get too traditional for you, then book a seat for the award-winning WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble.
This KL-based jazz group, often seen at No Black Tie club and private shows, is not your ordinary lounge music act.
It has three Boh Cameronian Arts Awards and five albums to its credit. With its jazz-slanted Brazilian funk and fusion grooves, WVC can be counted on to spark any party to life. Of course, a CNY tune or two from WVC wouldn’t hurt.
Fresco Harmonica, an award-winning 10-piece harmonica group, is a curious selection for music fans. The young and dynamic group – led by founders Aiden Soon and Evelyn Choong – has been crowned champions twice at the Germany World Harmonica Festival in 2009 and 2013. Formed in 2006, this group might just be the surprise package at the DPAC Spring Festival.
If you have never seen a diabolo performance before, this is your chance. DiAbolution, founded in 2018, is no ordinary juggling act.
It has featured in dance theatre shows and in the arts circles, DiAbolution is steadily creating a niche for itself with performances ranging LED diabolo, dragon diabolo, fire diabolo and acrobatic diabolo.