Rentak Selangor 2019 (Beats of Selangor)

I love Rentak Selangor trips, this trip is organised annually by Gaya Travel magazine in collaboration with Tourism Selangor and UPEN Selangor… It always showcase and reminds me how rich in tradition, dance, music etc we Malaysians are and you need not go far to explore whats available…

IMG_20191102_084000

This is my recap of what we experienced in our 3 days 2 nights Rentak Selangor trip recently… And seriously, I was mind blown and I had a whale of a time..

Rentak Cina (Chinese beats)

My curiosity as to why the 2019 edition of  Rentak Selangor would take us to a high-school in Petaling Jaya for a Chinese cultural performance was answered and I was left truly amazed by the passion and dedication of the students of Catholic High School PJ exhibited in their Chinese cultural clubs/societies…

IMG_20191021_104037-01-912x684

These kids were truly masters at what they do, be it at the PMO Chinese Orchestra using ancient Chinese musical instruments such as the Erhu, Pipa and even Dulsimer…

IMG_20191021_104659-01-912x684

This is the first time I got to witness a real  Chinese Orchestra with these amazing ancient musical instruments which made truly melodious music… It is no wonder these ancient instruments were used in the palaces in ancient times…

IMG_20191021_105832-01-912x684

Then there was that masterful Wushu and Taichi performance by the Wushu club of Catholic High School PKJ…

IMG_20191021_110407-01-912x684.jpeg

Wushu is a contemporary Chinese martial arts that blends elements of performance and martial application. And it is beautiful and mesmerising to watch…

Wushu training emphasizes quickness, explosive power, and natural, relaxed movement (something like the movements of a cobra).

The wushu practitioner combines his or her flexibility with strength, speed with flawless technique, fierce intent with effortless execution…

Wushu can be done bare handed or with an assortment of wushu weapons grouped into long-range, short-range, flexible, and double weapons..

IMG_20191021_110851-01-912x684.jpeg

The Diabolo (a Chinese type of yoyo) performed by the Diabolo team of the CHS PJ was also thrilling….

IMG_20191021_111057_BURST001_COVER-01-912x684

Did you know the Diabolo is one of the popular sports in China… The basic yo-yo is shaped like two disks connected by an axle and is spun by a string wound around its center and by pushing and pulling on the string by moving the string…

IMG_20191021_112050-01-912x684

And the 24 seasons drum by the young drummers from the CHS PJ was truly outstanding… These performances could out rival any adult, anytime..

Just so you know, a typical Malaysian 24 Seasons unit consists of twenty four drums which represents agricultural seasons from the Chinese calendar…. If you look closely you will find the name of each season painted in calligraphy on each drum…

IMG_20191021_112206-01-912x684

The large drums, known as shigu, are played using two wooden sticks, striking its surface, sides or hitting the two sticks together, which makes a strong timber sound or sharp tones such as ‘tak’ and ‘tik’…

Address – Catholic High School, Jalan 10/3, Seksyen 10, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Rentak India (Indian beats)

20191021831057840558230277-01-01-912x684

To learn about some of the Indian beats, the team from Gaya Travel brought us to the fascinating Swami Sri Ayyappan Temple near the Batu Caves temple…

IMG_20191021_151844-01-912x683

By the way this cave temple is huge and suppose to be one of the main temples dedicated to Lord Ayyappan..

Ayyappan was found by the king of Pandalam as a baby boy in a forest… He was then taken back to the Palace where the king raise him like his own son…

When Ayyappan known as Manikantha then turned 12, his adoptive father, the king wanted to formally coronate him as the heir prince (yuvraja)… But, the queen under the influence of an evil minister objected.. The minister advised the queen that only her younger biological child should be the next king, so that the scheming evil minister could be the de facto ruler.. The minister persuaded the queen to feign an illness, ask for “tiger’s milk” to cure her illness and demand that Manikantha be sent to get the milk from the forest…

Manikantha goes into the forest and returns riding a tigress.. The king, realising Manikantha’s special ability recognizes the adopted son to be a divine being, resolves to make a shrine for him. For location, Manikantha shoots an arrow that lands thirty kilometers away. The young boy then transforms into Ayyappan. The place where arrow landed in Sabarimala, nestled in the hills of Pathanamthitta of Kerala is now the shrine that receives millions of pilgrims every year in late December and early January, many of whom prepare for weeks before by fasting and abstaining themselves from bad habits and then climb the hill barefoot, making it one of the largest active pilgrimage sites in the world…

IMG_20191021_151952-01-912x684

This pilgrimage is also done here at the Swami Sri Ayyappan Temple where the temple in the cave is elevated and devotees need to climb 18 steps to go up… Before they are allowed to do so, devotees have to go on vegetarian fast, no smoking, and follow rituals 48 days and walk from  forest and about 48km to see him…

IMG_20191021_151104-01-912x684IMG_20191021_153959-01-912x684

We got to witness the beautiful rhythmic Kolattam dance which originated from India performed by 4 to 20 dancers and accompanied by the Thavil, Pambai and Urumi instruments… .

IMG_20191021_154443-01-684x912.jpeg

There was also the Karakattam, an ancient folk dance of Tamil Nadu performed in praise of the rain goddess Mariamman. Where the dancer balance a pot on his head while dancing intricate steps and body/arm movements… This dance can be performed individually or in pairs, by both the sexes.

IMG_20191021_154728-01-912x684IMG_20191021_160116-01-684x912

Mayilattam is a ritual art performed in reverence to Lord Subhramanya wearing an elaborately decorated costume in peacock colours, and an even more elaborate peacock tail that can be moved using threads… It is truly fascinating to watch…

Address –1,  Jalan SM 1a, Taman Sunway Batu Caves 68100

Rentak Melayu (Malay beats)

We got to witness the Malay beats music and dances at Dusun Bonda…

IMG_20191022_140034-01-912x684.jpeg

Caklempong is said to be a traditional music brought to Malaysia by the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra settled in Negeri Sembilan as early as the 14th century and usually played for various purposes including the wedding ceremony, opening, entertainment, music accompaniment silat martial, dance and more.

Keroncong (pronounced ‘kronchong’) on the other hand is the name of a small ukulele-like instrument and an Indonesian musical style. The word keroncong comes from the chrong-chrong-chrong sound made by strumming the instrument and from the kron and chong sound that occurs when a pair of these instruments interlocks…

A keroncong ensemble consists of an orchestra and a vocalist. The core orchestra consists of flute, violin, two ukuleles, cello, double bass and guitar. The vocalist sings the melody with slow sustained notes, often in vibrato style; the flute and violin carry and ornament the melody; the three string ukulele (cuk) emphasises the on-beat; the four string ukulele (cak) emphasises the off-beat; the double bass, played pizzicato, punctuates the melody; the cello, played rapid pizzicato, adds rhythm and tone; the guitar augments the rhythm and plays melody.

IMG_20191022_211852-01-912x684

IMG_20191022_211817-01-912x684

We were then introduced to the Tor-Tor dance, a traditional dance from Mandailing and also the Batak tribe in North Sumatera (and yes, I just came back from my media FAM trip in Danau Toba and they dance like this there) It is said dancing in Batak  was a main event to welcome visitors as well as during the rites and happy times like harvesting and wedding ceremony..

IMG_20191022_200010-01-684x912

Tarian Kuda Kepang hailing from the state of Johor, is usually performed by nine to 15 dancers, all garbed in traditional Javanese clothes…

IMG_20191022_210219-01-912x684

In a performance, each dancer sits astride a mock horse, and they re-enact the battles to the beat of a percussion ensemble usually consisting of drums, gongs and angklungs… A dancer known as the Danyang will take the lead by directing the other dancers using a whip…

Some of these Kuda Kepang dance have strong links to the spirit world and you can see Kuda Kepang dancers falling a trance during a performance… But this little showcase by the Majlis Kebudayaan Negeri Selangor was just purely for showcasing and entertainment…

IMG_20191022_210045-01-912x684

It was quickly followed by the Joget Selangor, a traditional dance form, where dancers move their hands and legs in an exemplary combination to the upbeat music… And encourage others to join in…

Rentak Orang Asli (Indigenous people beats)

IMG_20191023_141158-01-912x684

Sewang Bahbola dance by the Temuan Indigenous people performed for funeral, for thanksgiving, for shamanistic purposes or to treat the sick or wounded…

IMG_20191023_140630-01-912x683

However it is now usually performed to entertain foreign travelers.. It involves dancing in a circle to rhythmic music produced from bamboo…

We enjoyed this performance at the Indigenous museum in Gombak /Muzium

Address – KM24, Jalan Gombak, Kampung Batu Dua Belas Gombak 53100

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s