Second International Symposium on Indonesian Malay Music, Dance and Theatre

Karen Thomas profile photoScholars and performers from Denmark, the US, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Melbourne to participate in the Second International Symposium on Indonesian Malay Music, Dance and Theatre held in the Performing Arts Building from 14-16 January 2015.

This was a rare event enabling humanities’ specialists on the Malay World, Riau Island performers, and others interested parties to immerse themselves in stimulating presentations and to participate in lively discussions. Highlights included music and dance performances by visiting Riau Island performers of Makyong Bintan, a vocal and biola performance, and film screenings of Indonesian films. Delegates and guests were further treated to a wonderful MAMU exhibition of performing and ethnographic arts of the Malay world in Indonesia and neighbouring areas displayed in the Foyer of the Centre for Theatre and Performance and in The Music Auditorium, Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music.

Many topics were covered including the World of the Southern Malays (key note speaker Leonard Andaya, University of Hawaii), The Music of the Orang Suku Laut (Cynthia Chou), The Monumental Sound of the Nobat Ensemble of the Riau-Lingga Sultanate (Margaret Kartomi), Syair Riau in Bangsawan Lingga (Bronia Kornhauser), Local Aesthetic Responses in contemporary music of Batam (Manolete Mora), Contemporary Malay Music composition and Performance in Tanjungpinang and Penyengat (Geoffrey Benjamin), and Body-Movement in Mendu Performance in Natuna (Karen Kartomi Thomas).