Mak Yong – Malaysian dance drama
Siti Kamaliah Madil
Mak Yong is a traditional Malaysian art form incorporating the element of dance, acting, opera, vocal and instrumental music. It performed in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia.
The most important dance in the Mak Yong is the Mengadap Rebab dance that takes place at the beginning of every performance and lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.
All the characters in a Mak Yong are played by women, except for the musician. The main dancer, called Mak Yong, develops the story that is usually about legendary princes and princesses from the oral tradition. They use a few simple hand movements.
The Mak Yong is accompanied by traditional music made up of gongs, gendang, rebab and tetawak. The main dancer holds a shot bamboo cane that purposely works to beat the peran (clown) on the dance drama.
Words from a participant…
Hrefna Robertsdottir from Iceland said “This kind of dance is very interesting. The costumes are also very beautiful. It was a good idea to make a demonstration for the audience. I have to learn the step slowly; it is difficult but I enjoyed it”.