Sibu hopes for own dance theatre to showcase town’s talents

Ting presenting a souvenir to a dance troupe leader while Chen (left) looks on.

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By William Isau

SIBU, June 10: After years of waiting, the Sibu International Dance Festival (SIDF) could be staged at its own dance theatre rather than at the Civic Centre.

Deputy Minister for Tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, in listening to a request by SIDF director Cheng King Kuan, assured that he would bring up the matter to the minister.

“I heard from the festival director (Chen) of the request to set up a dance theatre. Rest assured that I will forward that to the Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah),” said Ting at the opening of the 9th SIDF last night (June 9).

Chen had earlier said the town does not have a proper stage for artists to showcase their talents.

“We hope Sibu can have one for the development of art, culture and tourism in the central region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim congratulated the Hornland Dance Theatre for organising this year’s SIDF, which carries the theme ‘Jeja Angin’.

“I am glad to be here to mark the start of the 9th edition of SIDF, and we are proud that SIDF can be hosted in Sibu again after two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Abdul Karim, whose speech text was read by Ting.

Abdul Karim was also glad that signature events such as Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) and Sibu Base Jump would resume this year following the opening of the State’s borders and relaxation of stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“We encourage more events, and we have recently supported ‘The Stage’, which has received good response from the community, particularly the youth,” he said.

On the SIDF, the minister said it is a dance event that brings in international artists from around the world.

“You can watch the performances in the dance concerts held in Civic Centre and outdoor performances at the Central Market.

“You can also learn and exchange ideas in the dance workshops and obtain some knowledge from the seminars with different interesting and insightful topics that will be held in RH Hotel,” he added.

His Ministry, he said, sees vast potential in Sibu to host international and regional events and festivals as it is the gateway to the central region of Sarawak and has a vast hinterland covering Sarikei, Mukah, Kapit and Betong divisions.

“It is, therefore, a centre for Sarawak’s diverse arts, culture, and heritage,” he added.

The three-day festival from June 10 to 12 is participated by performers from India, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, and Malaysia. — DayakDaily