Sunday, May 2, 2010

A moment worth waiting for

Kota Kinabalu: The Likas Sports Stadium has been abuzz the past week with hundreds of cultural performers from across Sabah rehearsing their moves for the Sabah Fest 2010 that kicks off with grand performances slated for tomorrow and Sunday at Magellan Sutera.

The highlight of the annual event in its 22nd year are the premier shows themed The Legendary Quest for Arung Salamiah - Semporna. The ethnic groups on parade this time include the little known Bajau Kubang of Semporna, a Murut sub-ethnic group from Serudung, Kalabakan, the Tidong from Tawau, Orang Sungei from Kinabatangan, the Papar Kadazanduzun and Bruneian community from Bongawan.

Together, their traditional dances and rituals will form this year's highlights of an usually well acclaimed, colourful and inspiring grand display of Sabah's ethnic diversity and tolerance. The show will open with an overture, and emerging to centre stage will be a Bajau Kubang maiden of exceptional beauty and grace - Salamiah, who is the desired dream chase for marriage from both her betrothed and a powerful chieftan.

The pretty maiden vanished when the chieftan tried to force her into it, driving her bethroed into embarking a long journey across Sabah in search of her whereabouts, starting from Bohaydulang, across to Tawau, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Papar, Bongawan, Tenom, Keningau, Serudung, Kalabakan and back to Semporna.

As usual, it will be a gripping but not a static show of Sabah's authentic traditional cultures because built into the plot is a zealous sense of travel and tourism driven by overflowing passion portrayed by the love-struck betrothed who takes the audience with him in his passage across Sabah, seeing through his encounters and experience the Bajau Kubang healing rituals, Tawau's Tidong's Suara Siam, the Lumubai dance of the Orang Sungei, Kinabatangan, the Sazau Bobohizan ritual of Papar Kadazandusun, the Dang Mangalai dance of Bongawan Bruneians, the Ansuwali dance of the Serudung Murut and the Magunatip dance of their Tenom, Keningau and Nabawan kin.

As usual, the show climaxes in a medley of songs and joget 1Malaysia which is usually any lensman's dream photographic opportunity when the full diversity of Sabah's 32 ethnic groups in their sharply contrasting, resplendent costumes and accessories, is made completely visible in one single setting.

Tickets for adults ( RM50) and students (RM30) per pax can be bought at the Sri Peloncongan Sabah Sdn Bhd information counter, Sinsuran, or Sabah Tourism Board Office, Gaya Street, and also at the foyer of Sutera Magellan Grand Ballroom, on both show nights (1-2 May). 

Source Daily Express April 30, 2010

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