Thursday, April 5, 2012

This is Malaysia, no ballet costume allowed

A Singaporean dance troupe has been denied a permit to perform here this weekend owing to their "indecent" costumes, a Malaysian dance organisation said today.

MyDance Alliance president Bilqis Hijjas said the decision by Puspal against the Singapore Dance Theatre performing at KLPac was "deplorable" and would hurt Malaysia's reputation as a reliable host for cultural shows.

Puspal, or the Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists, is under the purview of the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry headed by Datuk Seri Rais Yatim.

Bilqis said Puspal had approved dances featuring classical tutus before - even at government-run theatre Istana Budaya as late as this year - and asked why the agency was "so inconsistent" in applying its guidelines.

"KLPac, by comparison, is a private business on private ground, with paying audiences who were well aware of what they were coming to see, and not one of whom would have been distressed by the costumes," she said.

She noted that the women's costumes featured long skirts, except for dancers in The Nutcracker, who would have worn the same short classical tutus and tights that have been used since ballet dancers performed before the Russian tsars in the 1870s  - Malaysian Insider