A vast range of performances will turn the capital into one collective stage as the inaugural Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival, or Diversecity 2015, unravels featuring some of the finestperformers from across the region.
Held throughout September and extending into October, the Festival highlights five distinct genres in the performing arts scene, namely comedy, traditional art forms, dance, literature and music, with each genre being curated and produced by one of Malaysia’s artistic greats. These curators have amassed a golden reputation over the years and have invited leading artistes from countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Japan and South Korea to perform on KL’s most well-known stages.
UNESCO Living Treasure and multi-awarded Odissi artist, Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, curates the dance component of Diversecity with 12 extraordinary productions that blend the boundaries of contemporary and traditional styles. Jazz legend Michael Veerapen leads the musical side, which will feature artistes such as Zainal Abidin, Dasha Logan, rock bands Wings, Hujan and Iklim and ASEAN jazz from the likes of Koh Mr.Saxman, The Steve McQueens, Indra Lemana, and the Steve Nanda group.
The Godfather of Malaysian stand-up comedy Harith Iskandar headlines the KL International Comedy Festival with more than 60 local and regional comedians appearing in what is being hailed as Asia’s biggest stand-up comedy show to date.
Meanwhile on the traditional front, Pusaka Director Eddin Khoo brings a vibrant line up that includes a 100-man Dikir Barat performance, a traditional Mugham singer of Azerbaijan, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre from Vietnam and the rarely seen ZatPwe, a stylized dance theatre performed by Burmese dance master Shwe Mann U Win Maung.
Finally, the spoken and written word are celebrated and curated by the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books. Expect a hodgepodge of prominent poets, monologists, authors, and speakers, as well as a special performance of a Kelantanese Shadow Play and a traditional Japanese puppet showcase.