Rehearsals gather pace for His Majesty’s birthday

National 2 minutes, 36 seconds


THE dance team from the Arts and Cultural Section under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has been intensively rehearsing for His Majesty’s 70th birthday celebration with the performances’ concept in line with this year’s theme of ‘The Sovereignty of Brunei’s Sultans Through the Ages’.

According to Tijan Hj Jamudin, the assistant director of performances for His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s get-together ceremony or Majlis Ramah Mesra in Brunei-Muara district, this year’s ceremony will be showcasing performances that are rooted in Islam.

Tijan, who is an arts instructor from the ministry, told The Brunei Times yesterday that aside from Brunei’s traditions and culture, elements of Islam are also being embedded in these performances in upholding the national philosophy of Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB).

“For example, we will be dancing Tarian Radat, which in the old days was done with Zikir Sallahu Rabuna.

“We’re also using one of Brunei’s traditional Zapin dances (Jipin Laila Sembah) which originated from the Arabs,” said Tijan, who is also the choreographer for the dance performances in the show.

In adhering to this year’s theme, she said they will also perform a modern or contemporary Zapin dance along with the traditional one as a juxtaposition in highlighting the development of traditional dances through the years.

She added that around 300 participants are involved in the show for Brunei-Muara’s Majlis Ramah Mesra with His Majesty, including over 160 students from Pg Pekerma Setia Diraja Sahibul Bandar Primary School, STPRI, Katok Secondary School and Berakas Secondary School.

To enliven the festive occasion, Tijan said that unlike previous years, the performances and cultural show for the event will be accompanied by live music from Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Orchestra Gulingtangan Varsity Club as well as a live band from the Prison Department.

Hj Mohamed Ramli Hj Jumat, an officer from UBD’s Student Affairs Section and the chaperone for the students, said the collaboration with the live band from the Prison Department is a good opportunity for the students to further grow in the field of music.

“We’ve never performed with a live band before, so this experience is beneficial for the students to educate themselves about the modern instruments and the combination of this contemporary music with our traditional music.”

He highlighted that participating in the event acts as a platform for students to ‘market’ themselves and their music to members of the public who may still lack knowledge of the nation’s musical heritage.

“The performance is also a way for these students to give back to the monarch for His Majesty’s countless contributions to the youth of this nation,” he added.

Mohd Shukri Mohd Asri, assistant chairman of musicians from the Prison Department, said they are honoured to be invited to perform for this year’s Majlis Ramah Mesra.

“This (collaboration with UBD) is something new and unique, so we only hope that we can give our best and let the public enjoy the show along with our music.”

The Brunei Times