Monday, April 15, 2024

Dancer’s dream

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DANCE is almost life itself for Nur Syahidah Hazmi.

“I can’t live without dance,” declares the 21-year-old artiste.

She is still on the last lap of a three-year dance diploma course, yet has already made her presence felt in the performing scene.

Last year, Shah Alam-born Nur Syahidah began to collaborate on a dance project with well-known Korean choreographer Eun Me Ahn.

But the pandemic put her planned dream trip to South Korea on hold.

However, through modern technology such as Zoom, the dance project titled Dragon continues.

The show features five dancers born in the Year of the Dragon (2000) in an exciting piece. They comprise two performers from Indonesia, one from Malaysia, one Japanese and one from Thailand.

“There has been a lot of exchange of knowledge among the dancers,’’ she said.

“We learn about each other’s culture and dance forms.”

Nur Syahidah literally follows in her brother’s footsteps.

“My elder brother Mohd Hadri Hazmi took a diploma in dance. He is a very versatile dancer. He can do Malay traditional, contemporary and hip-hop dances.”

She is definitely going places, for a newbie to the scene.

“I did not even know what Makyong was when I started the diploma!” Nur Syahidah admitted.

“Some classmates have taken dance class since they were very young. But I was determined to be a good dancer. I am willing to learn.’’

Which international dancers do you admire?

There are two. The first is Rie Hatta. She is known as Queen of Swag in Japan. Her choreography always looks effortless, creative and lively. The second is Galen Hooks. Her performance is subtle but impactful.

What advice would you give young dancers?

You need to have good rapport with other dancers and choreographers if you want to stay relevant and have jobs.

You also need to build a portfolio for yourself. You can post your work on social media and let people see what talent you have.

What is the biggest change you would like to see in the dance scene?

The payment is nowhere close to our talent. Dancers are told to do so many items for so little money. It has happened to me. I think society has little respect for artistes, especially dancers.

What are your future plans?

I would love to be more involved in Malay traditional dances. I would like to see more youths learn to appreciate them. For example, Tarian Ina. My lecturer Zamzuriah Zahari and others are trying to keep it alive. I would like to bring Malay traditional dance to the international stage.

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