Monday, 2 July 2007

January in June


Earlier in June, I met January Low by chance at Malaysia Week 2007, held at Covent Garden. She and fellow dancer Revathi was queuing for a spud in-between performances. Malaysia Week was an annual event organised by Tourism Malaysia, Matrade and Kraftangan Malaysia showcasing Malaysian culture, arts and crafts to the British audience.

January was one of the main dancers from the stable of world renown Ramli Ibrahim's dance troupe, Sutra Dance Theatre based in Kuala Lumpur. Just turned 21, she started dancing 14 years ago at the age of 8 under the tutelage of Ramli, in Indian classical dance. In 2003, a was awarded Best Solo Performer in Dance at the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards for her Bharatanatyam solo rendition.

I asked her if she faced resistance in the arts world being Chinese but dancing Indian. She said that was never a problem and on the contrary, it increased public appreciation for the art form and publicity on her as well which is only a good thing.
"I did notice however after my solo debut in 2003, there was an influx of Chinese dancers taking up the art form. Whether I had a part in their decision, I do not know."
January's portrait above will be included in my forthcoming book MALAYSIANS

9 comments:

Kak Teh said...

wow steven - this is good! Just love this. Great to see you at Lat's. We arranged for him to come to Malaysia Hall on Saturday and a big appreciative crowd was there. It was good. see you around.

J.T. said...

Yet another lovely photo taken by you. You capture portraits well. :)

January Low is beautiful. It is so heartwarming to hear one race embracing the art and culture of another.
I think she may have been instrumental in an influx of Chinese dancers taking up the art form.

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

Steven!
Publish some pics of Kat Teh for us here in KL, pls. Rindu la.

Kak Teh said...

steven, dont u dare!

svllee said...

Hey Kak..I don't have any photos of you. Perhaps next time we meet up!

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

Come on Steven, don't be feeeeble. Your site will be so fab if you publish Kak Teh's pics. She has a lot of fans here in Malaysia. And I mean a lot. Remember that mi rebus stall under the trees in front of the Round Mosque in PJ? That time she was there, everybody who was introduced to her said the same line almost: "(Gasp!!!) You are Kak Teh!". And they all wanted pictures with her. So there are a lot of pictures of her available. If you want. If you dare .... Lis has some her pics, too.

svllee said...

Please don't mention mee rebus...oh no, my stomach's growling......

Kak Teh said...

steven, if you keep your lens away from me, I will make you mee rebus. In fact, rocky can vouch for my mee bandung!

zorro said...

Snap Kak Teh....I did. I caught her with three other jobless, lying lady bloggers at Cafe14. She will be good subject - tranquility, unobtrusively mischievousness lingers in her smile.
A bit late commenting I know.