Malaysian culture is a rich tapestry woven with diverse influences from its indigenous people, as well as Chinese, Indian, and various other ethnic communities. Just recently, an 8-year-old Sarawakian has made headlines for winning the Malaysian Championship of Performing Arts 2024 with his stunning traditional Iban dance.
8yo Sarawakian wins M’sian Championship of Performing Arts 2024
According to a press release by Sarawak Public Communication Unit (UKAS), Dion Das Louis was able to capture the attention of the judges with his rendition of traditional Iban dance Ngajat.
Titled as “The Little Bornean Birdie” and inspired by hornbills and sparrows, Dion was able to soar to the top, outscoring 5 other contestants in the junior category. That being said, Dion’s victory allowed him to take home the gold medal and a RM3,000 scholarship!
Following his triumphant victory, Dion has also been selected to represent Malaysia, in the upcoming World Championship of Performing Arts 2024. It was reported that the competition will take place in Long Beach, California, from 26 June to 6 July 2024.
Passion for his own culture
In addition to that, according to makeup artist Gary lauder, who assisted in Dion’s makeup, he revealed that Dion has actually won not once but twice in the competition. Speaking to Dion’s mother, Edina, she shared that her son has been dancing since he was 6 years old.
“Dion has always been into Sepa music and would always watch traditional dances on YouTube”, said Edina.
Realizing the passion Dion has for his culture, his parents then made the decision to send him for dance classes. After 4 to 6 classes, Dion began choreographing his own dances, hence the dance of “The Little Bornean Birdie”.
“For his competition, his dad and I guided him with his posture, facial expressions and sharp movement”, adding that she was very proud of how well the little dancer executed his moves.
Truly an outstanding performance by Dion! All the best for your competition in America Dion, we are all rooting for your victory!
Watch the video below: