MALACCA: The overwhelming response to the state’s pilot Art and Performance Festival (MAP Fest) has the organisers already planning one for this year.
The three-day festival organised by E-plus Entertainment Productions was one of the major events to round out 2009.
Many of the festival-goers made the trip from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and various other states in Malaysia to catch the site-specific performances, art installations and 15/15 film festival featuring short films from international directors.
The programmes, all of which were free, were listed in huge prints at strategic spots.
The site-specific performances that took place at seven locations around the historical hill of St Paul were the highlight.
Site-specific performance is a repertoire inspired by the site where the artist performs.
Colourful banners decorating the old city square and hillside helped create a more festive atmosphere.
Crowds cheered, danced along to music and watched the artistic performances with rapt attention and often left hungry for more.
A downpour on one of the evenings failed to stop the dance artists who assimilated the weather into their performance.
One of the most interesting art installations was a tree covered with the thoughts, wishes, fears and deepest secrets of hundreds of people written on coconut leaves.
The writings, in a multitude of languages, have been archived to be used for a future sound installation.
The key events, Budak Melaka and Eulogy For the Living, transformed the ruins St Paul’s Church into a magical experience with integrated dance, music, performance art and video images like a living fresco on the walls and ceiling. Even nature provided a full moon as the celestial lantern.
Meanwhile, the 15/15 film festival was screened at an open space. It provided filmmakers, including budding talents, a chance to tell their stories.
For the festival-goers, history was living through the arts in poetic languages that moved them.
The organisers are now in search of sponsorships for a fuller version of the MAP Fest this year, at which they plan to also hold a workshop on making short films.