Becoming King - Part 1 - Gary Ng Photography
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Becoming King – Part 1

Becoming King – the pakyung revisited is a full-length contemporary dance performance that attempts to explore style with meaningful substance. It is an experimental work where the point of embarkation or exploration began with the simple question, which is: what does it take to become the pakyung?

In the traditional theatre performance of Makyung, the Pakyung is the lead character who must be able to sing, dance, act and improvise. The Pakyung is the leader, the counsellor and the King (often played by a woman). The role requires special qualities and in Malaysia only a very few have risen to the heights of being the acclaimed pakyung. Khatijah Awang is one such icon who was proclaimed National Arts Laureate in 1999, or Fatimah Abdullah who have served as inspiration for this work too.

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The performance is based on the concept of the preparation required to assume this role/character. In a sense, it is a “behind the scenes” or “the making of” that becomes the performance. The performance intends to give a inside look, or an insight into the process of acquiring the skills to become the pakyung – to become the best. In reality, this takes a lifetime! The audience will ideally see the metaphors within this performance, while attempting looking for meaning and relevance of this character in contemporary society and specifically, in Malaysia.


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