In 2003, Majlis Pusat set up its own dance group under the name of Majlis Pusat-Kirana Seni (Kirana Seni). Its member has developed themselves not only as artistes who excelled in the performing arts but also as project members and event administrators with leadership skills and profound management skills.
Under the guidance of Mr. Norlie Ismail, Kirana Seni’s resident choreographer and a Malay Dance Arts enthusiast since 1975, we had embarked on our journey into upholding the legacy of traditional Malay dance and we have not looked backed ever since.
Our early cohort of dancers had received training from Drs Suryaminsyah, Chief Choreographer of Sanggar Awang Sambang, Tanjung Balai Karimun Indonesia. In the year 2007 and 2008, our dancers also received training and guidance from Drs Raja Alfirafindra M. Hum, dance lecturer from the Indonesia Institute for the Arts, Yogyakarta.
Through the years, Kirana Seni had been given the opportunities to develop oneself through active participation in several productions produced locally and overseas, as well as, promoting collaboration amongst the different arts groups in Singapore.
This was proven in the past three Regional Dance Festivals held in the years of 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 where a total of 500 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore were involved. Festival Tari Serumpun a dance production featuring performances from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Festival Tari Serumpun I, II, III and IV had captivated audience from the participating countries.
In 2007, members of Kirana Seni was given the responsibility to manage Rewang ‘Nak Tari, a first ever collaborative showcase of Singapore’s very own Malay dance and music groups which was participated by 300 participants from 10 Singapore Malay Arts groups. Kirana Seni was proud to stage ‘Rewang ‘Nak Tari II’ in 2010, a collaboration of Singapore’s Malay Dance Organization in showcasing the rich kaleidoscope of traditional Malay dances for the community.
In the year 2009, Kirana Seni had staged an event extravaganza entitled Ristari Zaman: Kirana Seni, Our journey in upholding the Malay Dance legacy. The production showcased the different dance items the group had explored over the years.
In 2010, Kirana Seni had met its objectives in promoting the ‘Ronggeng/Joget’ genre of the Malay Traditional Dance. It had helped in fostering inter-ethnic bonding amongst the different groups in Singapore, as well as, collaboration amongst dancers from different countries such as Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand.
In the year 2013, Kirana Seni had participated in a production called ‘Oh! Bangau’ a collaboration amongst the different arts group in Singapore. This was organized by the Singapore Malay Dance Committee and supported by the National Arts Council. Apart from the above productions, Kirana Seni was also involved in the yearly ‘Muara – Singapore Malay Dance Festival’ at the Esplanade since its first introduction in 2011.
Throughout the 10 years in the arts scene, Kirana Seni had travelled to Indonesia and Malaysia for dance invitations to perform for festivals and grand events in the countries. It had gained different exposures from all collaboration. Kirana Seni had since gained various experiences from different collaborations and cultural exchanges.
In 2014, Kirana Seni decided to be independent and withdrew from Majlis Pusat to venture out for more opportunities in improving and continuing its efforts to promote Malay dance arts scene in Singapore. Kirana Seni’s first independent dance production was the double bill dance production called “SANGGUL: Mengorak Langkah, Mengekalkan Akar” on 1st and 2nd March 2014. The double bill production consists of two main parts. The first bill is the ‘The Traditional Dance Showcase’ and the second bill production is ‘The Contemporary Dance’. The production was under the charge of Kirana Seni’s Artistic Producer, Ms Nur Awal’liyah Ja’afar and her team of volunteers and dancers. The production was held over two days and had audience coming from the various dance groups both locally and overseas, as well as, members of the public.
Kirana Seni’s new mission, “Mengorak Langkah, Mengekalkan Akar” defines its efforts to unfold new opportunities for future contributions to the arts scene and perpetuate the unique heritage of Malay dance culture. Moving forward, we will also aim to promote the various ethnic groups in Singapore and to bring our uniquely Singapore culture to a new platform. With its new vision and mission, “Mengorak Langkah, Mengekalkan Akar”, Kirana Seni aims to embark and explore new dance genres in the coming future projects to promote arts in Singapore and internationally.