The Third Annual KL International Arts Festival (KLIAF 2017) Officially Launched

The third edition of DiverseCity's KL International Arts Festival (KLIAF 2017) was officially launched today by YAB Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Hj Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, at the Nu Sentral Mall. Scheduled to take place throughout September 2017, the Festival will showcase more than 50 performances and events in over a dozen venues in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The Prime Minister was welcomed on arrival by the eight-member DeafBeat percussion troupe who celebrates its 10 th anniversary this year with a special performance, Inner Voices, in the Festival. This was followed by a sneak peek of what's in store in this year's Festival - a vibrant showcase featuring the street dancers from Malaysia and ASEAN; the Main Zapin by dancers from ASWARA; and Che Malambo, the 12- men dance sensation from Argentina. Capping off the launch was the completion of an artwork on stage by the eminent Malaysian artist, Yeoh Jin Leng, who will be exhibiting a selection of his works, complemented by photographs taken by the late Sultan of Terengganu, Almarhum Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, in the Festival.


"From 31 August to 1 October 2017, acclaimed and up-and- coming artistes from Malaysia and around the world will come together in KL to celebrate the arts through music, dance, theater, visual arts and literature" said Datin Sunita Rajakumar, Festival Director.


"We've curated this year's programme to provide a little something for everyone as the Festival aims to bring communities together to celebrate the arts in all its diversity. It is my hope that the programmes this year will not just entertain, but also inspire and connect all who attend the events." A highlight of the music performances is the "Konsert Panggung 50 Anniversari" to be staged in the lush gardens of the Taman Botani Perdana. Commemorating the 50 th anniversary of the Panggung Anniversari, this concert will feature local and ASEAN artists who will take the audience on a musical journey through the ages, performing old hits set to new arrangements, backed by the DBKL Orchestra and dancers. Also exploring Malaysia's musical heritage are Sean Ghazi and jazz songbird, Ida Mariana in GELORA – The Tarakucha Big Band Extravaganza!; as well as the WVC Malaysian jazz ensemble with Eddin Khoo in Seketika Sebelum Merdeka.


Meanwhile, Hands Percussion will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a percussive showpiece in collaboration with Norway's Sisu Percussion and Malaysia's Tan Su Yin and Moto Guo. Another Festival highlight not to be missed is the performance of music from the film, Song of Lahore, by the Sachal Ensemble. Making its Malaysian debut in this Festival, the Sachal Ensemble will present a re-creation of songs made iconic by the likes of Duke Ellington, the Beatles, Dave Brubeck, as well as traditional Pakistani folk songs. A screening of the film, Song of Lahore, will take place in the afternoon before each performance.


Dance enthusiasts will be treated to the spell-bounding, Entranced: An Evening with a Ghost, that brings together contemporary Southeast Asian trance-rituals and the ancient Japanese Noh drama traditions; the 1996 prestigious dance classic from Hong Kong, Boy Story; and the double-episode presentation of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company's popular dance programme, Beyond Calligraphy.


The young ones are the focus of the Festival's theater offerings this year. The Jumping Jellybeans' The Breath of Dragons and Bon Voyage! as well as the KL Shakespeare's Players' A Tale that Must be Told: Macbeth, are some of the productions that have been lined up in the Festival. Returning to the Festival this year due to popular demand is Wolfe Bowart, who will present the Malaysian premiere of the enchanting Letter's End.


Festival-goers can also look forward to literary works from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, poetry, syair and children's literature that stir the mind and heart; besides treating themselves to a visual feast of works by some of Southeast Asia's top image-makers in the photo exhibition, Ceritera. KLIAF2017 will include both ticketed and free admission events. For more information about the Festival and tickets, visit