MAU: J-ASEAN Dance Collaboration


MAU 舞うweaves a dance fabric with the vibrant colours of Malaysian traditional dance and Filipino stylized Mindanao dance, Balinese court dance, Japanese Kabuki dance, and the Chinese Liyuan opera from Singapore.

Choreographer Director Fujima Kanjuro VIII, the Grandmaster of the 300 year old Fujima School of Kabuki, laces MAU with Kabuki leitmotifs to create a multi-layered dance adventure full of elegance and wit.

Commissioned by the Japan Foundation to mark the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN friendship, MAU (meaning ‘dance’ in Japanese) celebrates the rich tapestry of Asian dance traditions in a modern setting.

DATE   8.30pm 22nd & 3pm 23rd November 2013

VENUE Panggung Sari, Istana Budaya

TICKET RM20 for Adults, RM10 for Students and JFKL Members

Booking Available from or  Istana Budaya Tel : 018 719 7333



Download Flier from here:



Watch 3 minutes Rehearsal Video Clip recorded in Japan in August 2013!


What is MAU: J-ASEAN Dance Collaboration?

To celebrate the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in 2013, Istana Budaya and the Japan Foundation proudly presents the traditional dance collaboration project which consists of traditional dance & music performers from ASEAN countries and Japan.
By using the theatrical technique and artistic effects of KABUKI, one of the most sophisticated art forms of Japan with over 400 years of history, the project is expected to bring the new aspect of how to stage the traditional performance. The project also aims to create network between young professionals in each countries by connecting new generation of the leading traditional performer.

Should tradition stay as tradition? What is “traditional” and what is not? What should we “preserve” and what should we “change”? Sharing those questions among participants from other countries, while preparing for the same stage together, will surely bring deeper understanding between their own and each other’s culture, and empower the next leaders of the traditional culture in each country.


Artistic Director

Fujima Kanjuro VIII

Born in 1980, Kabuki choreographer Fujima Kanjuro VIII is currently the head of the Fujima School (Soke Fujima Ryu) of traditional Japanese dance (Nihon buyo). His grandfather, Fujima Kanjuro IV was the highly acclaimed choreographer and dancer who were recognized as “Living National Treasure” by the Japanese government. His mother Fujima Kanso III, is also an active Kabuki dance choreographer. In 2002, at the age of 22, he has officially succeeded the Kanjuro name, to become Fujima Kanjuro VIII. He have received Art Encouragement Prize of New Artist Award of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2003. In 2012, he was also awarded by Japan Arts Foundation for his contribution to the traditional arts.
<Artist Interview>



Japan : Soke-Fujima-Ryu + Sawamura Kuniya

Soke-Fujima-Ryu was founded in 1704 by Fujima Kanbei, and became one of the largest 5 schools of traditional Japanese dance (Nihon Buyou) with 300 years of history. Together with the three dancers from Soke-Fujima ryu, Kabuki actor Sawamura Kuniya and 2 percussionists will join the Japanese performance team. Sawamura Kuniya became Kabuki Actor after his career as an actor in Children’s Theater. After a debut in Kabuki-za in 1988 he became a apprentice of the Kabuki actor Sawamura Tojuro in 1995, and given a current stage name in the same year. He had received the Encouragement Award of Japan Actors Association (Nihon Haiyu Kyokai) in 2012.

Malaysia:  ASWARA Dance Company (Malaysia)

ASWARA Dance Company (ADC) is a professional dance company established in 2011, specializing in traditional and contemporary Malaysian dance performance and choreography. ADC comprises graduates of the Faculty of Dance ASWARA, National Academy of the Arts and Heritage in Malaysia, who are trained in the unique multicultural syllabus striving for excellence in multiple genres of dance that reflect the multiple identities of Malaysia. Musicians who take part in this project are graduates of the Faculty of Music ASWARA.

Indonesia:  LKB Saraswati (Indonesia)

LKB Saraswati (Lembaga Kesenian Bali Saraswati, Saraswati Bali Arts Institute) was established in 1968, Jakarta. LKB Saraswati has several branches for teaching Balinese traditional dance     and Balinese percussion music, gamelan. Since its establishment, they have performed over 1,500 stages at home and abroad including  Japan, China, Australia, North America and Germany. Besides they have collaborated with jazz and contemporary musicians. In addition to the traditional music, they are actively making collaboration with music, such as jazz and contemporary.

Philippines: Airdance

Founded in 2001, Airdance is and has been one of the Philippines’ pioneering contemporary dance companies. The company had gathered dancers from various backgrounds: classical and modern ballet, jazz, ballroom, hip-hop, martial arts and so on. Airdance continuously perform locally and internationally in festivals, collaborations and own productions, including the performance which represented the Philippines at the World Expo in Japan and at the Asia Arts Festival in China. Dancers who were selected to join the MAU projects are highly skilled and experienced with traditional dance among the company members.

Siong Leng Musical Association (Singapore)

Siong Leng Musical Association was established in 1941 in Singapore to preserve, develop, and promote Nan Yin (which literally means “The Music of the South”) which is the traditional music listed by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage as well as Li Yuan Opera, the traditional play
In 1983 Siong Leng participated in the Llangollen Musical Eisteddfod in Wales and won the Third Prize in Folk Song Solo and the Fourth Prize in Ensemble Performance. In 1987, former chairman Teng Mah Seng received the Cultural Medallion, Singapore’s highest honor for artists, for his work in the field of music.


Please visit PRESS ROOM for Press Release and Press Photos


Event Archives

Organizing an event?

More information at our grants section