Under the HuRu-HaRa banner of TerryandTheCuz, Kuda Kepang is performed by Kumpulan Kuda Kepang Parit Raja supported by Pusaka.
About Kuda Kepang:
Kuda Kepang is a dance of Javanese origin performed in Johor by communities of Javanese lineage, particularly in Batu Pahat and Muar. Kuda Kepang is performed by nine male dancers who are seated astride a two dimensional ‘horse’ made of pleated rattan.
The dance commemorates the tale of the Wali Songo (Nine Saints) of Java who spread the Islamic faith in the interior of Java. According to the legend, the Wali Songo rode on horseback.
Stories of the battles waged and won for the cause of Islam are then dramatised to draw and hold the attention of the congregation. The lead ‘horseman’ is known as the danyang. Bujang Ganong (a masked dancer) and Barongan (dancers portraying tiger and snake-like creatures) emerge alongside the Kuda Kepang dancers. The Kuda Kepang dance is accompanied by a rich rendition of traditional music played with Malay and Javanese instruments such as gong, gendang, and kenong.
PUSAKA is a cultural organisation dedicated to revitalising and strengthening the viability of traditional performance at the community level. We organise regular public performances and community instruction projects, supporting the transmission of these cultural traditions from master performers to a succeeding generation.
PUSAKA conducts extensive audio-visual and written documentation of the various traditions we work with, to create a comprehensive documentary archive of traditional performing arts in Malaysia.
PUSAKA also works intimately with some of the most distinguished performers of traditional performance and oral traditions throughout Malaysia. These include the Wayang Kulit, Mak Yong, Manora, Main Puteri, Rebana Ubi, Tarian Asyik and Dikir Barat traditions of Kelantan, the Kuda Kepang and Kompang of Johor, the Dabus of Perak, the Joget Gamelan of Terengganu, the Awang Batil of Perlis, the Urumee Melum drumming tradition, and Teochew Puppet and Opera tradition of Penang.
PUSAKA also works closely with international masters of tradition, bringing renowned virtuosos of traditional music and dance to perform to and engage with Malaysian audiences. The international master performers we have worked with include Grammy Award-winning ‘Sahara blues’ group Tinariwen, world renowned Iranian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor, Alim Qasimov Ensemble of Azerbaijan, Mehr Ali and Sher Ali Qawwali Ensemble of Pakistan, Shwe Man Thabin Dance Theatre of Myanmar, Thang Long Water Puppet Troupe of Vietnam, Hikayat performer Muda Balia and Sanggar Rempelis Muda Saman Dance Group of Aceh, Indonesia, and acclaimed dancer-choreographer Mavin Khoo.
PUSAKA creates alternative performance platforms, curating and producing festivals that allow urban audiences to engage and interact with Malaysian history and heritage, culture and literature. In all its work, PUSAKA seeks to provide an intellectual context for the contemplation of broader aspects of culture, tradition and ideas.