The name MUARA embodies the convergence of ideas and practices, a meeting point, from all over the world at “Muara”- literally translated as rivermouth. Symbolically, MUARA advocates the gathering of the best artisans and groups and the myriad of cultures and traditions they possess. The Outdoor Esplanade Theatre, situated near Singapore’s river mouth, and its distinction as an internationally renowned stage, provides a location that is fitting to what MUARA stands for – the elevation and proud showcase of Malay cultural works to a universal audience. Injecting a new flavor to Malay traditional arts with a refreshing contemporary dynamism, the festival traces the evolvement and versatility of Malay arts. Malay Art is never static but creatively employed to reflect and embody its current context while retaining its distinctive element.
MUARA reflects a different paradigm to what constitutes the traditional and the old. Indeed, a new breath of life is infused with traditional dance sequences to give rise to creative contemporary works. More than just a festival that promises you glitter and grandeur, the festival is also a platform for ideas exchange, collaboration and sharing between arts practitioners, enthusiasts, young choreographers and the public. For it is through this thought process and exchange that one’s craft can be sharpened and honed effectively and creatively. The dazzling display of dynamic movements, the accompaniment of fine and delicate tunes as well as the gleaming lights all create a spectacle that arouses the senses. Against the backdrop of Singapore’s majestic skyscrapers, the celebratory mood and the strong sense of community in MUARA embodies hope and anticipation for the future– that our culture and arts remains the core of our identity as we progress.