Thursday, April 30, 2009 – Asia’s First Online Dance Magazine Launch – Asia’s First Online Dance Magazine Launch

29 April 2009 marks an important date for the dance communities as Asia’s first online dance magazine,, was launched in conjunction with International Dance Day. The double celebration heralds the revival of society’s interest in dance.

“Most of the large continents such as USA, Europe and Australia, have dance magazines, so why not Asia? Asia comprise of an aggregate of the cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, religions, and ethnic groups in the region. fills the gap for rich Asian content and gives dance in Asia the share of voice it deserves,” said founder Ms Choy Su-Ling, a dance blogger.

“Who is the Martha Graham or Merce Cunningham of Asia? Not many people know. This is a pity because in Asia we have so many Grand Masters and dance exponents who are custodians of dance heritage. In 2005, UNESCO declared mak yong, a traditional form of dance-drama from northern Malaysia, a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” wants to put Asian talents and culture on the world map. By promoting and raising the profile of Asian dance, we hope that the younger generation would develop an interest in inheriting these art forms.”

However, the online dance magazine does not only cover traditional and classical dance forms. It also covers contemporary, ballet, modern, jazz, Latin American and other dance forms practiced and enjoyed in Asia. The online dance magazine now features dance reviews, interviews, event listings, and videos. Readers are able to plan ahead for shows and festivals not only in their own country but even as they travel Asia.
The magazine not only targets dancers and dance enthusiasts but also people who have a general interest in culture and art, and travellers. In fact, the goal of creating dance ‘audienceship’ is to convert individuals with no prior inclinations towards dance to someone that does.

More sophisticated modules of the website are in the pipeline and has Creative Advances Technology Sdn Bhd (CAT), the technology sponsor, to thank. CAT is the developer of the highly successful, the official e-tourism portal for the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, which today receives over 30 million hits and 1 million pageviews a month. Following the success of the portal, CAT developed the Malaysian Tourism Online Unified Reservation System (myTOURS), a consolidated tourism e-business platform funded by the MDeC development grant.

“We recognize that in Asia, dance is an integral part of the culture and therefore the agenda to promote and preserve dance heritage can be achieved by fully harnessing the power of communications technology through myTOURS. We are very pleased that AsiaDanceChannel invited us to be a part of this initiative that contributes such a tremendous intangible economic value to the nation,” said Mr Vincent Kok, Chief Operating Officer of CAT, when officiating the launch of the online dance magazine.

International Dance Day was celebrated jointly with the Media, Dance and Southeast Asia Departments of University Malaya. Students put up an afternoon of performance featuring the taklempong ensemble, and Zapin, Ngajat Iban, Bharatanatyam and contemporary dances. According to tradition, the International Dance Day Message circulated around the world by the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute UNESCO (ITI/UNESCO) was read out.

In 1982, the ITI/UNESCO founded International Dance Day to be celebrated every year on 29 April. The date commemorates the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, born in 1728, who was a great reformer of dance. In 1995, in an effort to unite dance, the ITI/UNESCO entered into a collaborative effort for the celebration of International Dance Day with World Dance Alliance as their only official partner. Every year, a message from a well-known dance personality is circulated throughout the world. This year, the honour goes to Mr Akram Khan, an acclaimed choreographer of Bangladeshi decent. The intention of International Dance Day and the Message is to bring all dancers together on this day, to celebrate this art form and revel in its universality, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and to bring people together in peace and friendship with a common language - Dance.

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