Thursday, April 30, 2009

Speech by Ms Choy Su-Ling, ADC Launch

Speech by Ms Choy Su-Ling at the ADC launch

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you so much for coming today.

I would like to share with you how AsiaDanceChannel came to be.

AsiaDanceChannel is first and foremost a corporate social responsibility programme with the objective of promoting dance and preserving dance heritage.

In the scope of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, ADC’s CSR projects fall under ‘Social.’ While many Environmental and Governance projects are already in place, ADC provides one of the most comprehensive touch points to address Social issues, using dance as a channel.

When we talk about dance in the context of Asia, it often cannot be separated from music and theatre because all these are intrinsically linked together as the manifestation of the culture, custom, and lifestyle of a certain community. We need to make a collective effort to preserve these multi-cultures without which the substance for interculturalism would not exist.

As a nation, we are not only blessed with natural resources but also cultural resources. As we transit into an innovation-fuelled economy, the driving force in the next phase of our development will be the imaginative and creative capacity of our people. The new architects of the global economic landscape are those who apply their imagination, creativity and knowledge to generate new ideas and create new value. Multi-dimensional creativity – including artistic and literary creativity – will be the new currency of success.

Many countries now see the creative industries as a key competitive advantage in the globalised economy. Ideas and imagination have become valuable assets and drivers of economic opportunities and growth. We must harness creativity and the power of innovation to forge ahead in a competitive and globalised economy. To succeed and thrive, we must tap on the creative cluster - which are arts, culture, design and media – and recognise them as one of the vanguards of economic growth.

Industries which are inspired by cultural and artistic creativity have the potential to create economic value through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. For example, dance repertoires are intellectual property.

The efforts include developing creative capabilities, stimulating sophisticated demand and strengthening industry players to become credible and significant players in the global creative landscape. This is a tall order and we cannot do it alone. AsiaDanceChannel strive to bridge dance communities with business communities. For a start, we are making an effort to lobby for cultural philanthropy in corporate CSR agenda. We need to create a unique people-private-public collaborative platform providing various levels of support, including facilitation and funding.

The emerging social contract dictates that profit seeking must be carried on within a broader context than the traditional economic calculus. The corporation is a social organization as well as an economic organization and its performance will be appraised in social as well as economic terms. Businesses must restructure its objectives so that social goals are put on par with economic goals.

If I were to ask you who is the Martha Graham or Merce Cunningham of Asia? Nobody knows. 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 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 and dancers, we hope that the younger generation would develop an interest in inheriting these art forms.

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., as a new media channel fills the gap for rich Asian content and gives dance in Asia the share of voice it deserves.

The objective of the dance magazine is to create dance ‘audienceship’ converting individuals with no prior inclination towards dance to someone that does.

Last but not least, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Media, Dance and Southeast Asia Departments of University Malaya for their collective efforts in putting up the International Dance Day celebrations. I would also like to thank Creative Technology Advances Sdn Bhd, our technology sponsor, for taking the lead in cultural philanthropy through the provision of their technology support.

And finally, happy International Dance Day!

Thank you.

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