Bilqis Hijjas writes about dance, produces, organizes and teaches in Malaysia. For ten years, she was President of MyDance Alliance, an organisation supporting dance in Malaysia, where she produced the popular Dancebox performance series, MyDance Festivals 2011 and 2013, Tepak Tari in 2015, and Dancebox Festival in 2019. She also spent a decade lecturing part-time in dance criticism, performance studies, and dance history and culture at Universiti Malaya. Bilqis currently directs the cultural program at private arts centre Rimbun Dahan, offering residencies for artists, as well as outdoor dance event Dancing in Place, and the annual Southeast Asian Choreolab for emerging dance choreographers. Bilqis is founder-editor of Critics Republic, an online platform to encourage critical discourse about the arts in Malaysia.
If you have ever felt that classical Indian dance is too melodramatic – if you have ever rolled your eyes at a dancer’s fervid abhinaya, or a poem narrator’s extravagant diction – or if you think all the bright drapery, clashing saris, and coloured lights are unbearably gaudy, then Padmini Chettur’s Varnam is the corrective […]