10 May 2014
Wonderful Dance of Peace & Harmonious Coexistence
Wonderful Dance of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence
In conjunction with the exhibition “The Lotus Sutra – A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence,” Malaysia’s renowned choreographers Anthony Meh Kim Chuan, Aman Yap Choong Boon and dancers from Dua Space Dance Theatre staged five performances titled “Wonderful Dance of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence,” which was inspired by the philosophy of the Lotus Sutra, at the auditorium of Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia (WKSGM) on the weekends from April 26 to May 10, 2014. The performances by Dua Space Dance Theatre attracted thousands of people from different ethnicity and they were staged to capacity crowds.
Dua Space Dance Theatre was founded by Malaysian dancers Anthony Meh Kim Chuan and Aman Yap Choong Boon in 1998. It is the first local non-governmental full-time professional contemporary dance company. The name “Dua Space” brings the meaning of sharing and interacting and aims to record a new page of history in the local dance industry. The Dua Space is riding the waves of culture in Malaysia one after another. Through the art of dance, the company has produced performances encompassing Malaysia’s dance traditions from many different ethnic origins. The Dua Space Dance Theatre is widely recognised by the public and has won many awards including the Ethnic Creative Category award of the 23rd Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2009 for Persoalan Cinta (a collaboration with singer, Farawahida), and the Best Public Service Announcement in PROMAX Asian Awards 2009 as well as the Finalist Certificate Award under Direction Category in 2011 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards for Merdeka Rasa Sayang (a collaboration with 8TV).
The performance was choreographed by Anthony Meh. He received scholarships to pursue his studies in Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. After his graduation, he pursued his career in professional dancing in Taiwan Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and joined Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and GGD Dance Company in New York, USA. These experiences helped nurture him in the dance space and led him to establish the Dua Space Dance Theatre. After the contract ended with the dance company in New York, Anthony Meh returned to Malaysia with Aman Yap to nurture homegrown talents, contributing to the growth of the local arts scene in Malaysia. Anthony Meh has produced numerous works that were well-received in the past two decades. Between 2009 and 2011, Anthony Meh won the Asia-Pacific Cultural Industry Creativeness Golden Award in 2009, the Cultural Character of the Year in Global Golden Brand Awards 2010 and the title of World Chinese Model from World Chinese Venture Model Association in 2011. In 2018, he and his partner, Aman Yap, were recognised as the outstanding talent in the field of dance by PIN Prestige Malaysia during its third anniversary special feature.
While choreographing this performance, Anthony Meh collaborated with Soka Gakkai Malaysia Study Department to study the Lotus Sutra and presented the essence of the teaching through creative dance moves. The “Wonderful Dance of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence” performance consisted of seven acts, including the overture titled “The Eternal Moon and the Same Wise Lotus” and other chapters titled “The Tree of Avidya”, “Samsara”, “Forgiving Dust”, “Passing On”, “Reflection of Mirror”, “You and Me” and “Coexistence”. Before each performance, Anthony Meh spoke on how he came up with the idea for the dance and his impression of the ideals of the sanctity of life, peaceful coexistence and individual empowerment after reading the Lotus Sutra.
The Lotus Sutra is one of the most important works in the Buddha’s lifetime. In the sutra, the Buddha compassionately teaches unequivocally that all people can attain Buddhahood or enlightenment. With that, the Lotus Sutra is also known as the king of all sutras. The audience watched dancer Aman Yap – being awakened by the Lotus Sutra, his life filled with compassion and an encompassing wisdom through the Buddha’s teaching – spreading the seeds of the mystic law, thereby igniting the light of happiness throughout the world. Centring on humanity and the respect for the sanctity of life, the Lotus Sutra continues to carry the message of peace and harmonious coexistence.