Melati Sarawak


Melati Sarawak.

Entry by minimum donation of RM80 (RM10 if student) at the door. Studio Ramli Hassan, Masakini Theatre Company, 8A Jalan Tepian Tunku, Bukit Tunku, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.

“All the vital elements of Bangsawan blended into a modern play – a hybrid, experimental – you’ll love it!”
Taksu Zacharia

“Just like eating Laksa Sarawak, it is riveting! MELATI SARAWAK represents the TRUEST Sarawak,” Badrulhisham Sharkawi– Semenanjung Tourist


MELATI SARAWAK embodies the conflict that existed in the 1930’s when Gendang Melayu Sarawak was likened to a social disease amongst the younger generation. The young and beautiful Aminah (Melati Sarawak) was always the subject of desire amongst the penandak (male dancers).

Harun, a young engineer falls head over heels in love with her. But tradition and religious beliefs became major obstacles between them.Expect various aspects of Sarawak’s Malay cultural legacies to be covered during this hour-long show, opening up new perspectives of our Malay and Sarawak legacies including:

Gendang Melayu Air – deemed as the origin of the modern version of Gendang Melayu Asli Sarawak. Performed only by male dancers, the movement of the dance is slow and bears the influence of Malay martial arts.

Unfortunately, this unique culture is almost never heard about, even in Sarawak. Most of the performers have already passed away. To be able to witness the dance in Melati Sarawak is definitely a rare opportunity not to be missed.

Sarawak Malay folk songs (gurindam) are almost identical to the syair from Semenanjung (West Malaysia) but there is a twist in its melody that put the Sarawak gurindam in its own form. It also has the influence of syair rakis from Brunei.

Zapin Sebat is an old and intricate dance with various turns and twists that form its ten unique movements, performed only by female dancers.

Watch out for the costumes as well. The kebaya was popular among woman in the 1930’s. In Melati Sarawak the ‘kebaya’ and the ‘tudung keringkam’ (head scarf) were fashionable at that time.


STUDIO LABU SAKTI (SLS) is a creative ensemble established by Taksu Zacharia, a young energetic and experienced dramatist who has been in the local theater scene since the 90’s. SLS has been an influential creative force with significant productions since its inclusion as a registered society in 2014.

SLS has always emphasised the development of performing arts and has been actively creating stage shows everywhere in Kuching in many renowned sites – The Peoples’ Place, Kuching Waterfront to the well-known site of Borneo Convention Center Kuching (BCCK) and the premier venue of Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak (DUNS)

In 2015, SLS was awarded (as the sole recipient from Sarawak) the renowned PETRONAS Culture and Arts Grants amounting to RM200,000 for the project titled: ‘Conservation and Preservation of Bangsawan Melayu Sarawak –Bangsawan Raja Wan Torkan’ which was been successfully staged on 14th -15th June 2015 at Dewan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, Kuching.

With the formation of its Rumah Bangsawan SLS (Perfroming Arts Center) at Jalan Haji Taha, Kuching, our vision of becoming a strong creative force and movement in Sarawak has begun.


“MELATI SARAWAK is a performance that opens up new hope for diminishing heritages to breathe fresh air in modern society,” Yusuf Fansuri -Independence Critic

“INNOVATIVE- blending traditional and contemporary element into a showcase of SARAWAK MALAY finest cultural customs,” Borneo Post

“By the look of it, Melati Sarawak shows promising potential to promote the struggle of conserving deep-rooted Malay culture and propagate them within the modern society of digital Sarawak,” Sarawak Tribune

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