A spectacular show to celebrate 36th anniversary


Fans of the art of the 24 Festive Drums know that the 2023 season for Drum Up JB! was an entertaining and exciting, family-friendly showcase that reached out to unite the community through the language of drumming, percussion and music.


A brief drumming performance to kick off
the recent Press Conference

In a recent Press Conference, Drum Up JB! was pleased to announce that the 2024 season will kick off with four, all-new shows planned for 4, 5 & 6 October 2024.


This advance notice should help fans plan their travel to Johor Baru to coincide with these exciting drum shows which will be presented at the Permaisuri Zarith Sofia Opera House, R&F Princess Cove in Johor Baru.


Present at the Press Conference were Vice General Manager of R&F Development, Xu Jie (Jeremy) and co-founder of the art of the 24 Festive Drums, Tan Chai Puan, as well as the team from Shantou Media Convergence Group.


Event poster for Anniversary show

June 2024 will mark the 36th anniversary since the founding of the 24 Festive Drums’ dramatic art of drumming in Johor Baru in 1988 by the two Tan’s, Tan Chai Puan and the late Tan Hooi Song.


Tan Chai Puan was pleased to share that since the start of 2024, there was an unprecedented interest and growth in the art of the 24 Festive Drums in China, a performing art using the Chinese drum that was exported back to China.


The art of the 24 Festive Drums was often thought of as a Chinese performing art so it was important to clarify that the art of the 24 Festive Drums was founded by Johoreans in Johor Baru, and is in fact, a proudly Johor-born performing art.


Co-founder of the 24 Festive Drums,
Tan Chai Puan

When young drummers here went abroad to further their studies, they brought along their passion for the art of the 24 Festive Drums and established drum troops in their universities and colleges in China as well as in English-speaking communities abroad.


Tan was pleased that a drum troop was formed in the Shantou University since 2008 and he looked forward to visiting other universities in China where drum troops in the art of the 24 Festive Drums were established.


In 2009, the art of the 24 Festive Drums was recognised as a Malaysian National Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry.


A scene performed by JB Drums

Tan was thrilled to share that the art of the 24 Festive Drums was nominated by this Ministry to be considered as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2026.


With this in view, he anticipated much more activities by this performing art in the next two years as we counted down to the announcement of the official gazette.


A performance by Hands Percussion

Tan was also pleased that media representatives from the Shantou Media Convergence Group were in Johor Baru to learn more about the 24 Festive Drums and to get acquainted with this city which was once known as Little Swatow, named after a Teochew district in China.


Johor Baru earned its reputation as Little Swatow because Swatow (Teochew) or Shantou (Mandarin), one of the Teochew districts of the Guangdong province in China, was the hometown of most of Johor’s Teochew population here. 


A performance by Shicheng Theatre

[I was pleased with this interesting reference because in 2018, I featured a piece on, Johor Baru – Little Swatow, in My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People.]


Tan then drew attention to the logo designed for the 36th Anniversary celebration that features the digits 3 and 6, with a stylish rendition of the symbol for infinity in its design.


While this logo also featured the years since its founding from 1988 to 2024, Tan said that the infinity symbol incorporated into the anniversary logo indicated the ‘unlimited potential’ of this dramatic art of drumming.


A performance by Louds Percussion

He was proud that the Celebration Show planned for Saturday, June 8, will feature performances by top professional drum troops in the nation based in the North, Central and South, all in one great show.


The Johor Baru-based professional drum team of JB Drums will be joined by leading drum teams from Kuala Lumpur-based Hands Percussion, Batu Pahat-based Shicheng Theatre and Penang-based Louds Percussion.


Xin Ying, who spoke on behalf of the Shantou Media Convergence Group, brought greetings from Shantou, China, and expressed their appreciation for the introduction to the art of the 24 Festive Drums.


One for the album: group shot from
the Press Conference

She was deeply impressed by this dramatic art of drumming that was exported back to China and suggested an artistic collaboration between the art of the 24 Festive Drums and the Teochew art of the Yingge dance, an art-form that was recognised as a National Heritage in China in 2006.


The history of the Yingge dance dated back to over 300 years with its origins in paddy planters who would usually sing along to the beat of drums while sowing seedlings.


To encourage farmers to work harder, this dance was traditionally carried out throughout the whole planting season. As such, this dance earned it local name as Yang Ge Wu or the ‘Dance for Sowing Seedlings.’


This dance gradually evolved into an open square-dance that portrayed the 108 ‘Heroes of the Water Margin’, a renowned piece of Chinese literature.


Xin Ying [Left] speaking while
Tan Chai Puan [Right] looks on

In Southern China, this cultural performance is fondly called Yingge or the ‘Dance of the Heroes’ where a large number of dancers will perform a parade through village streets and even across hills and valleys.


In response, Tan thanked her for the suggestion and said that the Teochew community in Johor already have plans to form its own Yingge dance troop to perform mainly in the annual Johor Chingay parade.


He also agreed that this topic may be discussed at the annual gathering of Global Teochew Associations, planned for November in Shantou.


Tan, in his role as the Cultural Consultant with the Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House, has the prestigious task to build a cultural bridge to link cultural exchange activities, both local and from abroad.


Previously when Tan was with the Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk Committee, this team was tasked to arrange weekend cultural events, presented at a makeshift stage set up in front of what is popularly called the Red House at the Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk.


Among the cultural events performed in the city’s heritage quarter, was a Yingge dance that left an unforgettable impression on all who witnessed it here in 2012 a Yingge dance that left an unforgettable impression on all who witnessed it here in 2012.


But before the Yingge dance returns to Johor Baru, fans of the 24 Festive Drums are invited to join the 36th Anniversary celebration by enjoying a spectacular show.


The 24 Festive Drums’ 36th Anniversary celebration show will be held at 8pm on Saturday, 8 June 2024, at the Permaisuri Zarith Sofia Opera House, Johor Baru, Johor.


Ticket prices at RM33, RM66 and RM99 only.


Hotline No: +6010 232 2580 and +6016 718 8654


Ticketing link on https://www.cloudjoi.com/shows/36th-anniversary-of-24-festive-drums

No comments:

Post a Comment