Malay Drills


March 30, 2022

Words By

Muhammad Al-Hafiz

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Malay Drills is a power-play between audiences and players on stage, an interactive work debating who decides what the Malay identity is. Through this work, Malay dance as a presumed root of identity is questioned and presented with the rigidity of military drills, providing commentary on the unyielding nature of “traditions”.


Muhammad Al-Hafiz

Hafiz is a trained traditional and contemporary Malay dancer in Azpirasi, under the tutelage of Azmi Juhari and mentorship of Norhaizad Adam, Ismail Jemaah and Hasyimah Harith. After specialising in filmmaking since his diploma in Mass Communication, the strong ambition to direct and choreograph for stage and film has led Hafiz to his BA(Hons) in Musical Theatre, where he trained in performance skills to better communicate with artists.

Hafiz is very intrigued by the psychology of human and societal behaviour, and sets out to study different forms of identity and their roles in his creative work. This is a strong interest for him as he is also currently rediscovering his choreographic identity as a “modern Malay” who practises traditional Malay dance, disrupted and/ or enhanced by the practice and values of modern musical theatre jazz.

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