Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS Performing Arts Group (UPAG) danced to victory at the 10th Cheonan World Dance Festival at Cheonan Samgeori Park, Cheonan City, Korea and walked away with 3 awards namely Best Costume Award, Best International Street Parade Award and First Prize Award for Cheonan Folk Dance Competition International Category.
19 members from UTP Performing Arts Group (dancers) and 6 members from UTP Gamelan Group Sanggar Kirana (musicians) represented Malaysia for this festival. This was the third time UPAG represented Malaysia in this dance competition.
With the theme ‘Let’s Dance in Cheonan’, the event was organised by Cheonan-SI, Cheonan Foundation for Arts and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign & Trade of South Korea and FIDAF.
The main aim of this festival is to encourage and educate the international community to appreciate international folk dance cultures. It was participated by professional and national dance groups from 19 countries around the world which included the Czech Republic, Poland, France, China, Taiwan, Russia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Mexico, Philippines, Guam, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
All groups were required to compete in three categories of performances namely the Folk Dance, Street Parade and Best Dancer. For The Street Parade, each group was required to perform 3 dance performances at twelve checkpoints, in a distance of 2.5km, at Seoul and Cheonan.
From the 19 countries, only 9 countries were shortlisted for the closing night performance. They were UPAG Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Indonesia (two groups), Philippines, Czech Republic, France, Poland, and Mexico.
UPAG had benefited tremendously by participating in this culturally enriching international dance festival. Firstly, the group had learned and acquired new knowledge and skills in various dance techniques and stage management. Secondly, they had established smart relationships and networking with professional cultural groups. Thirdly, UPAG had successfully managed to promote Malaysian traditional dance and culture at international level. Finally and most importantly, the team had demonstrated that they are indeed well-rounded engineering and technology students, who not only excel in their academics but in arts and culture as well.