Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sabah International Folklore Festival a global event

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's annual Folklore Festival is gaining interest among the international community with 75 countries requesting to take part in the seventh series of the cultural dance event this year.

However, due to financial constraints, the state could only accept 20 international dance troupes to be showcased at the festival here from July 8 to 17.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the state would have to shoulder high costs footing the bill for their accommodation, meals and transportation during their stay here.

“That is why we limited the participation to 20 teams, thus making the event much more exclusive,” Masidi said, adding the selected teams were also the cream of the crop.

Another disadvantage with having so many dance troupes was that the event would take more than two weeks to finish, he added.

“We try to pick teams with unique presentations each year so the public can have a variety of new cultural dances to witness rather than just re-runs,” Masidi said.

However, the number of participating teams could be increased in future especially when the Sabah Cultural Centre in Penampang near here is fully renovated to cater to international events, he said.