Tai-Chi, Yoga, Fitness & Culture - Highlights of Rainforest World Music Festival 2017

 Sarawak's Rainforest World Music Festival combines music, art, craft, culture, food all in one.

Sarawak's Rainforest World Music Festival combines music, art, craft, culture, food all in one.

Singapore, 28 June 2017. Sarawak’s headliner tourism attraction – the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) – will include Tai-Chi, yoga, and other health and fitness activities during the three days of all-day entertainment from 14-16 July.

The wellness sessions will be held on the festival grounds at the Sarawak Cultural Village of Santubong area, starting at 11 am right to 7 pm according to RWMF schedule. The young and the young-at-heart are welcome to join the sessions at no extra charge.

“We have added a whole arm of Wellness Programme with health and fitness sessions - yoga, meditation, dance aerobics like zumba and Body Combat, Tai-Chi, silat and more,” Yeoh Jun-Lin, the artistic director of RWMF, informed Gaia Discovery.

Rainforest World Music Festival - it’s a complete experience.
— Yeoh Jun-Lin, artistic director

The Tai-Chi sessions are hosted by the Sarawak Shenlong Tai-Chi Chuan Society and led by one of the Society’s instructors, Lai Cho Sin.

The RWMF Wellness Programme also features activities like the “Capoeira” a Brazilian martial arts-dance, a 16th century martial arts believed to have originated by the West African slaves in Brazil.

 Try out different health and fitness therapy at RWMF including this Budokon Yoga.

Try out different health and fitness therapy at RWMF including this Budokon Yoga.

Yoga lovers can be spoilt for choice with the various types being offered: yoga warrior (Budokon yoga), vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga and yin yoga.

Meditation using gong for its hypnotic quality and traditional Indian methods (with flames) will be offered during the festival to help soothe troubled minds.

Angelina Bateman, events and corporate relations director of Sarawak Tourism Board, added that such talks on health and culture along with the wellness activities will create “more festival ambience” to their signature music tourism event.

This year marks the 20th edition of the RWMF. Apart from the RWMF 2017 musical highlights with 20 local and international bands, there will be cultural talks, art and craft sessions for children, traditional cultural food and craft bazaars.

So don’t forget to pack yoga mat, outfit and shorts when you head over to the Rainforest World Music Festival.

 Hanggai, from the Mongolian steppes by way of Beijing, blends traditional music and rock.

Hanggai, from the Mongolian steppes by way of Beijing, blends traditional music and rock.

Other Highlights of RWMF 2017

Gaia Discovery understands that the wellness programme was added to make the 20th year of RWMF extra special. In an exclusive interview with festival director Yeoh Jun Lin, Gaia Discovery asked just how different would this year’s artiste lineup and activities be.

“Although there are certain formats that remain as they stand as the branding of the festival's structure - the three stages, the workshops/mini sessions, the children's sessions and so forth - the content is different every year,” Yeoh said.

 The costumes and dance movements of French Polynesian O Tahiti E will add greenness and languid movement to RWMF  2017.

The costumes and dance movements of French Polynesian O Tahiti E will add greenness and languid movement to RWMF  2017.

“All bands on the three stages have never performed at RWMF before.

So the combination and the synergy of musicians at the mini sessions and workshops are going to be a completely new adventure!” Yeoh added.

Gaia Discovery understands that all of the children's sessions at RWMF this year would be different as well.

“We have also augmented our Cultural Talks sessions and exhibitions that we had started on a smaller scale last two years,” said Yeoh. “There's a whole range of talks from Kayan songs to traditional medicinal knowledge.”

 Spanish flair will hit Sarawak's Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 with Pasatempo's Galican styled pandeiro, tambourine and roots music both past and present. 

Spanish flair will hit Sarawak's Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 with Pasatempo's Galican styled pandeiro, tambourine and roots music both past and present. 

“We have a different theme for the Pustaka Bookaroo and RWMF Doodle Wall. An exciting arm of food is going to be at the festival - Sarawak culinary heritage cuisine, chefs from South East Asian countries and more. RWMF World Craft Bazaar is preparing exciting products too.”

As for the bands, Jun Lin is not keen to highlight any particular performance that the audience must not miss. “I like to think of all the performances and music as one big presentation to permeate into one's psyche. It's a complete experience.”

“When I select the bands, it's not just what the performance of that individual band is.

It's also how the overall texture and balance and the "sensation of the change" is as we move from one band into another. The running order is a big factor when I'm putting the programme together,” Yeoh added.

For the uninitiated, here is a description about the festival activities that take place at RWMF at the most unique Sarawak Cultural Village.

RWMF Performance Stages

The festival holds outdoor evening concerts at two outdoor stages -  the Jungle and Tree Stages -  that are next to each other.  This year, 20 bands will perform at these two stages alternately without any break in between, creating a seamless musical experience for the audience. Read how some RWMF bands relive traditions, helping to keep traditional ways and languages alive.

The indoor Theatre Stage is used for smaller chamber-style performers, giving a more intimate and classical feel for a seated audience.

RWMF “Mini Sessions” – Performances, Demonstrations

 Dance workshops are popular at RWMF.

Dance workshops are popular at RWMF.

There will be over 30 mini sessions held over the three afternoons of the festival, featuring a mix of lecture-demonstrations, interactive dance tutorials, and thematic sessions - all with the intent to enlighten, enthrall and entertain.

These will be held throughout the festival grounds in the traditional houses and halls of the Sarawak tribes such as Dewan Lagenda or ‘Hall of Legends’, Iban Longhouse, Bidayuh Longhouse and Malay House – all at Sarawak Cultural Village.

RWMF Art & Cultural Activities

Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 will once again be hosting activities that are steeped in the rich arts, culture and traditions of mysterious Borneo. Among the activities this year are History & Exhibition of the Sape, Cultural Talks, Exhibition by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Brazilian Samba Workshop, Pustaka Bookaroo Children’s workshops, a Doodle Wall and a Wellness Programme.

To promote local traditional heritage and culture, the Friends of Sarawak Museum (FoSM) will be conducting cultural talks on music and arts and how they are intricately woven in the lives of the local communities. Registered as a Non-Governmental Oganisation since 2013, FoSM has made it their mission to promote Sarawak’s heritage through its museums.

About RWMF and Tickets

For further information on festival activities, logistics or tickets, please log on to http://rwmf.net/tickets/

The Rainforest World Music Festival is organised by Sarawak Tourism, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is jointly supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth & Sports Sarawak. Partners: Malaysia Airlines as the presenting sponsor with Zurich Insurance Malaysia Berhad (ZIMB) and Zurich Takaful Malaysia Berhad (ZTMB) (Zurich Malaysia) as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partner.

Sarawak Cultural Village, the venue of the festival, is popularly known as the ‘living’ museum which takes up a sprawling 17 acres of land at the foot of Mount Santubong, roughly 35km north of Kuching. Here's how you can get to Sarawak Cultural Village or SCV in short.

Photos courtesy of Sarawak Tourism Board and partners.