About the Project

Renungan mata mencermin diri,
Ikhlasnya dari jantung ke hati.
Hulur tangan bisikan naluri,
Maaf zahir dan batin kembali.

This performance embodied stories from elders from the Malay-Muslim community. As we approach our last breath, this is a collective gesture to reflect on actions and inactions in our relationships.

Seniors are the epitome of wisdom. As such, we learn to make meaning of different life experiences and challenges of physical mobility in old age. Dance company, P7:1SMA (Prisma) engaged weekly with a group of elders from Montfort Care – GoodLife! Bedok which entailed the mutual sharing of stories about asking for forgiveness, letting go of regrets and accepting loss.

Central to respecting the processual nature of life, it was hoped that social change was possible through this performance. The time together with the community elders was a gift to reflect on our quality of life in this temporary world.

Creation Process

Over four months, dancers from P7:1SMA conducted workshops, including Malay dance, and relationship-building activities with seniors from Montfort Care – GoodLife! Bedok.

These workshops were part of a process to produce a carefully choreographed performance that interpreted challenging issues related to forgiveness, letting go of regrets and accepting loss reflected through dance movements.

Insights to the Creation Process

Writer-in-residence Liyana Nasyita, explored the questions on forgiving and seeking forgiveness with a group of Malay-Muslim seniors aged between 50 and 80.

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A collection of photographs and writing by the seniors on ways of asking for forgiveness.

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Liyana detailed the reactions and emotions displayed by the seniors as they celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri together.

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Liyana made her first attempt to explore questions on departure and death with the seniors.

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Liyana gradually learnt that it’s not difficult for the seniors to talk about death after all.

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Another writer-in-residence, Dia Hakim Khaeri reflected on her session with the community elders and the meaning of Kembali (to return).

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Led by two questions on regret and change, Dia examined the complicated relationships between arts and religion.

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Dia delved into her understanding of community art and the significance of a project like Kembali.

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The community elders were introduced to the movement score of Kembali which was inspired by the three main processes involved in a Muslim funeral.

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How the community elders championed another Kembali practice session that was focused on choreography in the presence of a photographer.

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In the last rehearsal, the seniors were encouraged to reflect on one’s body as a vessel in performance and how it intertwines with death.

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P7:1SMA (Prisma) is a dance performance company that hopes to radically shift the perspective of Malay dance through intimate and innovative performance experiences. Find out more on their website.

Community Performers

Amraini Bte Yaakob

Asiah Bte Haji Rosti

Faridah Binte Rahmat

Halimah Bte Awang

Hamimah Binte Ibrayan

Mazni Binte Kaswani

Nor’aini Binte Rowden

Norizan Binte Taib

Rasidah Bte Sallim

Samia Binte Mahmood

Sazlinah Bte Haron

Zaleha Binte Ismail


Norhaizad Adam

Hasyimah Harith


Dia Hakim Khaeri

Liyana Nasyita

Muhammad Fahmi bin Hazmi


Workshop Process

Community Voices

“Last time, I never got to share with them about how I feel regarding these (end-of-life) topics. But once I joined this Kembali project… I will share with my husband, I would tell them (family) the story…”

Participant of Kembali Dance Workshop