By Farah Nadhira Zairi
KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 (Bernama) -- A dance drama production for children entitled 'Ellie & the Forbidden Fruit' will be staged on Aug 5 at KuAsh Theatre, Pusat Kreatif Kanak-kanak Tuanku Bainun.
Tunas Tari, in a statement said, it was inspired by a masterpiece of a children´s storybook, Gajah Sejati (published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in 1997), and reached out to the author and illustrator, renowned Malaysian artist-cum-writer, Mohd Yusof Ismail, fondly known as Yusof Gajah, to bring a dance drama adaptation of the book to stage.
The story revolves around a curious elephant which, prompted by its stubbornness and perhaps some discontentment with being just an elephant, fails to heed prior cautions and defies ancient lore by eating the forbidden fruit. It finds itself changing from one strange animal to another, inviting challenges along the way.
Tunas Tari Executive Director, Fazlin Abu Hassan Shaari said, "A number of children today are glued to their electronic devices and hand phones. The book Gajah Sejati is chosen to encourage children to appreciate local storybooks with moral values and the works of local authors/ illustrators, such as Pak Yusof, who deserve to be celebrated as our national icon pursuant to the worldwide reach and recognition of his work."
"Due to the present situation where children lack reading habits and are less aware of the treasures we have in local storybooks, Tunas Tari aims to nurture their reading habits, by marrying our love for traditional dance and create awareness on the existence of local storybooks, Malaysian art/ illustrations, celebrating the beauty of the rich Malaysian arts and culture," said Fazlin. MAJESTIC ELEPHANT
Synonymous with the name, Yusof Gajah´s constant inspiration or muse in his artistic career is the majestic elephant.
He is an advocate of a movement called naive art for decades now, which is a form of creative expression which sees the world in a simplified and idiosyncratic manner, not taking into account the rules of proportions and perspective. He has a deep and abiding love for children´s books and finds solace in working with children.....