Dancing together at Gawai in Sarawak #6

Celebrating Gawai by dancing together in Borneo, Malaysia
Both images: Dancers and visitors celebrate Gawai by dancing together. Sarawak, Malaysia

In Sarawak everyone I met was friendly, making conversation was easy and all my questions were answered enthusiastically which meant I had fun and that I have loads of real, relevant and personal insights into the dances. However shooting the dancing itself was very frustrating. We missed the traditional Gawai welcome because of flight times and while many of the performances themselves were accessible, they were so because they had been put together in a tourist package. The tight press trip schedule didn’t allow me time to do anything other than take photos during the performance which meant, out of consideration for the rest of the audience, I couldn’t run about or get photos from anywhere other than where I put myself at the beginning of the performance. My understanding is that the best dancers are recruited from each tribe to perform to visitors, but nonetheless I would really love to go back, meet people in the different tribes that celebrate Gawai and take photos of the real performances that they do in their own homes.

Celebrating Gawaii by dancing together in Borneo, Malaysia