First formed in 1994, as a collective of lecturers and students of the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA, (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia) was established to further promote local performances and champion a Malaysian identity in traditional and contemporary dance. Building a good reputation through the years, in 2011 the injection of funds from the SIME DARBY FOUNDATION enabled the full-time professional company to be established for outstanding graduates.
ASWARA Dance Company is now a shining example of Malaysia’s plurality embodied in its repertoire that transcends borders of race, religion and genres. Major productions for its 2011-12 season include JB Arts Festival, Georgetown Festival, Women On Top, KLCC Seni Festival, 3 Faces and Connecting Communities – National Dance Tour. The company has performed at international dance festivals including Hong Kong Dance Teens, Dance XChange in the Philippines, Muara Festival in Singapore, World Islamic Economic Forum in Indonesia, Pondok Bantan in Thailand, as well as every major Malaysian dance festival.
The company has received innumerable dance awards for performance and choreography especially through kakiseni’s Boh Cameronian Arts Awards and the Ministry of Culture Awards. In 2011, the company was judged the Grand Jury Prize Winner of the Selangor Young Talent Award for performing arts.