8-Year-Old M'sian To Showcase Ethnic Iban Dance At US Performing Arts World Championship

He's fondly known as 'The Little Bornean Birdie' in local events and competitions.

Cover image via Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak (Facebook) & World Championships of Performing Arts

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An eight-year-old boy from Sarawak has been selected to represent Malaysia in the 2024 World Championship of Performing Arts in the US

According to The Borneo Post, Dion Das Louis was selected to represent the country after he won the Junior Dance category at the grand final of the national preliminaries that was held at Panggung Bandaraya in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 27 January.

He outscored five other contestants by performing a contemporary Iban Ngajat dance as the character 'The Little Bornean Birdie', which is inspired by the two beautiful birds of Sarawak — the hornbill and the burung ruai (great argus).

The burung ruai is a type of pheasant that is native to the jungles of Borneo and known for its impressive plumage.

Dion won a gold medal, a RM3,000 scholarship, and the privilege to compete at the 2024 World Championship of Performing Arts in Long Beach, California

The eight-year-old will be joining a team of other Malaysian dancers, singers, actors, models, and musicians to take part in the international competition from 28 June to 6 July.

Dion's mum additionally told SAYS that he started learning the ethnic Iban dance on his own from the age of six.

Since then, Dion has been performing at events and winning local talent competitions, such as the 2023 Aeroville Mall Kids' Talent Competition and the 2023 Kuching Busking Festival. He has even performed at Kuching Waterfront's 2024 New Year countdown event.

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