Board of directors
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education.
RAJA HAMZAH RAJA ZULKIFLI, PBM
Being the Pioneer and founder of Variasi, I first formed the organization back in 2000. Picking up dance and acting as a hobby at the age of 7 years old, it became my all-consuming passion in life. I had the chance to gather the community especially youths to organise many Youth-Arts related programmes including Pestariasi (Dance-Theatre Festival), Arts Education Programme (LabSeni), Di Atas Pentas and many more. I was appointed as the Artistic Director for several Chingay Parades such as Chingay 1998 – Celebrate the Malay Festival@ City Hall, Chingay 2006 – Different Ball Game and was also given the opportunity to be involved with the creative team assisting Cultural Medallion, Mr Osman Abdul Hamid for Chingay 2012 – Warisanku Gemilang which has won the best contingent parade.
Similarly, I was involved in several National Events such as National Day Parade, Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore Heritage Festival and Gentarasa by People’s Association (MESRA) as well. Through the years in Variasi, I have produced more than 30 productions and festivals including Projek Tiga – Collaboration with Projek Ronggeng (Malaysia) and Rentas Sastera Nusantara with Sanggar Teater Fauziah Nawi (STEFANI) in 2018 . Currently, I am serving the grassroots organisation as Chairman of Canberra MAEC and Member of M3@Woodlands. A few of my accomplishments include receiving several awards such as National Day Silver Award by the Ministry of Defence in 2011, PA Grassroots Long Service Award and National State Award – Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Medal) by His Excellency President Dr Tony Tan in 2013. To many more years in Variasi!
Senior Vice President
SAIFUL NIZAM SALIM
While accompanying a friend at an audition, my interest in the arts sparked when I was asked to perform instead. Since then, the interest grew into passion, leading me to act in my first production, HUJAN (2004). I continued to act in different roles, exploring different themes and genres before playing a lead role in ALOMPA AGO GO (2014). As I kept pushing arts between traditional and contemporary theatre, I had the opportunity to also perform in prestigious events and festivals such as Chingay (2006) and Dance Festivals. I developed my skills beyond performing when I started scriptwriting, directing, and producing.
Since 2004, I involved in over 20 productions, including Danstravaganza (2011), Naomi (2011), Pestariasi Simfoni Layar Seni (2011), Danstravaganza (2012), Malam Kelab Bunga Tanjung (2012), Pestariasi Alompa Ago Go (2014), PROJEK 3 – BILIK (2017), PESTARIASI – TERANG (2019) and many more. Few of my remarkable moments includes script-writing for PROJEK 3- BILIK, and having a known celebrity in Malaysia, Wan Raja to act for my piece. It was well received by the audiences! My time in VARIASI has taught me to be fluent in Stage Management, Marketing, Publicity, and Event Management from over 17 years of experience. Heading VARIASI as the Non-Executive Director Senior Vice President, I hope to bring a holistic approach to empower our youth beyond performing. During my free time, I enjoy staying in with my cat, binge watching on Netflix, or working out.
Senior Vice President
Director of Projects and Production Works/Dance & Cilik Skool
RAJA SITI NURHUDAH RAJA ZULKIFLI
I discovered that I wanted to become a dancer when I was given the opportunity to perform in my school musical as an Indian Dancer during my time in primary school. While I have never received formal training as a performer, I had to work twice as hard especially in dancing. I continued my journey in dance when I first joined Bengkel Kanak Kanak Gemala Sari in 1998 – 2000. I also took part in several performances including Chingay, National Day Parade and Dance Festivals. In 2009, I was offered to be Co-Lead Actress for a Musical Theatre called Kolej 56 in 2009 and from there, I continued my passion in acting by participating for several other productions such as Alompa Agogo and Projek Tiga-Bilik with Malaysian Actor ‘Wan Raja’.
I attended various workshops and trainings to develop myself in arts industries and I’m currently teaching Dance and Speech & Drama for schools and Cilik Skool. My hard work was recognised and I received a commendation award – Meritorious Award in 2011 and also to commemorate my 15 years of service in Variasi. Recently, I started a new business “Et’nik Apparels and Accessories”, bringing Batik & Songket fabric and fashion to the community. I hope to be an inspiration for those who are academically-challenged but wish to pursue a career in the arts.
Head of Programming & Training Development
It has been a meaningful and remarkable journey in Variasi Performing Arts as a performing artiste since 2007. I am grateful to be able to learn and develop my knowledge as well as skills in the various Arts discipline. In 2012, I had the opportunity to work with a group of new talents in Projek 3. Given the role of co-producer in the production has taught me valuable lessons that I will treasure. In 2014, I was given a leading role as Mas Mona and it was indeed a joyful and memorable experience I had. In conjunction with SG50 in 2015, I wrote my first script for a play, Garisan Masa - Menunggu Detik.
It was well received by audiences and I was awarded Variasi’s Best ScriptWriter Award for that year. It was a great honour for me to receive the award and it definitely inspired me to keep striving to do better every day. In 2016, I was given the opportunity to lead a team as a producer for a musical production, Harkat - Cita, Citra Manusia which was held at Drama Centre. It was an amazing and meaningful experience as I am grateful to be able to learn from other fellow comrades who were always supportive and always sharing their knowledge about production work. In 2019, I was awarded the Meritorious Award 2018. Besides performing, baking is one of my favourite pastimes. I love baking and decorating cakes. It is heart-warming to bake for someone on his/her special day. I really find joy in finding new recipes and ideas for my cakes. I am truly grateful by all these amazing experiences and I hope to contribute to the society more in the future!
Head of Corporate Services
Growing up, I was not an art enthusiast, hence I was never involved in performing arts related to theatre, dance or acting. My first ‘touchpoint’ with Variasi was when I attended a play called Projek Tiga – Bilik back in 2017 as a guest, and that was also the first time I met with the team.
I started assisting Variasi back in 2018 for their talkshow forum, “Pantang Nenek Moyang Aku,” handling the administration work and thereafter, I was given the opportunity to be part of the Production team in “Pestariasi – Terang” in 2019. I have always enjoyed event works, being involved behind the scene as I feel a sense of fulfilment seeing a project grow. I came to realise that you do not need to have an arts background, nor be good in acting or dancing to volunteer in an arts organisation like Variasi. I am taking up this role as a challenge for myself to push my boundaries, and I hope my contribution will make a difference to the organisation.
Head of Dance & Cilik Skool
My interest in Malay dance began while I was in kindergarten. In 2015, I joined Variasi as their resident dancer and has been actively performing ever since. Dancing has always been my passion and I have always loved the preparation, fancy costumes outfit and stage make-up prior to every performance.
Then on, I was given countless opportunities to utilise my skills and experience that I have gained to guide and assist our young dancers in any way possible. In 2019, I was given the Promising Award for Dance Unit and that was truly my remarkable moment. I am very grateful to the board members for recognising my effort and my hardwork. It is a huge milestone for me to be able to excel as a resident dancer and presently a board member holding big responsibility in the organisation. I look forward to working with the great team!
Director of Theatre and Literary Arts
MUHAMMAD ANDI MD ZULKEPLI
I grew up being involved in many language and culture-related activities since I was in primary school. Amongst the many activities, I vividly recalled playing the role of a Pineapple in an acting session during my primary school days. I can still remember how the teacher shared the basics of stage performance – voice projection, facial expression and body movements. This then developed into an interest, and later on, passion, for theatre. In 2012, I was given the opportunity to be part of the cast ensemble of ‘Langkat Muazzam’, a theatre production by NUS Malay Studies Society. I felt privileged to be under the tutelage of Abang Mok (Keater H.M), a well-known theatre practitioner and mentor. I became actively involved in Variasi Performing Arts since 2015.
I co-produced Projek Tiga: Garisan Masa in the same year, a production that highlighted the challenges faced by the Malay community during pre-separation, the separation years and present day. In 2016, I co-produced Di Atas Pentas, a cultural event held at Malay Heritage Centre that gathered youths from different schools and institutions/organisations. On the same year, I led Variasi to organise AKAR! Arts Camp, an effort that aims to provide exposure to the Malay performative arts, namely theatre and dance, to our youths. In 2017, I produced Harkat: Cita Citra Manusia, a theatre production inspired by Hikayat Faridah Hanum, a novel written by Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi. In 2018, I had the opportunity to direct a play based on the works of Usman Awang, a well-known literati in Malaysia, at Rentas Sastera Nusantara, a collaborative effort between Variasi and Sanggar Teater Fauziah Nawi to promote Malay literature from both countries to the audience. I was also awarded Anugerah Guru Arif Budiman (AGAB) in 2019.