Choreographer Susanna Leinonen at George Town Festival

The George Town Festival in the state of Penang, Malaysia is back with music, dance, film, arts, food and visual works from local and international artistes. The month-long event kicks off on June 15 and will go on until 15 July.

Marking the island city’s status as a Unesco World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, the festival also serves to encourage interest in the arts and artistic expression, cultural exchange and dialogue.

As part of the programme is the contemporary dance called Blinded Mind from Finland. The festival website states that the dance is about “the unavoidable consequences that ensue when a single individual bravely swims against the prevailing stream”.

Performed by internationally acclaimed Finnish choreographer Susanna Leinonen and her contemporary dance company, Blinded Mind was first presented in 2011 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Susanna Leinonen’s Company. The performance will take place at Dewan Sri Pinang on 4 July.

Other exciting performances in the line-up are Silat, helmed by award-winning local producer-director Saw Teong Hin which is commissioned especially for the gala start to the 2012 festival and The Manganiyar Seduction, by creator-director Roysten Abel.

On the streets, from 6 to 8 July, are more than 20 cultural performances and showcases by local communities, open house of historical sites and homes, guided tours to the city’s heritage sites, heritage talks, arts and crafts showcases and food bazaars.

The festival, first held two years ago, is a joint effort by the Penang State Government, Municipal Council of Penang Island, George Town World Heritage Incorporated and Penang Global Tourism.

The festival ends on 14 and 15 July with a finale featuring 25 indie bands performing at the Penang Botanical Gardens such as Love Me Butch, Incarnation, DichiMichi, The Padangs, TresEmpre, Hello Is This The Band, An Honest Mistake.

For more information about the show dates and ticket prices at the festival, visit

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