Dancing with Kindred Spirits


After mixing tradition with the contemporary, Aida Redza brings her dances onto the streets.

Dance and theatre fans know Aida Redza for her extraordinary and fearless performances. While grounded in a firm knowledge of the past, Aida’s work marks her out as one of the country’s most forward-thinking creatives and an iconic embodiment of female power.

Perhaps her family roots offer some clues for why this should be so. Her father’s ancestors traced their lineage to Minang royal court warriors in Naning, then part of Negeri Sembilan. On the Medan-Mandailing matrilineal side of the family, Aida’s grandmother was an ustazah invited to lead the women’s community in Singapore and married a journalist who helped found the magazine Qalam before moving to KL. She also played the gambus and sang nasyid, a skill she passed on to Aida’s own mother.

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