The cancellation of shows by a Singaporean ballet troupe in Malaysia has caused a tempest in a tutu, with the government saying the dancers applied too late for a permit to perform, and a local group blaming cultural concern over "indecent" costumes.
Ballet Illuminations by the Singapore Dance Theatre was supposed to run this weekend, and many tickets had been sold for performances of The Nutcracker and other works. But without a permit, the show cannot go on.
Malaysian government agency Puspal said reports about a permit rejection were "unfounded and inaccurate", adding that the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre did not apply until 12pm yesterday.
Bilqis Hijjas, president of the MyDance Alliance in Kuala Lumpur, said she got a different message when she talked to the performing-arts centre. "It was rejected as the costumes were seen as indecent," she said.