Artistari is the name of a group of performing artists of Istana Budaya with 87 dancers and 25 traditional musicians. Based on the number of membership, Artistana proves its capability to be a unit of creative force to produce products of quality performances. Previously, it was known as ‘Kumpulan Budaya Negara’ with about 20 members only. Gradually, the group has been expanded and many have expressed their confidence and faith on the future of the group. Today, ‘Kumpulan Kesenian Istana Budaya’ has become the biggest performing art group in Malaysia.
Today, the Istana Budaya Art Group has eight experienced, creative choreographers who are capable to act as Dancing Directors. They are Mr Mohd Shahril Akla, Mr Abu Bakar Sulaiman, Mr Azman Abu Bakar, Mr Hasnol Hassan, Mr Zainal Abidin Bujang, Mr Mahmood Ibrahim, Mr Abdul Mutalif Abu Bakar and MrKhalid Mohamad nor.The traditional musicians of the Istana Budaya Art Group are also skilful to compose and produce songs for productions. Joint efforts of both creative groups enable them to perform diversity of dancing genre like Palace Dance, Folk Dance, Multi-racial Dance, Ethnic Dance and etc. Besides, Aristana is also capable to perform traditional theatres like ‘Makyung’, ‘Wayang Kulit’, ‘Dikir Barat’ and ‘Randai’. Not only can they be the dancers, they are also talented to perform in contemporary dancing plays, theatres and musical theatres.
Undoubtly, the successes of theatres of ANAK TANJUNG, CINDAI, RUBIAH, legacy of TUN PERAK, SITI ZUBAIDAH and MAHSURI prove the capability and talent of this group.
Artistari often performs internationally, including in the Art Festivals like ASEAN DANCE FESTIVAL I,II and III and in the RAMAYANA FESTIVAL in Cambodia, as part of art activities and tourism promotion organized by the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Art and Tourism of Malaysia. Until today, the group has performed in more than 30 countries.