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Cultural Medallion accolade for authors Suchen Christine Lim and Meira Chand, and dancer Osman Abdul Hamid

SINGAPORE – Backflips, cartwheels, hand and head stands. These are not moves one associates with traditional Malay dance, but veteran dancer Osman Abdul Hamid has spent four decades infusing his choreography with such athleticism.

The 61-year-old was, after all, a star sportsman before he became a dancer. An avid hockey player and basketballer, Osman also played football with Tampines Rovers from 1978 to 1981 and even considered going professional.

Foreseeing that a life in sports would mean a life of injuries, he chose a life of dance instead – surely no less injury-prone a career, but he claims never to have suffered a serious injury from dancing. He went on to co-found Era Dance Theatre with Azrin Abdul Rahim and currently serves as its artistic director.

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