Young people, regardless of nationality or social situation, thrive when given the chance to be creative, and for those who are not afraid of the spotlight, sharing art and artistic endeavours with a receptive audience is a superb way for youngsters to develop a sense of self and explore their own boundaries.
This month, two events taking place at the Temple of Fine Arts in Brickfields will showcase the talent of young people and give members of the public an opportunity to celebrate and share in the successes of the tweens involved.
Bites of Delight
Youthful enthusiasm is funnelled towards celebrating traditional heritage as the contemporary gamelan group Rhythm in Bronze present their latest community theatre project, Bites of Delight. This show, which will run from 15-23 November, brings tales of Asian folklore to life through acting, singing, and dancing to create a vibrant musical theatre performance that resounds with the sound of gamelan music, all of which is created by the cast themselves.
This is all the more remarkable considering the 27 performers involved, aged from 8 to 18, have no grounding in the traditional Malaysian instrument, and were required to not only master the instrument and the music, but devise and create all the songs and dances in the show themselves as well.
Rhythm in Bronze were keen to set up a project such as this with urban kids to give them the chance to immerse themselves in this art form that is part of the heritage of Malaysia. “We are proud to be putting our stamp on this project,” said executive producer, Sharmini Ratnasingam. “The thinking behind the project was to produce music theatre with the facilitation and direction of top professionals in their fields while celebrating the infinite creativity of young people.”
Some of the professionals involved include collaborating partner Shantini Venugopal of The Jumping JellyBeans; a children’s theatre company that has already developed an admirable reputation thanks to its vision of bringing theatre back to children, and the company has been complemented for their work with special needs children.
Bites of Delight has attracted the attention of UNICEF, who are thrilled to be sponsoring such a philanthropic venture. “We are honoured to be a part of an initiative that embraces a child’s right to participate in cultural life and the arts,” said Wiwina Belmonte, UNICEF’s representative to Malaysia.
The public will be able to share in this theatrical adventure by visiting the Temple of Fine Arts, and anyone keen to get tickets or more information on the show should visit wwww.ticketpro.com.my.
A stellar supporting act to Bites of Delight comes in the form of an art exhibition that showcases over 100 pieces of art and clay created by mentally disabled young people from 10-20 November at the Temple of Fine Arts.
The young artists have all manner of difficulties such as autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, and one such youngster is 17-year-old Zoee, who’s paintings of natural scenes in bright and brilliant primary colours are uplifting to behold. Although she started painting at the age of eight, it is only recently that Zoee has come to enjoy the process of creating work, and her Mum is justly proud of her daughter’s achievements. “When she turned 16, she started to really enjoy painting with a brush,” said Ong Bee Yang of her daughter. “She has an art teacher who guides her, but at least 80% of the effort is hers.”
Zoee’s creations are just one example of the wonderful art works on display for the 10-day period, and UNICEF’s Belmonte is particularly complimentary about the exhibition and the aims behind the venture, as “the inclusion of an arts and crafts exhibition by autistic children is particularly significant and meaningful to UNICEF as we believe that all children should have equal opportunities.” Belmonte, speaking on behalf of UNICEF, expressed her pleasure that children’s disabilities were not seen “as a barrier to their full participation and expression.”
The exhibition, aptly entitled Happy Colours, will conclude with a special charity auction of five selected works during the Gala Night on 20 November, which coincides with Universal Children’s Day. For details of Happy Colours contact Ong Bee Yang on 012.201 9648 or by email at [email protected].
Happy Colours completes a wonderful duo of events at the Temple of Fine Arts this month, and together they offer a rare chance to celebrate young talent in this urban jungle and be reminded that the upcoming generation is destined for greatness, provided they are given the correct environment in which to succeed.
Source: The Expat November 2012
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