In The News: Dancing for a good cause

It was a FABULOUS SHOW! The pictures in the press tell it all…


Monday November 17, 2008

IT was a night when compassion came to the fore as the musical extravaganza A Night at the Theatre, held at the Dewan Sri Pinang recently, raised RM200,000 for four charities.

The sold-out concert saw the talented dancers of Australian dance group Planet Dance Sydney and Penang’s very own Priscilla Ballet Academy mesmerise the audience with 19 routines based on popular musicals, among them Phantom of the Opera, Little Mermaid, Hair-spray, Dreamgirls, High School Musical, Moulin Rouge, Billy Elliot and Mama Mia.

The money raised will benefit the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Asia Community Service (ACS) for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, Shalom House for students with learning difficulties, and Soroptimist International Penang which is a global voice for women.

“The event was a great success made possible by the generosity and kindness of Penangites. Despite the economic slowdown, people came forward to lend a helping hand,” said organising committee chairperson Malicca Ratne.

 theater1Poetry in motion:They are a picture of grace. These ballerinas from Priscilla Ballet Academy are aong several dancers performing at a musical extravaganza in Penang to raise funds for charity.


Smash hit:The rousing finale of Mama Mia capped a wonderful show.


Boisterous:The Australian dancers performing the can-can in a scene from ‘Moulin Rouge’.


Feast for the eyes:Planet Dance Sydney dancers decked out in bright pink and blue costumes for an energetic rendition of ‘Boy From Oz’.


Young talents:Dancers from Priscilla Ballet Academy in colourful costumes for a scene from ‘The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room’.

She said that although ticket sales were a bit slow at the start, they took off once people realised it was a show not to be missed.

“Some purchased tickets although they could not attend and gave the tickets back to us so we could resell them. These double sales helped too,” she added.

With a varied line up of classical ballet, tap dance and jazz numbers performed by dancers in vividly colourful costumes, the routines were a treat of sight and sound.

Despite the tender age of some of the dancers, they executed their moves flawlessly, floating across the stage in unison with each other.

The youngest, 11-year old Chelsea Ovijach, enjoyed her moment under the limelight and was presented with a bouquet from an adoring fan after the performance.

“This is my first time overseas and it has been amazing. The food, the weather and the people here are great,” she enthused.

Each performance was heightened by clever use of colours, lighting, and effects and wonderful choreography.

As the Phantom of the Opera emerged, a shroud of mist enveloped the stage, accented by blue lighting to create an eerie and ghostly mood. The atmosphere was then revved up for the Moulin Rouge number, with dancers performing the energetic Can-Can dance in a sea of red.

According to Planet Dance principal and creative director Jade Dearie, the 21 dancers aged between 11 and 19 who made the trip from Sydney were chosen from about 600 students. Some of them had performed in the United States, the United Kingdom and France previously.

“We practised weekly for the past year. Most of them have been training since young, and are versatile in all styles,” Dearie explained.

Still in their teens, the dancers had big hearts, taking on part-time jobs to make enough money to fund their trip to Penang for the sole purpose of performing for charity.

Their selfless act won them rapturous applause from an appreciating public.

Fifteen-year-old James Lundie, who worked part-time at cafes for about a year, found the whole experience exciting and fun, and was particularly pleased to be able to perform to help the less fortunate.

“These dancers have gone through many rigorous hours of rehearsals to ensure that the generous donors are richly rewarded by dazzling entertainment.

“They have danced their hearts out for all you kind people,” said Priscilla Teoh, artistic director of Priscilla Ballet, in her programme notes.

Penang Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi, who was present to witness the spectacle, said such events were in line with the state government’s aim to promote healthy art and entertainment for youths.

Dearie said her group hoped to return for another show in 2010 as they wanted to keep performing for charity.

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