Permata Seni’s inaugural concert showcased some of the country’s fine young talents.
IMPRESSIVE. That was the general consensus after watching Permata Seni’s inaugural concert, Enhancing Young Talents, on Tuesday afternoon at Panggung Sari, Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur.
Organised by the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, the concert was a culmination of much hard work. The Permata Seni project is an education programme aimed at developing the artistic talents of children aged between six and 12 from different races, backgrounds and cultures from around the country. Under the patronage of the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the programme comprised a year-long series of camps and workshops to hone these children’s talents. Since the school holidays began last month, these kids have been undergoing intensive training.
Housewife Sharina Ismail, 32, who had come with her children, was fascinated with the concert which featured over 150 children.
Awesome: Organised by the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, the Permata Seni concert featured over 150 children. Seen here are the musicians, dancers and choir.
“I’m sure others were equally entertained with the performance. It was a colourful show and I’m truly surprised with the number of gifted children in our country,” said Sharina.
The two-day concert, which ended on Wednesday, was graced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Rosmah and prominent personalities, including Indian politician Rahul Gandhi and the Sultan of Brunei’s former wife, Pengiran Isteri Hajah Mariam.
Throughout the 90-minute show directed by local thespian Lokman Ghani, the children mesmerised the audience with their performances.
When it came to dance, five different items were featured – zapin, Chinese lantern dance, a traditional native piece called Ketam Bangkang, and two dance medleys from Borneo and Bollywood. The dance sequences were complemented by eye-catching backdrops befitting each theme.
Dressed in colourful traditional outfits (Malay, Chinese, Indian and from Borneo), the children danced gracefully to the music. It was the Bollywood dance medley, with some great choreography, that ultimately earned most cheers from the crowd.
Bevy of beauties: Borneo dance medley.
The audience, which comprised mainly young children, clapped enthusiastically and tapped their feet to the beat of the bhangra folk dances and popular Bollywood song Dhoom Machale (from movie Dhoom 2). The young male dancers wore what resembled traditional bharatanatyam costumes while the girls were clad in glittery lenghas in pretty shades of pink, red, green and blue.
The choir segment proved to be another favourite. Vocal master Syafinaz Selamat, a singer in her own right, steered the children through five songs – Tepuk Amai Amai, Buih Sabun, One Song, Kain Pelekatand When The Saints Go Marching In. Listening to their harmonious voices, strictly true to tone, was a joy.
The music segment comprised four performances – a string ensemble which performed J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto In D Minor (featuring soloists Joyce Lee and Eunice Foo) and Antonio Vivaldi’sViolin Concerto No 10 In B Minor For Four Violins (featuring Verena Koay, Antony Goon, Yap Qin and Danish Mubin), a keyboard ensemble (three electones and a clavinova) and a solo performance by child prodigy pianist Tengku Ahmad Irfan Tengku Ahmad Shahrizal who played Frederic Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 In E Minor.
A Bollywood medley.
Twelve-year-old Irfan was arguably the star of the show. As soon as the bespectacled boy’s fingers tickled the ivories, he had everybody eating out of his hand.
To conclude the event, the audience was ushered down memory lane by the children singing Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s nostalgic Tualang Tiga and Menceceh. They also enticed the crowd with Audi Mok’s Malaysia Satu and Permata’s theme song.
The concert ended on a high note with all present in awe of the children’s obvious talents. It just goes to show that with the right amount of guidance, talents – even young ones – can be suitably fostered and enhanced, and bring joy and pride to the nation.
The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry’s Permata Seni Choir will conduct a choir audition tomorrow from 9am to 2pm at Choir Studio, 23th Floor, MAS Building, Jalan Sultan Ismail in KL. For details, call 03-2052 3600/3702 or browse jkkn.gov.my.