Chicken licken: Jasmine and Jeremy had the audience in fits in Bird Flu.
AS soon as she sang her first few notes, it was clear that Dhanya Ashley Dass was nothing but pure talent.
The Enfiniti Academy of Musical Theatre and Entertainment Arts (ENACT) student sang Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind at the academy’s recent second quarter end-of-semester performance class.
“I saw it on an episode of Glee and I wanted to put my own twist on it,” said the 12-year old who studied under vocal coach Junji Delfino.
With a mother whose 17 siblings all play musical instruments and sing, it’s no wonder Dhanya is following suit.
“Singing is my passion. I want to make a career out of it so I have to act on it right now.”
The young songstress whose favourite artists include Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera and Ed Sheeran, performed alongside 100 other students aged between three and 30 for family and friends.
Absolutely Contemporary (Advanced) dance students Puteri Aisya Marissa Rusli and Tan Jo-Lyn performed a warm-up and a dance number together.
“I started dancing when I was three. I started off with ballet and then branched out into contemporary dance,” said Puteri Aisya, who is now 17.
“Dancing is freeing. I love the performing aspect to it because you get to express yourself on stage,” said Jo-Lyn.
Other performances included poem recitals by Act Up! (Teens) students who had been exploring how to understand and communicate simple poetry, said teacher Qahar Aqilah.
Their younger Act Up! counterparts performed Dinner Time, where over the past three months they had been introduced to basic scenework, characterisation and working with props under their teacher and ENACT course director Joanna Bessey.
Meanwhile, the Sing Out! class turned the room into a dancefloor with their energetic rendition of the catchy song Under the Sea from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Acting Technique (Adults) students Stephen-Megam Varunamegam and Vincent Low Tze Shiang displayed their dramatic acting chops in a scene from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman while Jeremy Song Wai Jin and Jasmine Chin Xian Mei had the audience in fits with their staging of Bird Flu by Ho Sui-Jim.
“I like the script because it’s quite unconventional. It’s simple but it has a lot of underlying meaning,” said Jeremy, who wore a makeshift chicken suit for the scene.
The 28-year-old who works as a copywriter, said that the class taught him about the importance of character intention.
“Knowing why your character is doing something, it makes your performance as an actor more believeable.”
ENACT founder Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina was happy to note that the number of ENACT students had doubled this year.
“More parents and young people are beginning to realise the importance of performing arts and how it helps them with communication skills and confidence, preparing them better for the workforce,” she said in her welcome note.
Performing arts classes also allowed students to integrate as young Malaysians, she added.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim was also there to support the showcase.
The next semester of weekly drama, voice and dance ENACT classes start in July.