Going grand

  • Arts
  • Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014

On stage, Ezlynn (third from left) impressed with her melodious singing and feisty charm.

The recent Royal Arts Gala celebrated the diversity of

the nation’s performing artistes.

IT was truly a night of glitz and glamour as Kuala Lumpur’s patrons of the arts gathered to support the local cultural scene during the Royal Arts Gala.

Taking place at the Muzium Diraja (the former Royal Palace in Kuala Lumpur) on Jan 25, the Gala – themed The Arts, The Soul of A Nation – was aimed at raising funds for new creative and arts ventures in the country.

Featuring a grand performance that showcased both upcoming young performers and established artistic practitioners, the Gala was certainly memorable, a true celebration of the wealth and diversity of the nation’s performing artistes.

Organised by My Performing Arts Agency in collaboration with the National Department for Culture and Arts (JKKN), the event was graced by dignitaries such as Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Tan Sri Abdul Aziz and Culture and Tourism Ministry Secretary General Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng.

The night began with a traditional dance to the song Sekapur Sirih by dancers from JKKN, followed by a musical theatre performance featuring veteran performers Ezlynn, Tony Eusoff and Adibah Noor.

Titled Mimpi Artilla (Artilla’s Dream), the show told the story of the feisty and free-spirited Princess Artilla, daughter of Paduka Bonda, Queen of the kingdom of Mayan.

Paduka intends to marry her daughter off to the dashing Shah Rohan, prince of the kingdom of Rohan, in an effort to strengthen the alliance between their kingdoms.

Artilla, however, is unimpressed by Shah’s bravado, preferring instead to seek out a mysterious man who keeps appearing in her dreams. This results in an odd couple romance as Artilla and Shah clash, and later change, in the course of knowing each other.

On stage, Ezlynn (third from left) impressed with her melodious singing and feisty charm.

Mimpi Artilla was directed and written by Adlin Aman Ramlie, with Onn San as composer, Tunku Tommy Mansur as artistic director and Fairul Zahid as choreographer.

The production’s ensemble featured talents from performing arts agencies, such as JKKN, Aswara Dance Company, My Performing Arts Agency and the Temple of Fine Arts.

Mimpi Artilla featured larger than life performances and visually arresting set pieces. Not forgetting some very memorable tunes, particularly the rousing anthem Rohan Dah Tiba.

Many of the songs incorporated local and traditional influences in their melodies, which was a very nice touch.

On stage, Eusoff was charming as brash lothario Prince Shah, while Ezlynn impressed with her melodious singing.

Scenes of Shah and Artilla bickering were the highlight of the show, most notably the comically tense duet Untuk Apa.

Adibah, on the other hand, earned most of the night’s laughs as Paduka Bonda, entertainingly portraying her character as an operatic diva with a penchant for dramatic exclamations and even more dramatic headpieces.

Mimpi Artilla featured some very interesting artistic and musical touches.

A scene featuring Shah’s horseback pursuit of Artilla was punctuated by a chorus doing a Gangnam Style-influenced dance, for example, while a group of violent guerrillas made their stage appearance by tumbling and leaping to a rap song.

Meanwhile, Artilla’s visit to a local village shaman featured dancers dressed in reflective clothing, effectively heightening the surreal nature of the scene.

Also notable were the opening scenes of each Act where actors played frogs, utilising exercise balls to replicate the animals’ agility and bounciness.

Halfway during the Gala, Nazri took to the stage to present Royal Medallions to individuals who had made significant contributions to the country’s performing arts.

Sutra Foundation chairman Datuk Ramli Ibrahim was honoured with the Anugerah Tokoh Seni Kreatif (Royal Medallion – Creative) for his mastery of Indian classical dance, as well as his efforts in promoting Malaysia’s cultural harmony through his art.

In his acceptance speech, Ramli thanked his friends and colleagues, as well as Sutra Foundation’s dancers.

“They have shown high levels of commitment and creativity, and have reached a level where they are respected for their art on an international stage,” said a delighted Ramli.

Yayasan Sime Darby was also honoured with the Anugerah Tokoh Seni Korporat (Royal Medallion – Corporate) for its unwavering financial support of the performing arts.

“What we have done might be small, but sometimes a small thing can go a very long way,” said Yayasan Sime Darby governing council member Tan Sri Datuk Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin upon receipt of the Medallion.


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Going grand


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