Multidisciplinary show Seni Tiga by Kongsi Petak, a member of the KongsiKL performing arts community, emerged as the biggest winner at the 17th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards (BCAA), which was streamed online last night.
Seni Tiga, a collaborative performance project that focuses on movement, visual and sound, took home five awards collectively in the dance category for Seni Tiga #2: Remnant Vision and Seni Tiga #10: Impermanence.
“It's really rewarding to see this happening because we literally started with nothing. The project was started by three people in January last year, with the first performance in February, then slowly we got more and more people who believed in our visions, ” says Mah Jun Yi, Seni Tiga’s assistant producer.
“The momentum built up since the beginning, and in the end, we were more confident to try even wilder ideas, ” she adds.
Last night’s awards ceremony was streamed live via Facebook and it was hosted by stage actor/director Dominic Lucien Luk.
This year’s BCAA was themed Antara Satu Sama Lain and was conceptualised by theatre director Christopher Ling.
The BCAA, organised by arts portal Kakiseni since 2002, honours outstanding achievements in the 37 categories of music, dance, theatre and musical theatre productions that were produced, performed and staged live in the Klang Valley.
Seni Tiga #2: Remnant Vision grabbed the awards for Best Lead/Featured Performer (Lee Jia Xi) and Best Lighting Design (Wong Thien Pau & Loke Soh Kim) while Seni Tiga #10: Impermanence for Best Set Design (Justin Lee Kar Wai), Best Music & Sound Design (Kent Lee) and Best Multimedia Design (Luna Macula).
Also in dance, Mix Bill Of Contemporary Dance Works, presented by Kenny Shim Collective, picked up the Best Group Performance (Mobius Dance & Kenny Shim Collective) and Best Choreographer in a Mixed Bill (Jamaal Burkmar) awards.
In the musical theatre category, Euphrasia - The Musical, a collaboration between The Actors Studio and the Good Shepherd Sisters, snagged four awards.
The musical by local playwrights Cheah UiHua and Terence Toh about Mother Mary Euphrasia, took home the awards for Best Choreographer (Megan Chng), Best Performance by an Ensemble, Best Sound Design (Syahreez Redza) and Best Lighting Design (Amelia Tan).
Another musical by Toh, The Working Dead, picked up three awards: Best Original Score (Kelvin Loh, Lydia Tong & Toh), Best Original Book (Toh), and Best Musical Direction (Loh).
“It just feels so surreal. I never thought I would even be nominated, for one let alone two shows! I am very happy that my efforts have been recognised and I am so thankful. I am definitely inspired to keep writing and creating new works after this,” says Toh.
“When we were writing the musical, we never even considered the possibility of winning anything. We just wanted to write from our hearts and put on a good show. It was really our passion project and we are so proud of it, ” adds Loh, a frequent collaborator with Toh.
They have worked together since 2014 on several Short & Sweet Malaysia festivals under the musical theatre category.
In the music category, KL-based Orang Orang Drum Theatre’s (OODT) Laguku 2.0 picked the Best Group Performance - Instrumental, Best Musical Direction and Best Production Values awards.
The drum and theatre infused show drew inspiration from Sarawakian folk songs, mask theatre, puppetry and drum theatre.
“We are currently preparing our new album which includes some of the music in Laguku 2.0. And we hope that this recognition can help us to promote our album and keep our company afloat in this difficult time. Nothing can stop us from creating and we will continue creating,” says Damien Leow, the show's co-producer and performer.
OODT previously won two BCCA awards in 2015 (best group performance and best music and sound design) for Hidup Ini Senget (2014), its very first production.
In the theatre category, there was a big nod for local Chinese theatre.
Grace Looi and Sunny Ng won the Best Direction and Best Original Script awards for their slice of life play The Door, presented by Greenhopper Theatre. Another play by Greenhopper Theatre, Ah Mah, picked up the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Dexter Liong) award.
Team Theatre, another Chinese theatre company, grabbed the Best Actor in a Leading Role (Low Kah Weng) and Best Set Design (Yap Kok Boon) awards for Men Don’t Cry.
The Best Of 2019 category winners were Bach: St Matthew Passion by Bachfest Malaysia, Buka Langkah: Inner Resonance by Gangsapura, Pohlithik by Anomalist Production and Ultimate Music Crawl by the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. They received a cash prize of RM3,000.
For a complete list of the winners, visit kakiseni.org/awards.