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Monday, March 9, 2009

Shining for charity

THE theme was ‘By the Children, For the Children’ and rightly so as the young dancers from Greenapple Ballet Academy danced their hearts out during a recent charity concert which raised RM50,000 for seven children’s charities.

Jointly organised by Greenapple and the Lions Club of George Town, the concert was held over two nights at the Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang, with proceeds from ticket sales and donations going to the Handicapped Children’s Centre, Ramakrishna Orphanage, St Joseph’s Orphanage, Pertubuhan Thalassaemia Pulau Pinang, The Children’s Protection Society, Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti and Pertubuhan Rumah Kebajikan Seri Cahaya Pulau Pinang.

The culmination of three months of hard work and planning, the concert was a truly memorable experience not only for everyone involved in the production but for the appreciative audience as well.

The majority of the performers were children, some as young as three, but all the 220-odd performers were united by their common passion for dancing.

“I just wanted to give the children a chance to perform for a good cause and at the same time take home a wonderful experience.

Pretty little maids: Greenapple Ballet Academy dancers dazzle them all during the charity show.

“It helps cultivate a charitable heart and instills in them a desire to contribute to society,” said Greenapple principal Grace Chew.

With an eclectic mix of ballet, modern, tap, jazz and belly dances, the concert was a feast for the eyes.

There was a fast-paced dance set to evergreen Abba hits, bewitiching belly dances and charming ballet numbers set to Disney tunes.

The audience also enjoyed exuberant High School Musical and Hannah Montana routines.

Delighted: Young girls performing a number called "The Lonely Goatherd"

Each of the 18 segments was markedly different, showcasing the dancers’ versatility and varied repertoire of moves.

One moment the little ones were playing housemaids, the next moment pink panthers were prowling about on stage swishing their tails.

The finale, a performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic Swan Lake, ended the show on a magical note.

Shanelle Alayne, 10 ,and Lye Kah Yei, 12, enjoyed the experience immensely,

“I was a bit nervous going on stage at first but I just took a deep breath and tried not to think about it,” Shanelle said.

Zara Kim Khoo Chen Xi, 16, said the experience helped build up her confidence as performing in front of large crowds was no easy task.

“Besides, it’s not every day that you get to perform in a show like this,” she adds.

Arabian allure: Belly dancers mesmerising the audience with an uptempo routine.

Contrary to popular belief, ballet is not for girls only. The thorn among the roses, Justin Lim, 16, said he found it difficult when he first started, as he was the lone male during classes.

But as time went on, his friends noticed that the principles taught in ballet changed his outlook and many began to take an interest in his hobby .

“One will never regret taking up ballet as it helps in everything you do,” Lim said, adding that he would cherish his experience dancing in the concert.

Among the VIPs present on the night were Penang Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, State Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heri-tage Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang, Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong, Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai and Lions Club district governor Kenneth Saw Say Heong.


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