19  October 2012  - 14:22
Maybank Foundation to Sponsor "Bites of Delights"

Music Theatre with Live Gamelan

“Bites of Delights” has nothing to do with food but everything to do with “twirly whirly tales from the Spice Trail.” The MUSIC THEATRE event featuring a cast of 26 young people will premiere on November 15, 2012 until November 23, 2012 at the Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) on Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. A gala performance will coincide with Universal Children’s Day on Tuesday November 20, 2012.

“Bites of Delights” is a unique Malaysian musical experience, combining the traditions of gamelan with contemporary theatre and the charms of young talent. A must-see for all who love the arts,” says Patron, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

The production by the award winning contemporary Malaysian gamelan group, RHYTHM IN BRONZE is in collaboration with children’s theatre advocate, JUMPING JELLYBEANS. The event is presented by Maybank Foundation and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Explains executive producer, Sharmini Ratnasingam of RHYTHM IN BRONZE: “This is possibly the first time ever that young people are creating music for theatre through gamelan and gong culture (and perform) as an integral part of a music theatre production. The cast of 26 ranging in age from 8 to 18 were handpicked early this year during casting sessions. The thinking behind the project was to produce Music Theatre with the facilitation and direction of top professionals in their fields while celebrating the infinite creativity of young people.”

“Bites of Delights” will take theatre goers on a delightful journey through various “Spice Trail” countries where a group of storytellers tell us fascinating stories taken from Asian folklore through acting, dancing, performing using minimum props and maximum creativity. Live gamelan music created by the cast themselves and that from other musical instruments will become a seamless part of each storytelling session. Director, Ghafir Akbar and Music Director, Lorna Henderson are currently rehearsing hard with their young artistes.

The Chairman of Maybank, Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, said : “We are most fortunate that today, Maybank has found a CR effort worthy of our support, working with partners Unicef Malaysia and Rhythm in Bronze. This is because the effort involves inculcating awareness of contemporary gamelan amongst our Malaysian children towards greater understanding of how the diversity of our people here is helping build a wonderful Malaysia".

"Bites of Delight is an ideal project for the Maybank Foundation to be involved in. It fits into the foundation’s aim of promoting sustainable programmes. Also, it forms part of our area of focus – namely, the appreciation and conservation of heritage, arts and cultural events."

“Bites of Delights” is the creative nucleus of a broader umbrella of community events that includes an Arts & Crafts showcase of work produced by young people with different degrees of autism.

“We are honoured to be a part of an initiative that embraces a child's right to participate in cultural life and the arts," said UNICEF's Representative to Malaysia, Wivina Belmonte. "Artistic pursuits help children develop qualities such as empathy, compassion and humaneness through creativity, while exploring the wonders of their own imagination. The inclusion of an arts and crafts exhibition by autistic children is particularly significant and meaningful to UNICEF as we believe that all children should have equal opportunities, without disability of any kind being used as a barrier to their full participation and expression.”

Rhythm In Bronze is Malaysia's one and only pioneering Malaysian Gamelan group. Rhythm in Bronze creates and performs new works of contemporary Malaysian gamelan through collaboration with artists across a variety of genres and sensibilities. The group is dedicated to the growth of Malaysian gamelan music by exploring its endless possibilities and by bringing gamelan to the widest audience locally and globally.

Shanthini Venugopal & Cinzia Ciaramicoli created The Jumping JellyBeans (JJB) in 2000 with the vision of bringing theatre back to children. Currently JJB carries out workshops and performances for children and adults. JJB is also recognised for its ongoing work with special needs children.