A jungle scene comes alive in 3D from the iPhones of audiences as they watched the children of arts training centre, The Little Arts Academy (LAA) perform in “Ki”, a year end theatre show adapted from English author Rudyard Kipling’s classic children story, The Jungle Book.
The jungle scene is one of several digital backdrops that have been created and animated by the children and youths aged six to 19 using digital art tools such as Google’s Tilt brush to provide an immersive experience.
This infusion of technology is a first time for a production by LAA, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in November 2018.
Says curriculum manager, Azizah Abdullah, “The children have taken the ownership for this performance to go beyond traditional art making so as to bring a new experience to this production. They feel a sense of accomplishment when they see their works come to ‘live’ through the use of digital technologies, which opens up new and unexpected possibilities.”
After almost three months of intensive rehearsals, the day to stage LAA’s fifth anniversary production – Chutki, had finally arrived. An hour before the matinee show was scheduled to start, parents and guests were lining up outside for their tickets to gain admission at the Alliance Francaise.
Chutki is a story that advocates acceptance, while at the same time presenting the beauty of the arts. This story was written by Nur Shahanaaz Muhd Taufik, one of the Youth Division theatre students, and was adapted from the story Wingless, by Paro Anand, about the angel princess Chutki who was born without wings and thus treated differently by the other angels.
More than 60 children from across all four art forms and youth from LAA were involved in the production. The children and youth ballerinas took on the role of Happy and Dark Angels, while the Nu Style dancers were the street kids that introduced Chutki, our protagonist, to the beauty of the arts. The budding actors from the Children Division took on the roles of the main and supporting casts. Coordinating all of them, as well as the stage was the Young Actors Anonymous, the Youth Division @ LAA theatre group. The youth took on the roles of Assistant Director, Costume Designer, Stage Manager and more, taking charge of the performance from the backstage.