Carnival treats at ChildAid this year

Young talents in 'hybrid collaborations' to evoke range of emotions in show

AERIAL acrobats, gymnasts, musicians and big voices are gearing up for the ninth annual ChildAid, themed "Carnival".

Tickets for the charity event went on sale yesterday. Its three shows will be held at the Marina Bay Sands' Sands Theatre on Dec 6 and 7. Marina Bay Sands is the official venue partner.

The 110-minute concert - its theme this year suggested by artistic director Iskandar Ismail to capture its vibrancy and fun - is jointly organised by The Business Times and The Straits Times.

In keeping with the spirit of ChildAid, the show will feature the best of Singapore's young musical talents working with unlikely partners in what show director Jeremiah Choy calls a display of "hybrid collaborations".

"When the performers are made to work with unlikely collaborators, we push them out of their comfort zones," said the director and producer of Orangedot Productions.

Watch out for gymnasts from CHIJ Kellock and aerial artists from Circus Swingapore. Eight-year-old Chong I-Yin, for one, will be suspended up to 3m above the stage.

She and the four other aerial artists, aged seven to 17, will soon begin rehearsals for their routine, working with hoops and silk fabric.

"I get very excited just before the performance, but once I get on stage, I'm not nervous any more," said the Nanyang Primary 2 pupil, who started learning the art form when she was six.

Meanwhile, Republic Polytechnic's capoeira group will team up with the Orchestra of the Music Makers, a group comprising amateur youth instrumentalists to show off the Brazilian martial arts - which combines dance and acrobatics - with orchestral music.

Linking the show's four segments will be French composer Camille Saint-Saens' The Carnival Of The Animals. "We wanted a suitable piece of music that would really showcase the talent of the pianists we have," said Mr Choy.

He hopes the resulting spectacle will evoke a range of emotions in the audience, from happy to reflective and eventually, jubilant.

Since 2005, ChildAid has raised $7.8 million for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BTBAF). Last year, organisers raised $2.01 million for the beneficiaries.

Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of the English and Malay Newspapers Division at Singapore Press Holdings, said: "This year we received queries about tickets even before they went on sale. It truly is a testament to the quality of our young performers and their production teams, who work tirelessly to make each show even better than the last."

SPMF was started to help needy students pay for transport to school and meals at recess. BTBAF aims to give underprivileged children a chance to nurture artistic talents in art or music.

ChildAid is sponsored by Citi Singapore and HSBC. Tickets are priced at $18, $28 and $38, and are available at www.marinabaysands.com/ ticketing. They are also available at the Marina Bay Sands theatre box office, SkyPark, ArtScience Museum and MBS retail mall concierge.

For details, visit www.straitstimes.com/childaid or www.facebook.com/childaid

sherquek@sph.com.sg