There was much merrymaking and festivity in the air. Groovy tunes from the halcyon years of disco played in the background. It was clearly an afternoon of celebration.
Sipping tea and eating delectable pastries, the crowd chatted jovially. Many of them were obviously friends. These were the who’s who of Malaysia’s performing arts industry, with the likes of Mano Maniam, Joanna Bessey, Joseph Gonzales and Sandra Sodhy, in the mix.
These names and many others were gathered at Makespace by Kakiseni, Quill City Mall, Kuala Lumpur on April 15 to celebrate the men and women who create the magic on stage without even appearing on it.
This was the 12th BOH Cameronian Technical Awards, happening in conjunction with this 12th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards. Popularly known as the Cammies, the annual awards is organised by arts portal Kakiseni and seeks to honour outstanding achievements in the performing arts industry.
The Cameronian Technical Awards, which this year had 10 categories and 36 nominees, endeavours to recognise and honour the talented people who are as integral to a performance as the performers themselves, albeit remaining behind the scenes.
The categories that contended for the Technical Awards were light, set, sound as well as costume, styling and make-up for dance, musical theatre and theatre. As for the Junior Cammies, the five categories were design, original script, ensemble cast, principal role performance and direction.
Each winner walked away with an award and RM1,000. The afternoon kicked off with the Dance category, presented by Dama Orchestra’s artistic director Pun Kai Loon. Tan Eng Hen was the sole nominee for Best Lighting Design and grabbed the award for his work in Cut The Clouds, which was part of d’MOTION 2014 – d’Next Choreographer Exchange.
“It’s a very encouraging effort that Kakiseni is doing. The awards encourages artists to work harder and push themselves,” said a gleeful Tan.
He reckoned that this recognition could serve as an incentive and inspiration for the younger light designers to hone their craft and aim for the nominations.
As for the Best Set Design, the award went to British transplant Paul Loosley for the ballet rendition of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, while Low Khay Hooi and Wong Siew Jiuan picked up the award for Best Costume Design, Styling and Make Up for The Unicorn’s Travelogue, presented by Kwang Tung Dance Company.
The afternoon then moved on to the Musical Theatre category. Dance choreographer and founder of Nyoba Kan, the country’s only Butoh dance company Lee Swee Keong presented the awards for this category.
The biggest winner was Tall Order Productions’ Supermokh The Musical for Best Sound Design and Best Lighting Design, which went to Ivan D’Cruz and Ee Chee Wei respectively.
Loh Kok Man won the Best Set Design for Rhythm In Bronze’s children’s music theatre Ombak! Tales From Above And Beneath The Waves. Written by Jo Kukathas and directed by Ghafir Akbar and Lorna Henderson, the story revolved around a group of children sailing the seas in search of a creature that had kidnapped their parents.
French designer Dominique Devorsine grabbed the award for Best Costume Design, Styling and Make Up for the whimsical and colourful Seussical The Broadway Musical.
Yang Wei Han, who played Prince Siddhartha in Prince Siddhartha the Musical, presented the awards for the theatre category.
Andy Lim picked up the award for Best Lighting Design for Raj and The End of Tragedy, a big contender at this year’s Cammies. Hamzah Tahir won the Best Set Deisgn for his works in Projek Kahwin while Eugene Ng clinched the Best Costume Design, Styling and Make Up award for Fiery Family.
Finally, the ceremony arrived at the newest kid on the block, the Junior Cammies. Cempaka Schools, Sri KDU Secondary School and The International School@ParkCity were the three contending schools for the five categories.
Sri KDU Secondary Schools emerged as the biggest winner of the afternoon, grabbing four of the five awards for its musical The Fortunettes. Student Hannah Christina Subramaniam won the Best Principal Role while teacher Zachary Wong Ket Lud grabbed the awards for Best Direction and Best Original Script/Work with fellow writer Celeste Lim Pui Li. Alex Chong, Jessie Wong and Andrew Tan clinched the Best Production Design award.
“I am very honoured and excited to win this award. I think BOH and Kakiseni have done a good job in providing a platform for our works to be checked and not merely recognised. Whatever we do at school, we hope to match the standards of the professional practitioners,” said a jubilant Zachary Wong.
Cempaka Schools’ musical comedy The Wedding Singer won the award for Best Ensemble.
The 12th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards – Gala Night will be held at Soju, Level 12, 13 & 13M, Sunway Hotel Resort & Spa, Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, Selangor on April 26. For more details, visit kakiseni.com
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