The two-hour enchantment of “Storybook of Princesses” unfolded at Syeun Hotel Ballroom on Sunday, November 22. Clad in shimmering hand-made tutus and costumes, the cast of over 100 dancers from age 3 and above put their hearts into the performance accompanied by powerful spotlight beams, multi-coloured LED and ethereal fog as they moved with grace and panache.
Working hand in hand with City Ballet Ipoh for the first time ever, Jean Chai, President of Soroptimist International Ipoh (SI Ipoh) thanked the institution who agreed to donate 100% of the net proceeds of the show in support of the running costs of SI’s long-term flagship project, Edufun Centre. At the end of the day, close to RM90,000 was raised which is more than the targeted amount.
Edufun Centre was founded back in 2012 in the heart of low-cost flats in Buntong, to provide a safe haven for the poor kids in the community. Open from Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 6pm, the children could come and be encouraged academically, socially and morally by a full-time teacher, Mrs Salome.
Before Edufun was set up, the children would loiter aimlessly after school and were therefore at the risk of negative influences, such as tampering with drugs, alcohol and smoking. Some of these malnourished and withdrawn children do not even get to go to school.
In her speech, Jean quoted Frederick Douglass, a social reformer who once stated: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
“Hence the objective of this project is to break the poverty chain from this generation onwards by empowering these kids through education and awareness of their social responsibility in their young age,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Datin Rosalina Ooi-Thong, the principal of City Ballet Ipoh cum President of the Perak Society of Performing Arts advised, “Look beyond the glitz, have faith in yourself and grow into beautiful women at heart because that will make all the difference in this complicated world.”
The very special presentation also saw Ezra Tham, who has been featured in Ipoh Echo’s Personality column, playing the role of “Wizard Cedric”. Meanwhile, Jean’s 11-year-old niece played the role of Princess Sofia, the main character of the story who inspired everyone to find the true princess in their heart.
Two sessions of the ballet received about 500 attendees each and both ended with rapturous applause from the audience of all ages at the end.