BT BAF celebrates 18th anniversary with “The Light Within” performance

The Rice Company Ltd (TRCL) proudly presents the BTBAF (Business Times Budding Artists Fund) 18th-anniversary performance, “The Light Within,” which took place on May 6th, 2023, at the Auditorium, 10 Square @ Orchard Central. The production was a collaboration between students from the children and youth division, featuring about 85 students across all art forms, including theatre, dance, music, visual arts, and tech. The show promised to be a memorable experience that inspired and captivated audiences of all ages.

“The Light Within” tells a story of hope and inspiration, centred around Nava, a celestial fish whose flight showed us how to keep the spark of hope alive within our hearts. The name “Nava” was derived from the Sanskrit word for “new” or “fresh,” symbolizing a new beginning or a fresh start towards discovering one’s inner light.

The performance began with an introduction by a fortune-teller’s assistant, welcoming the audience and introducing the magic band and singers. The fortune-teller then took the stage and invited a member of the audience to have their fortune read, warning them of potential dangers on their journey and advising them to stay true to themselves.

“This year’s performance is truly unique. We’ve incorporated puppetry into live performance and our artists have risen to the challenge brilliantly. We always strive to push the boundaries and try new things providing a platform for creativity and experimentation. Our performance is not just a showcase of talent; it is a celebration of creativity and collaboration,” stated production advisor Nor Azizah Abdullah.

The show also featured a dance performance depicting various scenes from COVID isolation as a subtle undertone, highlighting the challenges we faced as a community during the pandemic.

Director for “The Light Within” Vishnucharan Naidu remarked, “As the world came to a standstill, we found ourselves grappling with a myriad of feelings, with loneliness emerging as a common thread connecting people from all walks of life. As we navigated these uncertain times, our inner lights seemed to dim, subdued by the shadows of our emotions. Yet, our human spirit persisted and shone during the darkest moments of the pandemic keeping our inner lights aglow, despite the challenges we faced.”

Chen Hui Fen, Editor for Business Times, said, “Our children and youths are our hopes for the future. This performance they undertook reminded us to keep our hopes kindled in our hearts, just as the story plot tells us that we can eventually find light by relying on one another in times of darkness. What a timely theme, with the performance coming a day after the World Health Organization declared the end of the Covid-19 as a global health emergency!”

The BTBAF 18th Anniversary Performance was a celebration of the fund’s commitment to providing quality education in the arts and nurturing young talents in Singapore. The collaboration between the children and youth division was a testament to the fund’s conviction that any child with potential or strong interest in the arts should not be denied the chance to develop his or her talents due to financial inability.