A glorious start to the semester was marked when UTAR students jam-packed the Talent Time event held at Heritage Hall at UTAR Perak Campus on 13 February 2014.
The event, themed ‘Box of Esperanza’, was heralded by the well-received arrival of VIPs comprising UTAR Department of Student Affairs (DSA) Perak Campus head Chiang Jen Fong, assistant manager Heng Wei Xiang, Student Representative Council (SRC) chairperson Melvyn Choong Ern Yong and the organising chairperson for Talent Time January 2014 Intake, Wong Kar Yee. Following their entrance, a traditional fan dance was staged by five ornately-dressed female students.
In her opening remarks, Wong thanked all committee and crew members for their collective effort in continuing the success and legacy of Talent Time. “Esperanza is a Spanish word that literally means ‘hope’ in English,” said Wong, adding, “The main objective of the event is to create a platform where students can hone and share their talent, as well as to congregate new intake students and integrate them into the cohesive and progressive UTAR family.” Her speech, delivered to thunderous applause by the audience, predated a momentous launching ceremony and souvenir presentation to the VIPs.
The night offered an eclectic mélange of vocal, dance and instrumental extravaganzas where student performers besotted the crowd with their stellar showmanship and artistic prowess. The crowd went vociferous as nascent violinist, Chester Lee Zhe Hang, churned out a sterling rendition of K-pop artist Taeyang’s signature ode, ‘Wedding Dress’. The mellow cadence oscillated when the effervescent duo of Andro A. Sandor and Hor Kar Choon stormed the stage flaunting their break boy dynamics. Gifted songstress James Wong Liang Jenq snagged the limelight with his powerhouse recital of Faizal Tahir’s electrifying number, ‘Gemuruh’. A six-piece clique who invented themselves as H20 Live Band sizzled with a soulful six-song medley showcasing their harmonious vocals and guitar-strumming skills.
Coxswained by brazen, guileless emcees Lee Wai Keat and Benny Ow Han Yu, the night also featured an eponymous screen sketch – Box of Eesperanza – shown over four well-paced interludes. Poignant and gripping, it is a tale about love, hope and friendship whereby the lead character, a dance prodigy, finds that her hopes of competing in a local vaudeville in tatters after suffering from a cycling mishap. Her condition, exacerbated by her sluggish recovery, casts doubt over her chances for a life-changing breakthrough as the date of competition looms.
Hedonism aside, the night also amalgamates academic elements, offering a platform for UTAR Public Relations (PR) students to advance their impending Colour Divine Run which is part of their umbrella Final Year Project, Presce Colour Divine. As a tribute to the organising committee and their devotion, a slot was allotted for them to sing a tune that epitomised their camaraderie. The audience floor was then cleared off the convertible chairs to pave way for the ensuing dance party where students were seen emitting energy excesses and youthful antics.
The fruit of a partnership between DSA and SRC, Talent Time is organised at the beginning of every long semester to unearth raw talent among UTAR students, and as part of the university’s initiative to promote holistic education.