Here’s What an Inclusive Concert Looks Like
Special needs and differently-abled performers scale new heights alongside international superstars at the recent Extra·Ordinary Stars concert
“Tonight, our audience members were visibly touched by the hard work and talents of our differently-abled performers, some of whom performed for the first time alongside international superstars,” says Wee Boo Kuan, Co-Founder of Extra·Ordinary People.
1 December 2023 marked a transformative moment in the nation’s performance arts scene. Singapore’s Extra·Ordinary Stars concert was a groundbreaking showcase of not only talent but also inclusivity.
The curated performances, designed to highlight both mainstream and differently-abled artists, were held at the Star Theatre. The 5,000-seater venue was packed to capacity. The live show is set to reach an even broader audience through international broadcasts.
Cyril Takayama kicked off the star-studded evening with a mesmerising magic show, followed by Zanna’s piano rendition of “Nothing Is Impossible.” Benjamin Kheng, accompanied by Ng Kok Wee’s flute performance, delivered a moving rendition of “Do I Make You Proud.” Glenn Yong’s energetic performance of “Break Out” with John Chan showcased the seamless integration of diverse talents.
The Unleash Your Light Taiwan crew brought the house down with a dynamic breakdance. It’s followed by a performance featuring “The Story of Annie.” A-Lin, a Taiwanese superstar, captivated the audience with four of her hit songs. Ten children were incorporated into her heartwarming performance of “Romadiw.”
To generate excitement, the concert organisers launched the 54448 Dance Challenge on social media. Symbolising the word “LIGHT” on an alphanumeric keypad, participants not only engage in a captivating dance but also embody the inspiring message of being a “Light to the World.” The challenge culminates with a winner announced in December. Not only that but with a chance to win up to SGD10,000 in prizes and a matching donation to a charitable cause.
“Donations will go a long way in benefiting the underprivileged and special needs communities, but most importantly, the human connections made today form a firm foundation for a kinder and more inclusive society.”
Realising that special needs individuals cannot be thrown in the deep end after their education, and might require opportunities and guidance even in adulthood, Wee founded Extra·Ordinary People in 2017 to provide continual support to differently-abled individuals and to inspire a more inclusive world.
The Extra·Ordinary Stars concert is the flagship event for the Unleash Your Light movement. This cause envisions a world where genuine human-to-human connections form the foundation for personal and societal transformation. The movement believes that these connections can shatter limitations, ignite individual potential and empower everyone to shine.
This story first appeared on Esquire.Sg
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