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BAIA holds its lavish Hollywood Oscars evening
November 4, 2017, 4:26 pm
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The British Academy of International Arts (BAIA) celebrated a ‘red-carpet' Gala Oscars evening at the Shakespeare Theatre at the British School of Kuwait (BSK) campus; where students of dance, music, and theatre were nominated from the members of the Academy for BAIA Oscars 2017.  Arriving in their magnificent cocktail wear, the students and their families were welcomed by BAIA Founder Madam Vera Al Mutawa MBE and Dr. Lavinia Davenport, wife of the British Ambassador to Kuwait and the evening's guest of honour.

The evening opened with a welcome address from Patricia Whelan, for so many years at the helm as the Director of BAIA, having guided it carefully to the great successes that were to be celebrated that evening. Ms. Patricia stepped back from the management of BAIA this year as she devotes more time to the Ruby Anniversary celebrations at BSK, thus welcoming new colleagues to the BAIA team. These included John Lambert, the incoming Director of BAIA for 2017-18 who brings with him a wealth of experience in event production and interest in the Arts gained from over twenty years in education and management in Kuwait.

Continuing this experience in depth, and new to the Dance Faculty, Miss Heather Sylvester joins Miss Alley Hunter and Miss Claire Findlay ensuring that the wonderful exam results and dance galas and performances would continue this year. With the departure of Mike Hewlett from the Faculty of Theatre and Speech, Miss Carly Gillard assumed responsibility of his role, bringing with her a CV rich in the teaching of drama, acting and directing and assuring the continued success that Mr. Mike has been synonymous with; the examination results this year being no less than amazing.

John Lambert reviewed the Faculty of Music, Alley Hunter and Claire Findlay reviewed the Faculty of Dance and Carly Gillard reviewed the Faculty of Theatre. The presentations were interspersed with fabulous and varied performances. These opened with a drama piece by Nupur Gupta, her delightful performance of The Resident Ghost gaining her a distinction at Acting Grade 1 in the LAMDA examinations at BAIA.

Young pianist Rawan Bayoumi, who is currently working towards her Grade 3 piano examination played a grade 5 piece by F. Burgmüller entitled La Chevaleresque, whilst one of BAIA's talented ballet stars, Maria Awaraji wowed the audience as she danced the pas de deux from The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. Finishing the evening's wonderful performances was the vocalist Naomi Ann Pereira, with her captivating rendition of ‘The Sound of Music', accompanied by Miss Emily Jeffcott on piano.

Throughout the evening the audience were kept on the edge of their seats as a raffle draw was made of gift boxes generously donated by the Boulevard Shopping Mall which were presented to thirty luck recipients.

The climax of the evening was the arrival of the golden envelopes with the names of the 2017 Oscar winners.  Some thirty nominees from Theatre, Music and Dance stepped forward to receive their Oscars trophies from Dr. Lavinia and Madam Vera to a round of applause from a packed house of family and friends. The event was sponsored by Gold Sponsors IHG Crowne Plaza and Masafi, as well as The Boulevard Shopping Mall.

With photos taken by family and friends followed by a wonderful buffet supper, this was certainly an evening of Hollywood glitz in the heart of Kuwait.

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