A Talent Competition that will Create History in Kuwait
Sparsh, a talent show of local Indian children has been widely promoted recently both in the print as well as online and social media. Nita Bhatkar Chogle of The Times Kuwait met with the team of organizers of Sparsh and spoke to Aarti Rohtagi and Urvi Trehan from the team, to find out more about this unique local talent show that promises to create history in Kuwait.
A concept that was born from the innocent question of an eight year old will soon give 500 talented children in Kuwait the opportunity to showcase their skills and win fabulous cash prizes worth thousands of dinars.
The Sparsh Got Talent competition was launched in 2014 spurred by Aarti Rohtagi’s daughter Ishika asking her why Kuwait couldn’t have a talent show similar to the ones shown on Indian television. Auditions for the competition were held at the popular Better Books auditorium in Salmiya. After a successful culmination, the event showed potential of growing bigger and better. Recognizing this, the Better Books Event team joined hands with Aarti to introduce Sparsh – 2, a touch of Indian talent. Sparsh means touch in Hindi.
The Sparsh team is now made up of five core members, Aarti, Urvi Trehan, Minnie Murali, Jacob Oommen and Leslie Davis supported by Amrita Menon and Jennifer Mascarenhas. Each team member brings their own expertise to the different areas of the competition functioning together as one entity.
Sparsh is talent show that targets 8 to 18 years olds who can sing, dance or have any other performance skills such as playing musical instruments, miming or acting. Group performances are also welcome. The contest also involves a solo singing competition for adults. A total of 500 participants are welcome to participate in the competition (divided into the different categories).
Participants in each category will compete for the top three positions and go through to the grand finale where they will compete for the grand prize. The winning order of the top three positions will be revealed only at the grand finale.
By including different talents from within the community, the event is set to create history in Kuwait by being the first of its kind on such a large scale.
“Pooling the best talent available from within the community, and showcasing them in a form and process that has not been done before in Kuwait is something we are striving hard to achieve.” says Aarti.
Sparsh is aimed not only at promoting talent and building their confidence, but also at bringing the local Indian community together.
“We want to believe that the participants, especially the children and teens will gain confidence as they progress through the competition. Then there is the recognition which comes along from within the community and from outside as well, as we will be marketing the winners on our Facebook, YouTube and our Websites. Most of all, we want to create small memories in the lives of each of these children who take part.” highlights Urvi.
While it’s a wonderful concept and participants aim to gain a lot from participating in it, the schedule of the competition stretches over at least eight months. Sounds too long but the team has an apt reasoning for it.
“Filtering so many applicants and auditioning them on weekends takes time. During the entire process, we have given due consideration to school exams, summer holidays, Ramadan, Eid holidays, other festivals, etc. On the plus side, an extended program will be less demanding on the participant as he or she has ample time to practice for the next level without rushing it through.” explains Aarti.
So what are some of the other unique features of the competition? “Certainly, the prize money. To the best our knowledge, giving out 4000 KD worth of only cash prizes is unprecedented within the Indian community for children taking part in any performing arts. The process of vetting, which includes Whats app for vocals and dance, is rather unique. Candidates will find it easier to record themselves in the confines of their homes.” highlights Urvi.
Aside from this, the team explained how the entire process of selections is expected to be fair and transparent. Participants will have access to their individual score cards from the second round onwards and all the relevant information will be uploaded online for easy access. This way, each candidate will know exactly where they are falling short. To avoid any kind of bias, participating candidates will only be identified by their registration numbers and the candidates’ names will not be revealed to the judges during the selection process.
All bases seem to be covered by the Sparsh team rather effectively and we can only wait for this show to get on the road. The application process is currently underway and the selection process will kick off soon after.
For more information on the competition and the applications contact: www.sparshtalent.com
By Nita Bhatkar Chogle/
Special to The Times Kuwait