It doesn’t happen often but, once in a while, a pair of siblings dream of the stars – and then they get to dance among them!
Keyaan Ow, 10, and his sister Jiyann, 7, are making their professional stage debuts in A $ingapore Carol – which involves performing right alongside some of our local theatre industry’s biggest stars.
Both children were inspired to audition for the pantomime after watching Mama White Snake last year.
“I love the way they danced and sang,” Keyaan declares.
“And the costumes and the props!” volunteers Jiyann.
The siblings quickly reached a consensus: they wanted to audition for the next pantomime.
They prepared songs (Somewhere Over The Rainbow for Keyaan and Bruno Mars’ Count On Me for Jiyann), learnt some choreography on the spot… and the rest is history.
It’s clear that both brother and sister are thrilled to be performing in their first musical. Even several weeks of long, gruelling rehearsals couldn’t get them down.
In fact, Keyaan and Jiyann would practise their choreography at home too.
“They break into song and dance anywhere and everywhere actually,” says Ana Ismail-Ow, their mother. “And they’re always arguing about what the correct dance steps are!”
Getting to work (and play!) with the other kids in the cast is something they both really enjoy as well.
“It’s so fun that we get to see them every day when we come for rehearsals,” explains Keyaan. “Or else we would be alone at home – just sitting down on the sofa and reading books and watching TV.”
In A $ingapore Carol, Keyaan has a speaking role. In a scene set in the past, he plays the youngest version of our main character, S K Loo.
For him, it’s his favourite – but also most nerve-wracking – thing about the show.
“The hardest part is remembering my lines and the singing and the dance steps when they all come together!” confesses Keyaan.
Unlike his sister, Keyaan doesn’t have any formal training – which means he’s learning it all as he goes along.
His main takeaway from his entire experience on the show thus far?
“Even though it’s hard, you still have to do it!”
On the other hand, singing and dancing and learning choreography comes more naturally for Jiyann.
After all, she’s a competitive dancer who has already performed in Victoria Theatre. Outside of school, she’s also taking vocal classes and lessons in rhythmic gymnastics.
Her favourite moment in the show is when she gets to play a chicken in her brother’s big scene.
“We dance and dance, and then, in the middle of the song, we get to shake our butts at the audience!” she laughs.
All in all, Keyaan and Jiyann are thoroughly enjoying themselves as part of A $ingapore Carol’s FIRST STAGE Kids cast.
When asked what they want to be when they grow up, they answer quickly and decisively.
“An actor!” Keyaan proclaims.
“A ballet dancer!” says Jiyann.
Evidently, they’re still dreaming of dancing among the stars.
In the meantime, you can catch the Ow siblings on stage in A $ingapore Carol!