Reported by Andrew Octavian Photographs by Jun Hong

Being one of the most prestigious events involving not only students, but also staff of most if not all of IMU Faculties, this year’s IMU Ball 2016 – Ethereal had been a traditionally long awaited event. Following the very big footsteps of Starwaltz, the organizers of Ethereal did not intend on making this year’s ball less of a spectacle. Taking place in the Nusantara Ballroom of Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur on the 8th of April 2015, the ball had filled in its quota of over 350 sign-ups at 1 week left before the D-day. Attendees started gathering as long as an hour before the pre-drinks started to be distributed and as time passed by, the attendees’ anticipation grew.

Buffered by the awe-some photobooth service provided by AWE Photobooth, the attendees gathered in groups of friends as they captured the moment in singular photo strips. As the night grew darker and the stomachs yearn for food, the organizing committee finished the last touches to the night and so at 7:30pm, the grand ballroom door was open. The 1920s Great Gatsby theme was exemplified by the elegant black and gold themed decorations assembled across the ballroom, where people quickly filled in their assigned seats. The VIPs took the 3 front-most tables, amongst them are Ms May Kuan from SSD and other staff including lecturers, while the rest of the tables were occupied with students.

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The audience were greeted by the 2 stunning emcees, Serene Kho and Nicole Ann Matthews, and soon after the opening customaries, the night started with a performance by the Jammerz. Brimming with enthusiasm and energy, the performance was just right to open up the night and liven up the ambience of the ballroom. Once the mood was set, the President of the IMU Ball 2016 committee, Hui Jane, took the time to welcome the audience to the event that her team envisioned and to pass a mock cheque to the representatives of ‘The National Autism Society of Malaysia’ sitting down at one of the VIP tables. As a charitable event itself, a portion of the ticket sales amounting to RM 2,000.00 was donated to this foundation in good faith.

This year’s IMU Ball is star studded and various performers gave the night their all, including the DNS trio, ZSC, Jeremy and Joshua, and not to forget the band of acapella singers invited to perform specifically for this event, Singaholics, and also the winner of this year’s IMU’s Got Talent, Black Diamond, who mesmerized the entirety of the ballroom with snazzy dance moves and enchanting charm. Numerous chants and claps could be heard thundering within the ballroom as the performers dazzled the night. Jonathan Chua, the Secretary and the Stage Manager of the night did experience some problems in preparing the sets of performances despite his calm demeanor. When asked what the toughest part of holding his position was, he easefully answered, “If I had to choose, it would be keeping my cool and making sure I proceed with the ball, even if it meant changing half my planned schedule. There were many changes to the event schedule during the latter half. I also had mishaps with light/sound technician as well as the banquet master, but in time and with the help of the team, the problems were resolved.”

The Prom King, Prom Queen, and Best Couple nominees were brought onto the stage in various occasions throughout the event for them to charm the votes out of the attendees. Different tasks however, were given to the different categories. The Prom King nominees had to do a lip-sync battle which got the audience roaring, the Prom Queen nominees had to mimic model poses as displayed on the screen, and the Best Couple nominees had to play the classic Pocky game, inspired by that spaghetti-eating scene in Lady and the Tramp. Members of the audience then casted their votes and soon the ballot counting process started.

Not forgetting one of the pinnacle components of the night itself, the 4-course meal was served individually in the midst of the performances, starting with the appetizer, which was salmon carpaccio with arugula, cheese, tomatoes and pesto sauce, the tangy flavors of the tomatoes blended well with the mouth-watering salmon slices. Next in line to warm up the cold ballroom was the delicious cauliflower soup with croutons and mascarpone cream. The main course which has everyone waiting for was spinach-stuffed chicken roulade with potato and asparagus. The flavors of the spinach seeped well within the poultry meat and it was just simply amazing. As the night grew closer to its end, the tanginess of the dessert course consisting of raspberry ice parfait was served alongside a petit financer which gave a good ending to the gastronomical journey.

Various lucky draw prizes ranging from Starbucks cards to Polaroid cameras and the grand prizes of Playstation 4 and a trip for 2 to Redang were given out to some lucky participants mostly by members of the Student Representative Council. The winner of the Redang trip was especially memorable as she made a heartfelt comment when asked what she would do with that gift, in which she just answered, “I’m going to give this to my parents,” with an earnest smile on her face, which had the whole ballroom in awe.

At approximately 10:15pm, the prize giving ceremony commenced. Preceding the anticipated crowning of the King, Queen, and Best couple were the crowning of the Best Dressed individual for the night. The audience was itching for the moment of truth where the emcees revealed the winners of the different categories. Eventually, Jeihin Subramaniam was crowned Prom King, Yap Soo Min the Prom Queen, and Adrel and Iverene the Best Couple. The crowd congratulated the winners with claps and cheers throughout the crowning ceremony and the victors were thrilled.

The night ended with the amazing Griffin dance group who topped the IMU Cup 2015 Dance competition last year. As anticipated, they performed graciously as a team, not missing any single step, putting a great end to the great night. The dance floor was then opened for the attendees to jam while some went outside to round up some photographs of the memorable night. The smiles on the attendees’ faces and the amount of photographs taken were testimonial towards how well the event went.

The organizing committee brought a prom experience to the attendees with the hope that the successors would also create a prom experience in the future with this kind of spirit.

“I would say to help out your colleagues, offer your help and give them moral support, because I discovered that this gave me the strength to be able to do something I had never done before. So for the next committee, be as caring and helpful as you’d like to be done to you,” said Jonathan about advice for the future committee. He ended his questions by adding what he felt Ethereal was like for him, “In one word Ethereal was: Stimulating. As strange as it sounds, for me this is what it felt like. *laughs*”

For more photos of this dazzling night, check the album out on IMU Photography’s FB page!

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