College Dance Showcase

June 24, 2016 at 11:52 AM

This week’s College Dance Showcase celebrated the talent, skill and creativity of our Dance students and gave them the chance to perform to a large audience. Held in Elliot Hall, the Showcase is a largely student-led production, with Year 12 and 13 students choreographing dance works for NCEA assessment. The College Dance Academy also presented a portfolio of its co-curricular work. Up to 90 students auditioned to be part of this fantastic event, followed by many weeks of rehearsals both in and out of class. 

Year 12 and 13 Dance students develop many different skills through the process of choreographing for the Showcase, from managing auditions and talent, to organising rehearsals and costumes, and working both collaboratively and as leaders. The Showcase also fosters creativity as students develop themes and concepts for their dance works while exploring dance as a medium for expression.

The Year 12 pieces all delved into the theme of family, expressing feelings of love, separation, loss, protection, stability, belonging and companionship. The situations included the love/hate relationship between siblings, how families remain bonded while they are physically apart, the process of growing up and an orphan’s experience of family. Wider themes were interpreted into dance by the Year 13 choreographers, who portrayed issues such as environmentalism, self-confidence, inequality and diversity. The vast range of meanings conveyed on stage by both year levels was a superb display of the choreographers’ research and imagination and the performers’ dancing ability. The energy the dancers exerted was reciprocated by the audience of students, parents and friends with long applause.

The NCEA Level 1-3 students also performed in their class groups under the tutelage of guest choreographers, including Old Collegian and professional dancer, Livi Obern, and the leader of Hopskotch Dance Crew, Kat Walker. Guest choreographers guided the Dance Academy students in hip hop and jazz routines, which interspersed some levity amongst the more reflective student-led works.

Introduced in 2014, the Dance Showcase has been an excellent addition to the Saint Kentigern production season. With 27 dances this year, covering contemporary, ballet, hip hop, jazz, lyrical and cultural genres, the event continues to grow in scale as does the students’ sophistication and commitment. Congratulations to everyone involved, from front of house to behind the scenes and especially the choreographers and dancers. Thank you also to Head of Dance, Mr Geordan Wilcox and fellow teacher, Mr Ichiro Harada for their hard work in mentoring the students to produce a high-calibre and thought-provoking show! 

Dance at Saint Kentigern College

As a subject, Dance is one of the four separate Arts disciplines — Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts — that make up the ‘essential learning’ area of The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum. It is a curriculum requirement that all students in Year 7 take courses covering each of the disciplines meaning that both boys and girls at this age have a ‘taste’ of Dance as a future area of study. In Years 8 and 9, students are required to select two of the Arts disciplines for each year of study and thereafter, the Arts become part of a range of optional subjects for selection, leading to formal NZQA qualifications assessed both internally and externally.

At NCEA Level 1 (Year 11), students develop their performance and choreography skills alongside knowledge and understanding of dance elements and styles. Achievement objectives at NCEA Level 2 (Year 12) expand on these skills, with requirements to choreograph and perform in group and solo dances to communicate an intention, and provide an interpretation and demonstrate understanding of dance performance and genre. NCEA Level 3 (Year 13) students are challenged to advance their performance and choreography repertoire, critically analyse dance performances and demonstrate knowledge of the context of dance in New Zealand society.

At NCEA Level 1 and 2 there is the opportunity for students to accelerate their development in Extension classes, and sitting Scholarship Dance is an option for high-achieving Year 13 students.


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