Dance Showcase 2019
August 09, 2019 at 2:33 PM
More than 100 enthusiastic dancers lit the Saint Kentigern stage this week at the annual Dance Showcase – an evening that celebrates the beauty, energy and raw emotion of dance. From hip hop to jazz, lyrical and contemporary, the audience was drawn in to over 30 dramatic, dynamic and emotive performances from our College dance students in Year 7 to 13, with a guest appearance from the Girls’ School.
From solo to group performances, the largely student-led production was a mix of co-curricular and curriculum dance with performances from the Dance Academy, dance troupes, class groups and student choreographed NCEA level 1, 2 and 3 pieces. We also welcomed a group from the Girls’ School to perform an extract from their award-winning ShowQuest piece, choreographed by Year 11 student, Chloe Haerewa.
In preparation for the show, dance students in NCEA level 1, 2 and 3 researched social and environmental issues they resonated with, going on to choreograph a performance piece to communicate and express specific messages to their audience. From racism, discrimination and human rights issues, to raising awareness around teenage suicide, pollution and other environmental issues, the students developed powerful works to communicate their intentions.
But more than that, they communicated the sheer joy of dance. Throughout the show, the performances were interspersed with snippets of video that gave voice to why the students chose to dance. Above all was the freedom to express themselves without the need for words. Nobody invented dance, it is deep in the heart of every culture throughout the world, throughout time and is part of the pulse of humanity. Dance is also inherently social and many of the students spoke of bonds that develop when dancing in synchrony. It became very clear that across a range of genres we have some exceedingly talented dancers, both girls and boys.
For those undertaking Dance as an examinable course of study at senior level, there are several objectives to be achieved. 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 and critically analyse dance performances. Throughout these levels, there is also the opportunity for students to further their development and knowledge by attending extension classes and sitting scholarships.
To produce a show of this calibre is an enormous amount of work and each year we see an improvement in technique and performance sophistication from our dancers. Well done!
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