‘Accessing Aotearoa through the Arts’ was the theme of a trip to the New Zealand Festival for selected Year 11-13 students in February. Sophie Simons, Student Head of Drama, reflects and responds to a number of the performances.
‘Rushes’ was an immersive theatre performance, which challenged the idea of conventional theatre. The whole of the Circa Theatre was used as performance spaces for a wide range of mini-performances.
Having a foundation of rough work, which the performers had previously created, the performance was interactive and, for the most part, unscripted. This provided an individual experience as everyone had their own journey throughout the performance space. It was an enjoyable experience and made us think about how cutting-edge theatre uses a combination of acting, interpretative dancing and music to create an interesting and unique experience.
A highlight was seeing Woodford House Old Girl, Laura Beanland-Stephens, who is a professional contemporary dancer, performing in the event. Laura spoke to us afterwards about the work itself and the commitment involved.
The Piano, a famous movie directed by Jane Campion, about a mute piano player and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century, was turned into a full-length ballet. The narrative was aided by well-designed set, lighting and props, which helped us understand the main character’s feelings. It was well produced and highly entertaining for all of us.
Ka Tito Au was a one-man show, which told the story of Kupe, a historic fictional Māori figure in mythology. This provided an interesting look into the Māori culture. The use of props helped to demonstrate the ideas behind the piece.
Overall, the trip gave us an insight into the different types of theatre, a perspective into the history of our country. It was a great weekend for all of us involved in Performing Arts.
Sophie Simons, Student Head of Drama