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March 19th, 2015

The boys rehearsed and performed on the Lilian Baylis Stage

As part of a special partnership with Islington dance theatre Sadler’s Wells, the Year 10 GCSE drama group completed a term-long project with professional dancers as part of DanceQuest.

Since the first week of January, two professional dancers have been working on weekly workshops with the group to explore different styles of dance and how it can be incorporated into performance. Initially the dancers showed them professional moves before the boys suggested their own and over the course of two months, the whole class composed a dance sequence to be performed in front of an audience.

The boys were also saw performances of BalletBoyz and Cirque Éloize’s Cirkopolis as part of the project.

The boys spent hours doing technical and dress rehearsals

The project culminated with a day-long visit to Sadler’s Wells in the second week of March. The day started with a technical rehearsal of the performance, with the boys using professional stage lighting and sound for the first time as well as being directed by professional directors. They then spent an hour talking to experienced dancers in small groups to ask them questions about pursuing dancing and performing and both the positive and negative aspects to a life in theatre. They spoke to dancers who had danced with Matthew Borne, Kylie Minogue, Rita Ora and at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

After lunch the group warmed back up with a hip-hop dance session, focussed entirely on modern dance styles. They followed this with a group discussion about the DanceQuest project, how it had changed their perceptions on dancing and also how the course had influenced them outside of performance.

Before the final performance, the boys reflected on the project & contributed to a learning mural

The day closed with the Year 10s performing in front of an audience on the Sadler’s Wells stage with full lighting and music. As well as being a rare opportunity to perform on an internationally renowned stage, the experience will help the boys as they enter their final year of GCSE drama, both from a theory and practical perspective.

More images from the day can be seen in the gallery.

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