Miss F. Smith, Subject Leader; Dance, writes:
On Monday 4th March, our Dance students performed in this year’s Dance Production ‘We’re off to see the Wizard’. This year’s show included featured roles from the story of the Wizard of Oz and the whole production had a narrative thread throughout. Dorothy was danced by Ruth Morgan in 11A, The Scarecrow by Holly Milliken 11K, The Tinman by Robyn Rappaport and The Lion by Abby Mortimer 13B. This year also featured a Year 8 in a lead role, Ciara Keenan 8B gave an excellent performance as Dorothy’s little dog, Toto. The production followed their journey to Oz meeting other characters such as munchkins, ozians and flying monkeys. Each of our leads gave a solo performance before being met by Dorothy, their interpretations were excellent and they produced very clear representations of their character.
During their trip to Munchkinland, we were introduced to three witches, Glinda the Good Witch danced by Tilly North in 10A, The Wicked Witch of the West danced by Amy Sharp 9O and the Witch of the East…. whose feet were played by Miss Conder. Amy and Tilly gave exceptional performances in their solos Are you a Good Witch? and Or a Bad Witch? Their battle duet at the end of the production displayed their excellent choreography and performance skills brilliantly and they danced beautifully together despite being enemies (in the show!)
Once we were welcomed into Oz we met the Wizard who was danced by Charlotte Kerr 11O, in a high energy piece ‘Welcome to Oz’. This piece was put together by Year 13 students Jess Elsley 13K and Abby Mortimer. It was the perfect way to open the second act and included excellent performances from our Year 11 BTEC dancers.
The production showcased the talents of a wide variety of Stanborough students not only by our BTEC Dancers but also included a large number of Dance club pieces, which have all been run by our Dance Captains: Jess Elsley, Abby Mortimer, Freya Elsley, Abbey Turner, Ruth Morgan, Harriet Hawkins, Julia Pietraszko, Beth Chapman, Holly Milliken, Bethan Makowski, Lora Johnson, Tilly North and Teya Kindred. These pieces were as strong as ever, including high quality choreography and performance from our students. Well done to our excellent Dance Captains, impressive work as always.
Several pupils also took advantage of our audition process and there was a particularly memorable quartet by Lousie Grenfell, Ava Connelly, Lauren Saunders and Amelie Warner based on the theme of Good Vs Evil, reflecting the Good and Bad Witch characters. Keziah Long and Chloe Steel performed a fun duet as the Lullaby League welcoming Dorothy into Munchkinland and Millie Batersby and Megan Sproat impressed the audience with their confident duet as Flying Monkeys. Our Lead Flying Monkey was danced by Jay Puranik, who gave a wonderfully menacing performance in his solo.
As Dorothy, Ruth Morgan performed three solos during this show, the first was her only dance in Kansas to Judy Garland’s version of Over the Rainbow. Her second solo contrasted this in a dramatic cover of the same song showing her trapped in the witch’s castle. The third was a tap solo Take me Home, a perfect end to the story and the show.
Other highlights of the show were the year 9 and 10 BTEC assessment pieces. The year 9s performed an emotional contemporary piece Crazy which included solos, contact duets and group sections which they performed brilliantly. Their second piece Salute was a real crowd pleaser, an upbeat number which was their interpretation of the Witch and her guards.
Our Year 10 Dancers performed Cry Me a River, a professional piece of repertoire choreographed by Andrew Winghart. This was an extremely challenging piece as they had to replicate the original work and they really did a superb job. Well done Year 10!
Our Year 12 Dancers wowed the audience with their pieces It’s Raining Men and If I Only Had a Heart. They demonstrated beautifully their versatility as performers and their dances were real stand out moments from the show.
The staff dancers made another appearance this year with their interpretation of the yellow brick road. The piece opened with high energy entrances from Miss Bowen and Miss Newman, and included a set phrase which increased in speed as well as some challenging contact work! In case anyone is wondering, no one was injured during the creation or performance of this piece…
This production demanded a lot from the main roles as they were included in several other dances in order to tell the story, and I have to congratulate them all on their professionalism and tremendous efforts in making the telling of the story successful. The way each one of them managed their time is extremely impressive.
All our dance students took full advantage of performing on a professional stage at the Weston Auditorium with excellent lighting and sound facilities, this truly enhanced their overall performance and helped make this production both magical and memorable.
All our dance students were a credit to themselves and the school throughout the day and during the evening’s performance. They worked extremely hard and should be very proud of all they have achieved.
We’re looking forward to doing it all again next year!
Please click here to see more photographs….