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From the Director of Music and the Arts

Last week in Performing Arts we were treated to two wonderful events. Firstly, we had one of our students performing with the Shanghai Baroque Orchestra and secondly the much-awaited visit of Juilliard Alumni Ingrid Kapteyn.  

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April Baird is currently in Year 12 and plays the Violin, recently passing her Grade 7 ABRSM performance with a merit. April was selected to perform a concerto movement with the Shanghai Baroque Orchestra (an ensemble that our own Mr Graham performs with regularly), in a concert held in the very impressive Shanghai Oriental Art Centre. April is a very talented musician and this was evident in her fine performance of the First Movement of Summer from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Her playing was excellent and she was able to really capture the style and mood of this major work for violin. Bravo to April on this fine achievement and we hope she continues to strive for more in the future.

As you know, Ingrid Kapteyn is a professional dancer that is currently working in Shanghai performing in Punchdrunk's show “Sleep No More”. From the moment I met her I knew that our pupils were in for a fantastic day of dance! She and her sister grew up dancing together, and they both have made dancing their career, both in different fields of the art. What I wasn’t prepared for was the talent of our own dancers... to say I was shocked would be understatement!

The older performers, taken from Years 7-9 were simply fantastic from their warm ups to their performances on the stage dancing ballet. All had such a grasp on the French ballet terms and were able to move in a synchronised manner. It was such a pleasure to watch, and one hour simply flashed past! Next she performed to Years 3-6, and this time it was Ingrid who showed us ballet, modern and contemporary dance. The students were excited to ask questions and Ingrid was very pleased by the nature of the queries.

“Your pupils are so switched-on and show such interest in what I was doing,” Ingrid said after working with  youngest pupils. She invited them them to ‘dance to a story’ which the pupils loved, but secretly they were learning the French ballet steps that I had seen the older pupils perform earlier. After these young dancers, it was now time for the Indian dancers. They looked at how they perform on stage and ‘feel each other’s presence’ whilst performing. Lastly, she worked with our student directors on their choreography of a dance for the school production of Into the Woods. All in All it was such a fantastic day and one that we hope to repeat very soon -- certainly before the end of this academic year.

Into the Woods tickets will be on sale from this Sunday at the Temple Fair. We are following the format from last year; starting with a Red Carpet evening, complete with champagne and canapés. Last year, many parents were missed their opportunity to attend as the shows sold out, so please get your tickets early this year! After the Temple Fair, tickets will be sold at the main reception, and booking form will be sent home with your child next week.

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