This term, the Arts Department and other enthusiastic staff have been working with students on NAISAK’s very first Whole-School Production, Cinderella. Students auditioned for acting, dance and music back in September and have been working hard twice a week during ECA time to prepare for the show.
Interest in the show was outstanding, and we had over 100 students audition. For the acting roles, the caliber of performers was high, and additional roles were written for some students so that they could showcase their talents. Secondary School dancers were equally as impressive and learned a short but fast-paced routine in just over a week.
The Choir have been working hard to perfect their pitch for the songs in the show. The performance will incorporate both classical and more contemporary styles to engage a wide audience. Production of costumes and set will commence during this half term, and the team will begin to piece together the whole show.
Juilliard Curriculum Specialist Visit
An exciting two days were spent at NAISAK last week as we welcomed Joshua Palmer, our Juilliard Dance Curriculum Specialist into our school. There was a real buzz around the site, with lots of students enthusiastically greeting him throughout his visit.
Day one began with an interactive Primary School assembly where Joshua taught pupils, teachers and parents Flamenco rhythms and opened their eyes to one of the impressive Juilliard Core Works we study as part of the dance curriculum. Following this, a class of Year 1 students enjoyed a dance workshop with Joshua that focused on using coloured ribbons as props to assist with learning how to change levels. At lunchtime, KS3 students taking part in the Whole-School Production were invited to a Q&A session with Joshua, where they asked fantastic questions about his career as a dancer and his current role at Juilliard. I am sure the pupils will agree that we all left the room with more determination to follow our ambitions and achieve great things!
We very much enjoyed our second day with Joshua Palmer. Year 3 students participated in his workshop based on pathways where they demonstrated a good understanding of how to travel as a group and were very keen to show Joshua their skills and share their ideas. Year 5 students took part in another Juilliard lesson based on Merce Cunningham’s ‘Rainforest’, and I was very impressed with the choreography they produced in small groups using the chance procedures process. Another highlight was students coming up to Joshua around the school performing the flamenco rhythm he taught them in assembly the day before. He has certainly helped to inspire our students to dance and to eagerly anticipate their Juilliard dance lessons this year.
Joshua was impressed with our warm community and the work we are doing with Juilliard dance so far. We are very grateful for his visit and look forward to welcoming him back to NAISAK in the new year!