Senior School – Expression through drama and dance

Posted 29 March 2019 2:22pm

Performing Arts at Canberra Girls Grammar School continues to engage, inspire and enrich our students across the School. In addition to music, our broad co-curricular program offers performance opportunities for students interested in Dance and Drama, while also giving students the opportunity to embrace their passions through the curriculum.

As stated in the 2018 Gonski review, our national educational priority is to, “equip every child to be a creative, connected and engaged learner.” Furthermore, a 2013 Oxford University study found that, in order to prepare for jobs of the future, employees need to, “acquire creative and social skills.”

Professor Michael Anderson aptly describes these core skills as the “4Cs: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Reflection.”

At CGGS, we take immense pride in the opportunities we afford our students to hone these skills in their most natural and enabling form – through the Performing Arts.

Our high-calibre co-curricular Drama and Dance productions are a great way to connect, build confidence and learn. Students participate in a range of activities, not only as performers, but also as directors, choreographers and production crew-members.

The School’s production of Wicked brings together passionate performers from across the Junior and Senior Schools, working alongside male students from Marist College and St Edmunds. Taking on one of the lead characters in Wicked, Annabel Mulcahy (Year 12) believes the experience has helped her grow in confidence in singing and acting. She describes the environment as “supportive and encouraging” and urges students to get involved.

“You'll learn so much about yourself and the Performing Arts,” says Annabel.

Later in the year, Senior School students are invited to audition for the annual Youth Dance Festival, held at The Canberra Theatre Centre.

Dance Captain, Brielle Papa (Year 12) has been embracing the opportunity to dance for many years. Brielle will perform in Wicked and is planning to enjoy her final Dance Fest as she prepares to graduate.

“Dance is about so much more than just moving your feet to the sound of the music,” says Brielle.

“It gives girls an opportunity to express themselves in a way like no other and we are given a chance to work cohesively alongside other girls, learning from each other as well as making strong connections and bonds.”

The co-curricular Drama production is another platform where students have the chance to learn more than just performance. Senior students practice leadership skills by working as directors and guiding younger students through what may be their first live production experience. Details of this production will be released later this year and we look forward to welcoming family and friends along to the production.

There are so many reasons to choose a Performing Arts elective in the latter years of high school, one of the highlights is local and interstate excursions to see professional productions, and workshops with industry professionals and educators from the wider community. We have also been extraordinarily lucky this year to welcome highly-acclaimed Australian actor, Rachael Beck, who visited CGGS and worked extensively with our students across Senior and Junior campuses. Rachael offered ongoing mentorships to those who were interested in pursuing a career in the Performing Arts – an incredible, and rare, opportunity.

It has already been an amazing start to the year for the Performing Arts at CGGS. With so many achievements already enjoyed and many more to come, we look forward to working with our bright, enthusiastic and talented students. Most importantly, we know that our young women can pave a strong path into the future, equipped with the skills they have learned through an education enriched by the Performing Arts.

Thank you to Yvette Riordan, Senior School Drama Teacher (and Assistant Director/Stage Manager for Wicked) for your incredible contribution to this article.

Photo above: Dance enthusiasts perform at Dance Festival 2018.

spinner gif