Friday, September 24, 2010

The Wizard of Oz

Well, with the major production just over 2 weeks from performing, this blog will take on a slightly Ozzian theme as we keep you up to date with progress.

The sets and costumes are well into construction, and looking fantastic.  We are now just tweaking things to be performance ready.

The performances will be as follows:
Monday 11 October- Dress rehearsals all day
Tuesday 12 October - Matinee performance at 11:00am
Wednesday 13 October - Matinee performance at 11:00am

Thursday 14th October - Opening night at 7:30pm
Friday 15th October - Costume night at 7:30pm
Saturday 16th October - Final performance at 7:00pm

Doors will open at 6:00pm, and seating from 6:30pm on performance nights.

Cast, crew and their families are invited to join us for a light supper after the final nights performance in the staff room.

We are going to encourage audience members to dress in theme for the Friday night if they are so inclined, and offer prizes for the most intriguing outfits.  We would love to see the crowd singing along, dressed as lions or Dorothies or flying monkeys or Munchkins. 

The cost of the show is $5 per performance, or a $20 family pass.  (A family being, well, any number of family members over 4 people really, as a cost effective way of having a great night out).

We would love to see as many people  come to the shows as possible, as the show will be a total laugh fest, sing-along fantastical and all round great night out.  Tickets can be purchased from the college office or are available as door sales.

Arjun trying on his Lion costume for the first fitting
Louis as the Wizard in rehearsal

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Exams and all that jazz

Well, with Art students creating portfolios, it is a timely reminder of the serious side of the Arts.  This week has been all about the academic side of the Performing Arts.

Miss Pratt revises with the Year 11 Dance class
Drama students sitting their Level 2 examination
The Performing Arts have a great deal of academic content, and exams are an integral part of the course.  It is not necessarily something people think of when they choose their subjects.

We have also been getting ready for the production in a BIG way.  Mr Thompsons set looks amazing.  It will be awesome to see Dorothy's house rolling around in the cyclone.... and the spooky trees.... and things on wheels.  Great fun. 

I am lucky to have a terrifically talented sister who has taken on the challenge of the costumes for the Lion and the Tinman this week.  Juggling 2 small children and 2 large costumes has been tough, but she has done a great job.  Thanks Katrina, you rock.

Arjun gets measured for his costume on Monday afternoon
Arjuns completed Lion outfit on Tuesday evening!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Business as usual.... and some exams

With a strike day today, there has not been a better time for students to get into their revision.  School will still be open for students, and the library and a skeleton teaching crew will be in place.  If you need a quiet place to think and revise, head in to school.  Drama, Dance and Music students will all have an exam.

Other than that, it is business as usual.  The dancers are in reflection and evaluation mode after working so hard on their performances last week.  Music students are gearing up for their last performance assessment opportunity of the term next week.  Art and Photography students are working on portfolios.  And in Drama.... well..... here are some images from this week so far:

Wai, Zemira and Katie in their devised Drama
Lydia, Civic, Carline and Annalise investigate puppetry
Phoenix and Aaron work on their stage combat fight routine

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another busy week in the Arts Department

Phew!  Sometimes it feels like we are the Physical Education department with all the running around we do.... It has been a long and busy and productive week at Kuranui College.

Visual Art and Photography students are hard at work on their portfolios.  Some of the Art students are involved in building the set for the production, which has been taking place in the Art room and in the Auditorium.

Drama students are furiously finishing assessments and learning lines for the production next term.  With 3 rehearsals a week, it is a tough ask for anyone, but the show is looking good at this point.  The regional champion Theatresports boys (with a hand from Arjun) performed in assembly to their largest crowd yet, getting laughs from all sides again.  Thanks Dom, Louis and Barns for that.  Then on Friday, Dorothy's house on wheels arrived in it's full glory in the Auditorium.

Dance students have had a tough ask as well, with the Dance NZ Made competition on Wednesday, followed by the Dance Showcase on Thursday night.  Talk about busy times!  I take my hat off to Ms Pratt who was spectacular and kept the girls all focussed and looking fantastic for 2 shows in a row. 

Year 11 Music students had their assessment performance on Thursday evening in the Music room.  Congratulations to Finn Harmon who received an excellence for his performance.  "Artificial Sun" performed in the assembly on Thursday as well, doing a great job with 2 of their original songs.

"Artificial Sun" performing in Assembly

But busy is the theme of the Arts department, and we are keeping on keeping on.... :D

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dance NZ Made

Last year we entered "Dance NZ Made" - a competition for Dance schools to show off their skills and abilities to an audience.  This year they created a whole school competition for Dance NZ Made.  We entered with a whole stack of other schools from around the North Island, from Hutt Valley High, to Karamu High, to Palmerston North Girls High, to little tiny primary school kids, to really stunning dancers from Taupo.  It was a terrific bunch of people, and a lot of talent in the room.

The day began early, heading out from Kuranui at 6:00am.  Miss Pratt had already loaded make-up, costumes and props into the cars and bus, and the dancers prepared to nap their way to Palmy.  On arrival, and a bit of BK, we headed into the Regent Theatre to watch the rehearsals and participate in workshops on different dance styles.  Hip Hop was popular, as was Contemporary Dance and Stylised Dance.

When our rehearsal rolled around, we had watched so many talented dancers and cheerleaders on stage, it was nerve racking.  However, the kids held their own, and eliciting cheers from the crowd.  Our boys were a total smash hit, with their exceptional dancing and clever musical arrangement and comic moments.

When the competition was about to begin, we were surrounded by a fog of hairspray and bobby pins.  Miss Pratt was in full diamante mode, applying make-up and fixing hair non-stop all night.  I was put on French braiding and bun holders.  The girls were fantastic at getting themselves ready, helping others, swapping shoes and tights, and remaining positive.

The dancing went so well.  On the stage the kids just brought their moves alive.  They were infectious in their enthusiasm and compelling to watch.  While the boys brought the house down with their routine, it was the Open Grade girls' team that brought home a 3rd place for their James Bond 007 routine.  All in all, it was a long 18 hour day, but well worth it, and totally a positive experience for everyone involved.  Thanks so much to Mrs Bain and to Mrs Curtice who assisted the whole day, and especially to Miss Pratt who put in so much effort to choreographing, costuming and teaching the whole squad.

Miss Pratt helping with Lydia's lift for 007
Rehearsing the final sequence of the James Bond number
Aleisha Bain in the final moments of the Fame routine
Jasmine putting on her make-up backstage
Alena-Rose helping Cheryl-Kay with her hair

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Arts and Politics

Well, with the BOT Student Rep nominations and elections beginning tomorrow, the Arts are well supported by our 3 nominees.

Zoe Renor is Year 11- and takes Music, Dance and Drama.  She has a role in the production, plays ukulele, sings, dances, and is off to Dance NZ Made tomorrow.

Emily Jamieson is a Year 10 taking senior classes.  She also plays the violin, guitar and piano.  Last year she was Cleopatra in the Shakespearean production.

Aodhan Stonnell is a Year 9 student, and a strong Drama enthusiast.  He directed Louis and Barney in "MacBeth" earlier this year, and has a key role in this year's production.

All 3 are responsible, intelligent and darn great people.  No matter who wins, we will be proud.
Mr Shepherd, Mr Hall, Emily, Aodhan and Zoe preparing to deliver their speeches.
Dance NZ Made is tomorrow, and all going well, Ms Pratt and her talented dancers, along with parent helpers and myself, will be travelling in the wee small hours up to Palmerston North to enjoy the workshops, the city, and the competition.  Good luck to all the dancers!  And watch this space for results.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ooooooo.... bonus!

Right, now, remember the Dance Showcase tomorrow night at Kuranui College. 7pm start for a night of awesome entertainment. This is the last chance for the dancers to perform before Dance NZ Made on Wednesday.

In the bonus category, I accidentally found images from Shakespeare Nationals on the internet.  The photographer is Amy Schulz.  She has some great images of the performers, upclose on stage.  Check them out- and those of the other schools as the standard was incredibly high.

Wai and Katie onstage as "Romeo and Juliet"

The website is here:
Amy Schulz Photography

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Zealand Juggling Convention 2011

Well, we are making plans.... cunning and evil plans.....  All going according to plan, and getting our ducks in a row we will be able to go to the 2011 Juggling Convention in Levin, teach a class and participate with the nations best jugglers and performers.  We will even get a chance to perform!

Very, very exciting.

To give you an idea of what the event entails and incorporates, here is a youtube video of the 2008 Juggling convention.....

Watch this space for more details.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Preparing for the external exams.

Now is the time to really get thinking about revision and being sensible about what you have to do.

Harrang and harrass your teachers for information and advice. And seek advice elsewhere. You all know about studyit.... the website with information about English, Maths and Sciences.

Finding help for the Arts can be more challenging. However, we will try to steer you in the right direction with some advice. Today is a shameless plug, and a financial outlay. But it is worth it. Not all of us have great notes from the year..... let's be honest people! Buy some! You have options- ask for the notes of people who were in the class last year. Shamelessly beg for them. Look for revision guides in bookshops and online...

Shameless plug... check out the author..... ;)
 ESA is a New Zealand company who specialise in revision books.  They have ones for course outlines, and ones focussed on examinations.  You can buy them from their website- or bookshops.

The ESA Website- all of their books.

These range between $20-$30 for each title.  You can always re-sell your book next year to the following class and get back some of the cash.  Or check out Trademe, which always has a range of secondhand titles listed.  They have a full range of Drama books, and a visual Art book is due out soon.

The main thing you should be doing is making sure you have your notes in order, that you know what the exam will be about, and making sure your internal assessment work is up to date.  Soon we will follow this blog with another spouting about what you should be studying.

It's all about the Dance!

With the senior Dancers entered as teams in "Dance New Zealand Made" on Wednesday, there are sequins as far as the eye can see in the Arts Department.  Jo Pratt has been furiously choreographing, coaching, encouraging, organising, fundraising, ordering and costuming the groups for the competition on Wednesday.  It is a long day with technical skills marked, workshops taught, and early mornings all round. 

This coming Monday the 6th of September, the Dancers are having their final shot at performing for a crowd before the competition.  Dance shows at Kuranui are always spectacular, so this will no doubt be amazing.  The cost is $2 at the door, proceeds going towards the cost of Dance NZ Made and the costuming.