Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Playing with Fire

As part of the Level 2 Dance curriculum, students have to perform an Ethnic or Social dance.  This year has seen a huge number of performance options.  We have had Chinese Sword Dancing, the Highland Fling, Rarotongan Dance and now Samoan Fire Dancing.

Anthony Fa'afoi and Daniel Carlisle both completed this Dance assessment in front of the main offices, with Oliver Healy on the fire extinguisher.  Travis Brown and Dominic Hawke completed a musical performance on the Congas during the performance.  It was a terrific way for 3 subject areas to work together to a students strengths in performance.  The performance counted as part of assessments for Dance, Performing Arts and Music, which was terrific.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Lightning Reflexes

An edited image of Jasmine Turner in full juggle mode.  See this earlier post for a video of her routine.

The Model United Nations

Jasmine Turner, Alena-Rose Burt and Travis Brown welcoming the delegates

On Tuesday we played host to the Wairarapa's first Model United Nations, where Year 9 and 10 students researched and represented different countries, campaigning on global issues.  Our students did so well, and held themselves against the others.  Being in a room with such intelligent students was a rush, and a good time was had by all.

But why is this on the Arts Blog you say?  Well, under the umbrella of Cultural Leaders, our group played host and ushered the delegates, looking after the various 'Cultural' groups in the room.  Travis Brown and Alena-Rose Burt welcomed the guests, and Jasmine Turner added our own UN touch by translating the welcome into French.

Jasmine then spent the rest of the day making sure the delegates were watered and looked after.

Thank you so much to the Social Science department, and the Youth UN crew from Wellington for running the day, as well as our wonderful crew for 2012 hosting.

Alena and Jasmine at the end of the day, still smiling.

When Two Wheels is Too Many

Unicycling has strangely become popular at Kuranui, with now 7 highly talented unicyclists in our midst, with more in the wings.  Here are Robert and Brad, both Year 9 Drama students, peddling their stuff around the Arts block.

The music is courtesy of "Artificial Sun", 2010.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Independent Juggling Routines

Juggling has become a popular pastime here in the Drama room.  (Along with Unicycling and Diabolo).  Hopefully over the coming weeks we will be able to present some of the independent routines students have been working on in their spare time.

This is Jasmine Turner, Year 12, and her routine she has developed for a Juggling performance.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Cultural Awards 2011

Last Thursday night was the culmination of another fine year of the Arts at Kuranui College.  We hosted the 21st Annual Arts and Cultural Awards ceremony.  As has become the custom, school uniforms were replaced with the glitz and glam of Hollywood for a night.

Charlotte and Katie did a spectacular job setting up the auditorium and creating the atmosphere.  As hosts, they were amazing as well.  Adam was an excellent assistant in setting the stages and Oliver did a wonderful job on the sound and lighting.

While we gave many awards for outstanding commitment and service within the Arts, and for Academic Excellence, 4 awards are the highlight of the year- the greatest contribution to Art, Music, Dance and Drama.

This year our major award winners were:
Renee Cheesman for Visual Art - particularly with respect to her Photography
Jamie Howatson for Dance - choreographing 2 competition pieces this year with large casts.
Katie James for Drama - for exceptional skill and national representation
Alexandra Fleming for Drama - for service, performing, inspiring and all round participation and
Marlon Moala Knox for Music - Piano Accordian Extraordinaire.

Marlon is quite the find this year.  Not only did he win the Instrumental section of the Intercolligiate Music Awards, and Excellences in Music Level 1, he is also a junior student.  This is the first time a major award has been given to a junior student.

Congratulations to all the award winners, and a huge thanks to the Arts Department at Kuranui College, Roger Thompson (Art), Trish Webster (Music), Kirsten Price (Art), Gina Beecroft (Art), Annabel Heenan (Drama), Catherine de Croy (Dance), as well as the wonderful people who step up to make sure our awards evenings always run smoothly, Mary Phillips (Arts Co-ordinator) and Hilary Reeve (French).

Thanks and congratulations, from me, I am privileged and honoured to work with such a great department.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Boys at Dance NZ Made

We were amid a throng of girls chorusing the ol' chant, "We wish the boys at our school would dance!!!!" when our boys team walked onto the stage.

Crowd pleasers from the start, the boys put on a great performance.  Travis Brown choreographed the routine.  His dancers were Wiremu Aitken, Eli Thorenaar, Dallas te Rangi, Anthony Prince and Setty Sammonds.  We thought we should share their routine entitled, "Taniwha o te Ao" (Monsters on Earth).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Carrying on with the run of cool people who have been to Kuranui, Scribe came last week.  Not only did he speak with the assembly about aspiration and following your dreams, despite challenges from home, from life and from your teachers.  He was highly inspirational, and a great speaker.  He also performed his latest rap, written for the Rugby World Cup, "All Black Everything".

Following the assembly, a group of students were invited to lunch with Scribe in Masterton.  He was particularly taken with the Kuranui students, as they had the confidence to speak with him, one on one.  Travis Brown lead the group of students, accompanied by Ms. Rutherford.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dance New Zealand Made

This was the 3rd year that we participated in Dance NZ Made, and again, we had a great time.

The event is held in Palmerston North, and focusses on Dance, unlike Stage Challenge which also includes Drama and set design elements.  We entered 4 teams in the competition this year.  Ms. de Croy choreographed 2 of the dance routines, both in a contemporary style, the Year 11-12 "Sensations" and the Year 12-13 "Darkness and Light".  Travis Brown choreographed the boys' Hip Hop routine, entitled "Monsters of the Earth".  Jamie Howatson followed in her Stage Challenge role as choreographer and put together, "Our Toy Story".

All the routines were well receieved by the audience as well as our competitors.

While we were unplaced in a competition of many, many schools and routines, the students all had a fantastic time and performed and behaved admirably.

Wearable Arts 2011

We were thrilled when Mr. Thompson said he was organising the 2011 Intercollegiate Wearable Arts awards.  Even more thrilled to find that we were hosting the event at Kuranui College.

Mr. Thompson, Ms. Price and Ms. Beecroft worked tirelessly with Art students to create the Wearable Arts for display.  And we were not short of talent! 

Mr. Thompson saw the event as a chance to showcase the whole of the Arts.  Ms. Webster was cheif D.J. and Maestro, Ms. de Croy supplied and danced on stage, and the Circus troupe from Drama had another opportunity to shine.  Oliver Healy and the set crew boys constructed the stage and a series of picture frames that the dancers and performers did their routines in and behind.

Some of our talented students took out major awards, including Renee Cheesman, Marcus Patena, Eilish Hogan and Isabelle Brown.  Jess Swan took out an X-Factor prize for her overall look.  Several students included prizes for the way they moved on stage in the Artworks.

Ariane, Ms. de Croy and Jashanna preparing to dance onstage

Some of the creations preparing to walk the catwalk

Chaedyn Dukes modeling Jess Swan's "White Rabbit"

Travis Brown on stage

Theatresports 2011

With the intercollegiate Theatresports competition always a highlight on the Arts calendar, a little snow may have postponed the tournament, but did not cancel it completely.  This year we were the most represented College, with 13 teams entered into the competition.

Our junior teams performed admirably, and were stunning to watch.  Stand out performances by Civic Cruz - completing the full splits on stage, Cameron Hawke weaving a wonderful storyline in Pop-up Storybook, Walter Barber and Emma Jenkins's Hands Interview.  The juniors definitely have raised the bar on what is possible in the next few years.

In the Senior Novice division we had our most nervous groups, the Year 12's and Year 11's.  Most of the teams had never performed before, but did a wonderful job.  Mikaela Osborne held her team together nicely, Connor Henare will not be forgotten for his dolphin training any time soon, and the spontaneous rap by the Year 12's was insane. 

In the Open Division, we had 3 teams, "Oops Crazy baby did it again", "Power Cheese" and "The Boogiemen".  While the Boogiemen got off to a fantastic start with their team introduction, and energetic performances in Stunt Doubles, the judges scored them lowly.  Choruses of boo's were heard from the crowd.  The boys were unperturbed, as they were the reigning champions from 2010.  Power Cheese were well prepared and had a great get-on-with-it attitude. 

Each of the Open Division teams knew they were likely to have to challenge each other in the competition, so preparations were kept secret.  Each team had 2 specialist games that the other teams did not know about.  The Year 13 boys played energetic physical games - Stunt Doubles and Human Props.  The Girls team played more subtle, highly specialised games - Ballet and Madrigal, and the mixed team worked with their own particular strength with words - playing Hands Interview and Song.  They each brought something special to the table, and entertained a crowd, as well as their own classmates.

At the end of the day, only one team can be victorious, and the winners for 2011 were "Oops Crazy Baby did it Again".  The team consisted of Zoe Renor, Chaedyn Dukes, Lexie Fleming, Sara Morasurat and Julia Dahlgren.  Sadly, only Zoe will remain at Kuranui next year to defend her title.

Dom Hawke and Callum Moore

Jan Meyer, Jasmine Turner, Oliver Healy and Finn Shepherd, in Atlantis

Swedish Julia, Zoe Renor, and Italian Sara in Gibberish Interpreter

Jan Meyer, German Julia, Finn Shepherd and Jasmine Turner in Hands Interview

Italian Sara in Props.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

And it's all been remarkably busy again....

While a theme of this blog has become, "Being too busy to blog", we would love to change it all.

There are photos to follow, which are waiting on a set of genius's's's to recover from a memory card that insisted on dying at the worst-possible-moment.  These include some of the magnificent things we have had a chance to do recently.

At the end of last term, the Year 12 Drama class put on their performance of "Mother Courage and her Children".  While the Epic theatre form is a complete departure from what our students were used to, it was ultimately quite successful.  Mother Courage was played by Dominic Hawke, which was a supreme surprise to us all during the audition phase.  He was a beautiful Mother Courage.  Zoe Renor performed admirably as the mute Kattrin, and Chaedyn Dukes was a stand-out performer as Yvette.  Oliver Healy was particularly proud of his sign, which was particularly nice.
Dom Hawke as Mother Courage

Our Ukulele Orchestra had the chance to perform on TV as part of the Rugby World Cup Roadshow.  And the senior Performing Arts class worked on providing facepaint for the crowd.  It was a lot of fun, as well as taking random Unicyclers, which became the focus for many a photo.  The best aprt was looking like the ultimate "Where's Wally" comic!
Supporting Georgia

The auditions for the school production went ahead, with 38 people auditioning for the 8 key roles!  Ms Webster is currently adding roles to her original production.

Term 3 brought in the Education Review Office, and the Year 13 performance of "Once on Chunuk Bair".  James Owens was born to play the role of Frank, and Darren Dingle did a fantastic job of playing Colloney.  Katie James once again was relegated to a character who dies, this time in the first 2 minutes, then re-appearing as Otaki George.

The Senior Dance classes are gearing up for "Dance New Zealand Made" later this term, and the routines are looking amazing.  Ms de Croy will now be hunkering down beneath a pile of costumes.  Jamie Howatson is once again choreographing a routine with a dedicated bunch of dancers, assisted by Danielle Kennedy.

Theatresports has suffered a delay, mostly due to snow, but it looks positive for the intercollegiate event for Year 11's tonight.  We have 4 Year 11 teams this year, though with the weather, this may drop to 2 teams in the competition tonight.  We have to defend our title tomorrow night in the Senior Open grade competition.

The Rockquest again went well, with 2 bands competiting.  The Intermediate band did well, and the Junior band was a stand-out.  We have a great deal of talent in the Junior College. This year we were unplaced, but had some of the youngest competitors in the division.

Wearable Arts is on Friday night, which is held at Kuranui this year.  There are a number of entries from all the schools, which is a delight to see.  The Dancers and Circus troupe have been working on entertainments for in the background, and are quite excited about the event.

Watch this space for theatresports results, and to see how Katie James goes at the National Shakespeare in Schools Production in the school holidays.  Also, a big hello to Pakuranga College in Auckland, who could become the next big excitement for Senior Drama at Kuranui!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Script Frenzy 2011

This year we were thrilled to be able to participate in Script Frenzy.  Script Frenzy is a challenge run through the Office of Letters and Light in Berkley, California.  We signed up to write a 100 page script in 30 days.  All in all, we did good.  15 people met their overall goal, with 50 others not far behind.

We even got featured on the Office of Letters and Light blog!

Read the article here:
Office of Letters and Light Blog

You can find out more about Script Frenzy here:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Circus Challenge

Oddly enough, the Circus Challenge team LOVE coming in to Kuranui.  This year we had a blast with the boys, working on contact juggling, regular juggling, diabolo and plates.  We even had the chance to teach them a few of our cool tricks!

Toyah and Zoe working with the Diabolo Instructor

Zoe plate spinning

Contact Juggling Workshop

Murphy learning Diabolo

Nicky Carlisle learning to juggle Knives

Zoe working with Devil Sticks

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Junior Arts Classes

With the Junior Arts classes due to finish their current rotation, it seems timely to update the blog with a Junior Show Off's update.

The Year 9 Dancers were really awesome, getting down with Justin Beiber.  The Year 10's danced and even did a cheerleading routine which was new.  Ms de Croy has made her mark in the Dance department, and we are glad to have her.  In other news, Ms Pratt came in the other day and is looking totally amazing, and Eloise is incredibly cute.

The Year 9 Drama class performed their Circus routines, which were clever and highly skilled.  Brad Dingle and Joe Garratt were stars with their comic routine with juggling and a unicycle.  Mereana Hunt and Hannah Dare were the stand-outs with their plate spinning routine which had everyone amazed.  And Murphy Cater and Rama Tapp have come such a long way with their diabolo work this term.  I was proud of each of them.

The Musicians never fail to amaze.  This year the junior band played 2 of their original songs, which were phenomenal.  Marlon Moala Knox was a surprise stand-out on piano accordion.  And seeing the students who have just learnt to play an instrument get up and perform is heart-warming to see.

It was a great night all round.  We have a stack of multi-talented students in our junior school.

Junior Musicians in rehearsal

Toyah Churton prepares to go on stage

Clowning 2011

Clowning has become such an integral part of the Drama curriculum, and always a highlight of the tour calendar.  This year we took 25 clowns down to Greytown Primary School to perform their assessment routines.  The clowns were nervous, but did a terrific job, and the kids loved each and every one of them.
Alessandra Giorgioni

Lexie White

Katelyn, Alysha and Lesley

Most of the cast

Dan Carlisle and Oliver Healy

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stage Challenge 2011

This year Charlotte Taylor and Jamie Howatzon ran Stage Challenge, with Katie James.  They devised the concept, choreography and ran rehearsals.  It was a MAMMOTH task to undertake, but they did fantastically well.  The interpretation was around good parenting told through the story of "Where the Wild Things Are".  We picked up 6 awards, including the best use of Drama and the Stage Challenge Spirit Award.

The cast and crew of 92 were amazing, both in rehearsal and on the day of performance.

Thanks also to the South Wairarapa Arts Council and South Wairarapa Rotary Club for their generous donations to our stage challenge performance.

Ilse Botha as Max in the Forest

Charlotte Taylor as Max with Katie James as the mother
Photo's courtesy of Renee Cheesman

Intercolliegiate Shakespeare Competition

This year we entered "Othello" in the 15 minute scene competition at the Wairarapa Shakespeare in Schools Festival.

Our take was to look at the invasion of Galipoli, and to compare Othello's demise with that of soldiers suffering from shell shock.  Othello was a leader of the ANZAC's, and Desdemona, a Red Cross Nurse.  We had a cast of 54, which was wonderful, including live trumpet.

The cast worked really well together, and put on a brilliant performance.  Though we did not win, neither did Darren Dingle and Lexie Fleming with their "Apprentice: King Lear" 5 minute scene, though both scenes were well recieved and well rehearsed.  Katie James, our Desdemona was honoured with the performance of the night, and was nominated to go to the National Shakespeare Production Week in October.  She now has a chance of travelling to London to perform at the Globe!

Well done Katie, and well done the rest of Othello cast!

Some of the cast of "Othello" getting their pose on.

Katie James, off to the National Shakespeare Production Week

Desdemona worries about Othello at war (Photo credit: C Hyde)

Daniel Cameron (Iago) and Arjun Pathmanathan (Othello) (Photo Credit C Hyde)

The plans of war (Photo credit C Hyde)

Darren Dingle's Donald Trump with Cordelia from King Lear (Photo credit C Hyde)

Long time, no update!

It seems like just yesterday that we updated the blog.... however, it was MONTHS ago!


Term 2 has been a whirlwind of successes and brilliant moments.  We will endeavour to update the blog with the latest and greatest.... or at least, fill in the gaps from the last few months.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"The Rubber Room"

Today the Year 12 and 13 Drama students went to Wairarapa College to see "The Rubber Room"

Our reflections on the performance can be found on the Drama homework blog.

Read our Reflections here...

The set of the play: