QE Drama and Dance – The shows did go on…

This term has been extremely busy for the Drama and Dance department, with many exciting events taking place from Theatre visits to workshops with Dance companies and theatre practitioners, alongside rehearsals for the next QE Theatre Academy Production.

As usual A-Level Drama & Theatre Studies students have had the chance to see a wide variety of work from the exciting programmes on offer in our local and regional theatres. In September, we began with the spell binding production ‘The Wedding’ by Gecko Theatre Company. This was a thought provoking physical theatre piece that made our students marvel at the extreme level of energy and skill shown by the performers on stage. In November we were lucky enough to have a workshop with one of the performers from this piece who gave year 12 and 13 a glimpse of the commitment and focus needed to produce work of such intensity. Students were hugely inspired by this production and opportunity to work with a professional practitioner, and are now working to produce their own "Gecko inspired” pieces.

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However, their experience did not stop there and other notable productions that we have experienced this term have been National Theatre tours of ‘Hedda Gabler’, in Plymouth, ‘People, Places & Things’ and ‘The Kite Runner’ at the Exeter Northcott. GCSE Drama students also joined in the fun by visiting Bristol Hippodrome to see the hugely acclaimed production Warhorse. Finishing the Autumn season of theatre visits, A-Level students visited Bristol Old Vic on the 5th December, to see Emma Rice’s new production ‘The Little Match Girl and Other Happier Tales.’ This was a magical way to draw a close to what has been a thrilling series of performances, with some fantastic puppetry that really drew the students in to the re-telling of each Hans Christian Anderson story.

Dance students have also been busy taking part in many exciting opportunities. On 2nd November, A-Level and GCSE students joined a workshop with a member of James Cousin’s Dance Company. If you don’t know of this company yet, you will do. Having recently won Matthew Bourne’s “New Adventures Choreographer Award" James Cousins' success in dance is only just beginning. Being a practitioner who is now on the GCSE Dance specification, this was a fantastic opportunity to be taught some of the repertoire and learn more about how the work was created.

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On November 29th GCSE Dance students travelled to London to see Christopher Wheeldon's ‘An American in Paris’ before it closes at the beginning of January. With stunning choreography, skilful performances, exquisite costumes and set, our students were really inspired in how movement can be used to communicate a story.

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Finally, Year 9 students were also given the opportunity to take part in a Dance workshop with EXIM Dance Company who are all graduates of Plymouth University and work with young people to raise the status of Dance within schools. This was an exciting afternoon where new phrases of movement were learnt and experience in choreographing and improving their own work was gained.

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