The production, this year titled Out of this World, enables an extraordinary number of Hurst pupils to grasp a cosmic concept and show off their stellar potential in front of an audience. The inspiration for this theme derived from an earlier collaborative project, by the Dance and Art departments, based upon the Chaos Theory.
Following their very own dance recital in January, the Pre-Prep dancers have built upon their experience to take part in the showcase with older pupils from both the Prep and Senior Schools. Their tremendous efforts displayed the ballet skills that are emerging under the guidance of ballet professional and teacher, Allison Salter.
This is the third occasion in which Nicola Dominy, Head of Dance, has orchestrated the show that enables the Pre-Prep’s dancers a night in the limelight. “The Pre-Prep dance has been well rehearsed and is always a real crowd pleaser” she said. “It’s fantastic to see the work generated from the ballet classes and as one of the pupils’ first chances to take to the stage, it’s a real confidence booster.”
For the Prep and Senior School, this year’s show reveals for the first time the work with College pupils by visiting Street Dance teacher, Luke Bohanna. Dancing at this level is becoming a far more popular choice for Hurst’s boys as the range of contemporary styles on offer builds not only creative flair but also the physical skills that are easily transferrable to other sporting activities. It was clear from their faces that the Prep boys thoroughly enjoyed performing their Superman dance and they demonstrated some impressive, witty choreography and some very slick moves.
For the junior Prep ballet group, the starry theme produced a charming and neatly danced performance entitled Stardust and the senior Prep ballerinas performed a floating, graceful dance appropriately entitled Shooting Stars. In contrast, the junior dance company’s offering, Cyberspace and the senior Prep’s Nebula used fast-paced, modern dance styles to express their interpretation of the showcase theme.
“There is certainly a new and very vibrant generation now engaged in dance” said Nicola, “… particularly with lots of new boys from the Prep stepping into the places left vacant by the UVI formers of last year. The number and talent of these new faces highlight in the remarkable development of dance at the College.”
For some of the Sixth form dancers, this year's showcase is their last before they leave at the end of the current Summer Term; not unnaturally then, many are determined to demonstrate the scale of their ambition and their abilities.
The annual show gives the Senior School & Sixth form modern dance companies and ballet groups the opportunity to perform in a truly professional whole College dance production. The group dances dovetailed neatly with the examined dance pieces performed by current GCSE and A Level students. Reflecting upon the performances by the Sixth formers, Nicola said, “Here you see the progression and development in technical ability… it’s all about enjoyment and being passionate about the work that you do.”
The night is a deserved finale for all of the performers who, as an extracurricular activity, have been in rehearsal for many weeks and months. It is one of those special but not infrequent occasions when the entire College gets together to put on a collaborative event for the enjoyment of both peers and parents alike.
24 May 2013