Dance has been one of the fastest growing activities at Shrewsbury over the last few years, thanks in large part to the work of our resident choreographer, Sian Archer. The annual showcase gives students the opportunity to share their love for dance with the wider school community.
This year’s event saw many enthusiastic newcomers taking to the stage, many of whom had not experienced dance until arriving at Shrewsbury. One of the highlights of the evening, for me, was seeing the Wednesday afternoon dance group explode onto the stage with a high-octane jive routine, set to Benny Goodman’s ‘Sing Sing’. Their enjoyment and excitement was palpable, and an utter delight to watch.
The theme for the evening was ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’, and the dances had each been inspired by a particular period of popular music, beginning with a beautiful ballet solo by Georgina Cooper (G). George Gershwin has inspired choreographers from Wheeldon to Balanchine; his mix of the upbeat and the lyrical allows dancers to explore the whole spectrum of emotion, and Georgina’s dance showed off both the poise and elegance of her attitudes as well as the dexterity of her footwork.
We were then transported to the 1960s, by Saffron Milner’s (M) impassioned contemporary routine, set to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. Consulting the programme in the foyer, a lady remarked that “It’s Saffron with the amazing voice” – but her performance showed that she is able to communicate emotion with her feet as well as her F sharp belt.
Kate Woodman (M) brought us bang up to date with a dazzling tap piece, known to the audience as the ‘Cup Song’ from Pitch Perfect. Kate’s irrepressible charm and energy shone through a challenging and beautifully delivered routine.
The programme was brought to a close by Anya Tonks (MSH) – who appeared to be in every number and whose stamina is an impressive testament to the RSSBC’s fitness programme! She performed her EPQ piece, which she had choreographed herself in response to Rupi Kaur’s poem, ‘Selfish’.
Having been fortunate enough to see Anya perform this piece for her EPQ assessment last term, it was fascinating to see how she had developed and refined her ideas over time, and her performance had real emotional depth and complexity.
Thanks and congratulations to all the students who took part:
And thank you to Dr Richard Case for his beautiful photos of the dress rehearsal. A selection can be viewed below. (Click on the large image to open the gallery and scroll through.)
Dr Helen Brown
Director of Drama