SAMARA PURNELL reports from the Ausdance ACT’s Youth Dance Festival.
AUSDANCE ACT’s Youth Dance Festival was in full swing on Monday and Tuesday nights at the Canberra Theatre as excited teens presented their takes on the theme for 2022 “Transience and Permanence”.
The festival, in its the 38th year, began on Monday night with student dance films, shot at schools, sites around Canberra and in living rooms during lockdowns and isolation periods.
Gungahlin College opened the live performances with “Sweet Dreams” and “My Path Your Path” followed. Lake Tuggeranong performed a piece titled “Til Death Do Us Part” and St Francis Xavier year 9/10 and Merici College both chose homelessness as their theme.
Caroline Chisholm School examined relationships in their performance and Erindale College presented “Love Evolution” then after interval, St Francis Xavier seniors presented a piece about memories, Melrose High later depicting the ebbs and flows of confidence.
Burgmann Anglican School’s “She Must Be Mad” was inspired by gender equality and asked “What will come first?” And Radford College embraced change with “Connections”. Canberra Girls Grammar School presented “Stronger,” about Britney Spears’ life.
Melrose delved into the journey of sickness and medical aid in “Medicine”, then USCCS Lake Ginninderra College presented a piece called “Watermark” before the evening concluded with Gungahlin College’s piece, “Art Colours our World”.
The festival wrapped up for another year on Tuesday, after another night of dance performances from secondary schools, focussing on the tumultuous world of travel and the stability of home and place.
Tuesday’s show screened several films also shown on Monday, along with others, including films from Lake Ginninderra and Queanbeyan
St Clare’s year 11 began the live performances with “Stars and Scars” about the impermanence of perceived physical beauty, after which the year 10s did a piece to songs by Lady Gaga.
Calwell High presented “Down the Rabbit Hole” and a large group of dancers presented women’s battle for equality in “Empower”.
“Moments in Time” by Goulburn’s Trinity Catholic College was followed by Canberra Grammar School’s cowboys-and-Indians “Night at the Museum”.
Mount Stromlo’s film about phones and social media preceded their live performance of “Dance Battle”, which concluded that that “Dance is the winner!” while Gold Creek School also took a retrospective look at dance with “Dance through the Decades.”
Harrison School’s “Thought you’d always be Mine” was a light-hearted look at love, but “Can’t Hold Us” was about how society can separate people or groups from each other.
Black Mountain School’s film opened the second half, then “Lost Boys” from Calwell High showed that people are designed and intended to change.
“Memento Mori” was an upbeat piece but with the reminder that death is inevitable, from Amaroo School.
St Mary Mackillop College used covid for its theme in “Roaming Sickness”, before the year 10s from St Clare’s closed the night with a reminder to slow down, look after your health and take time to “Stop and Smell the Roses”.
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