Bright Lights, Big City! Branksome Hall DP Arts Take on New York
There is never a dull moment in the Arts Department at Branksome Hall! From fantastic school plays to performances in Assemblies, our Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts, Film and Music students are always putting on a show, screening or exhibition. In October, our talented Diploma Programme 2 (Grade 12) Performing Arts students travelled to New York for a weekend of immersive, hands-on learning.
With only four days to explore the city and gain as much experience as they could, the group hit the ground running in order to get through their packed schedules. Each performing arts group on the trip—Theatre, Dance and Music—split up and conquered the city in their own exciting ways.
Angela David, Instructional Leader, Arts and her Theatre students spent their days attending an array of workshops, exposing them to different styles of acting. The students acted alongside young thespians from around the world in their workshop with the International Schools Theatre Association, learning all about commedia dell'arte, an acting technique characterized by improvised dialogue and a cast of colourful stock characters. The group also fine-tuned their skills in a Viewpoints workshop with the SITI Company focused on teaching students how to tell their character’s story based on observations and movements.
Led by Branksome Dance teacher Annie Wood, Dance students visited the Broadway Dance Center, a state-of-the-art studio for dancers of all skill levels and ages. While there, our talented dancers refined their techniques in a variety of dance styles including ballet, contemporary and jazz. These students also had the opportunity to dance with the famous Rockettes, an iconic American dance troupe that has been performing for nearly a century.
Music Teacher Angie Tang and her talented Music students had a wonderful time exploring New York’s expansive music scene. The studentsvisited the Berklee School of Music and learned the ins and outs of music production. They also visited Juilliard to learn about samba percussion. The students were excited to end their weekend of learning with new skills to bring back to Branksome’s band room!
Amid the fun learning experiences, the students also came together to watch Broadway shows and other cultural performances, including Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Kimberly Akimbo, The Making of a Great Moment, Un Ballo in Maschera, Jazz at Lincoln Centre, and Sweeney Todd.
The students returned to Branksome with a renewed sense of inspiration and excitement, ready to take on the Arts in their final years at Branksome. Special thanks to Angela David, Annie Wood and Angie Tang for organizing this incredible trip.
We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.