World-leading dance company delivers virtual workshop to sixth form students
The Jasmin Vardimon Company delivered the Dance department with a virtual workshop for eight students in Year 12 and 13 to support their CTEC studies. The Dance department has recently joined the company’s Education Friend Scheme that enables access to key works and theoretical knowledge needed for the Performing Arts CTEC course. In the virtual workshop, the students explored Medusa, one of their recent works, which covers many social and political ideas such as climate change, feminism and equality. Jasmin Vardimon’s uniquely theatrical choreographic and directorial style, is renowned for this type of performance, combining physical theatre, quirky characterisation, innovative technologies, text and dance.
The students were able to explore creative ways of developing movement and coming out of their comfort zone using all elements of the arts and avoiding their typical ‘go to’ bank of actions. During the workshop, students were challenged to use their bodies in ways that developed their performance skills by using imagery and soundscapes to embellish a gestural phrase used within the work. The students finished the workshop with a Q & A, gaining insightful information to enhance their research for coursework and key information of routes to follow when auditioning for conservatoires or dance companies beyond Sixth Form.
Mrs O’Malley, Dance Teacher, said: “It was lovely seeing the students work with a dancer from the Jasmin Vardimon Company where he was able to communicate the level of training and hard work required to prepare for live performances. The students have been very lucky to work with a dancer who is a part of one of the leading contemporary dance companies in the world. The dancer leading the workshop really challenged them mentally with their creative approach and highlighted the importance of feeling the movement to enhance the character they were exploring. The students soon realised that repetition, attention to detail and how they moved were essential to an intriguing performance and dance, drama and music collectively are the ingredients for excellence and innovative ideas.
Following on from the workshop, the Year 12s can use the virtual workshop teaching skills as inspiration for their Unit 17 ‘Delivering Dance and Movement Workshops’ where they have to plan and prepare at least six dance classes/workshops for a particular age group and be able to deliver this virtually. We also have two dancers in Year 13 who can use this experience and creative ways of working to help prepare their solos for auditions later in the year.
Well done to all the students who took part. Their attitude and behaviour represented Richmond School and Sixth Form College to an exceptional standard.