Student-led dance explores the regenerative power of bushfires

Student-led dance explores the regenerative power of bushfires

10 April 2017

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Australia — Students at Karabar High School in Queanbeyan have been exploring the regenerative power of bushfires through dance.

Planning to share their story through the Wakakirri Secondary School Challenge, the NSW Year 10 dance students have been busily planning and choreographing their performance.

“They did quite a lot of brainstorming and thinking about what sort of story they wanted to tell, from honouring a person to looking at the environment, all sorts of things, and … they’ve come up with the idea of looking at bushfire,” teacher Alison Nilon says.

“…At the moment they’re looking at heatwaves, fire, regeneration and focusing on that natural regeneration that happens in native bushland as a result of fire, so, keeping it positive,” she adds.

According to Nilon, one of the blessings of the project, is that teachers have stayed hands-off, allowing students to step up and learn new skills. “It’s really hard for teachers to stay out of it, we’re very good at saying, ‘what about this?’ or piping up.

So we don’t go to those meetings.

“So, [they’re] working together as a team, taking on not just the choreography but the concept, which is always exciting for kids, but also the admin.

“We’ve given them a list of things that need to be done in relation to notifying students, coordinating rehearsals and getting permission notes out to parents,” she says.

Students have also had to consider sustainability in planning their performance, and have chosen to forgo sets and focus on the power of their bodies and costumes to make an impact.

Student leaders have also been liaising with their peers in the school’s entertainment industry program, to get the lowdown on sound and lighting.

Once a solid plan is in place, spots will open up for about 35 performers, with those from Year 7 to 12 able to audition.

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