It was a very big year for The Fashionista last year in the performing art area. She chose drama as one of her electives which they did for year 9 and of course she of course had to sign up for everything going as is her way.
Early on in the year she performed in the Sheila Winn Festival with her high school.
The Festival is an annual event that involves more than half the secondary schools in the country. During the Regional Festival, students engage with Shakespeare's plays by performing 5-minute and 15-minute excerpts from them with schools in their area.
Schools from each region are then selected to go on to participate in the National Festival.
She played one of the dancers. Unfortunately I was sick and didn't make it but her dad and Grandma when to see the regional one she was in. Their school got best costumes I think, but the 'boys' school that they are affiliated with won and went to participate in the National Festival.
This is a pic from one of her dress rehearsals. On the night they also had colourful ribbons tied around their wrists with bells so they jingled when they performed.
She was fortunate enough to attend a Black Grace dance workshop in Auckland with her contemporary group, Manu Wairua, in April. The group was so blessed as Black Grace is New Zealand's leading contemporary founded by Neil Ieremia (on chair in pic) in 1995.
Each student got to partner up with one of BG's dancers and so got some one on one treatment. MW's 'manager' I suppose you could say (far left in the pic below) told me it was very funny to see The Fashionista doing one rather flexible move with her legs and the male BG dancer she was working with try it, and laughingly make some joke about not being quite as flexible as she was. She came home from this event on an absolute high ... the BG group are really warm, funny, flexible and helpful apparently. They were all given Black Grace t-shirts ... it's 12 months later and it is still her favourite t-shirt!
Post workshop pic of MW and BG ... I love how they felt comfortable enough with them to take a funny picture as some events the kids are quite reserved.
Performing an exercise with one of the BG dancers.
Her drama class performed a couple of sketches in June to show off what they had been working on throughout the two terms. She was one of two given the narrators role (first pic), in the class production and then she got to perform with some of her friends in a mini piece that they had put performed in class where she was the wicked aunt (second pic). She got a bit of the acting bug doing this course and performing ... hmmmm
Apologies for the quality of the photo, I had to cut her out of a larger one.
Outside of school she started 'en pointe' ballet and also continued with contemporary. Unfortunately due to her travelling such a distance each day to and from school the added external class were more than either of us could take much more of (I was spending hours on the road each day!) so she dropped ballet as it was three classes a week but still continued with her weekly contemporary class. Here's a pic of her the day she took her exams, which she passed.
She practiced with her partner a few times and had one practice with the group before going on that night. They were the finale and did really well. It was a war based theme, with very strong and theatrical music.
It was a great night held at a centre in the middle of Hamilton. Some students performed a scene if they were doing drama, some performed on a musical instrument and a few sung with a band they had in to accompany the students. They were being assessed as they performed their routines and they did so well.
Around the same time she was also rehearsing for her schools annual performance. Her girls high school joins together with Boys High each year to put on a big school performance. They each take it in turns to host and run the event. In 2015 it was Boys High's turn to run the event and they chose Jesus Christ Superstar. She actually was one of two year 9 girls (there were about 300 girls in year 9 but of course they didn't all apply or audition) to get a part as a dancer in the show. She was over the moon as you can well imagine.
There were hours and hours and hours of work putting this performance together. Every Sunday between 1 and 6 she attended rehearsals at Boys High, along with another 1-2 nights a week there also. On top of that the dancers rehearsed through their lunch breaks at school for the special performances they were doing in the show that didn't involve the rest of the case. It was tiring that's for sure.
They ended up performing about 6 shows in July and I have got to say, trying not to be biased, that the show was just AMAZING. The singers were awesome, the dancers perfectly rehearsed and looked so professional, and the student band (up the back in the pics) just first class. Anyone who saw the show was just blown away by it.
She just loved being with the cast and crew and they really bonded during the rehearsals. She still has some amazing friends, even a couple of males ones, from this event. I think I was the highlight of her year. During this show the acting and performing bug hit her BIG TIME and she now wants to pursue it as a career.
She's the wee angel up the back right. She did a beautiful job.
Photo by Cirrus Photography
Can you spot her? She's the wee one at the front left.
Photograph by Feisty Photography
Waiting back stage to go on.
In November she performed in her new dance academy's recital doing contemporary. She was only in the one dance as it is a large school and the recital lasted for about 2 1/2 hours or more!
When I advised the owner early this year that she wouldn't be returning, who also was one of two of her ballet teachers, she told me that she thought she danced beautifully in the recital and that she was welcome back anytime, which was just lovely as she is a very exacting teacher who does not give praise lightly.
My favourite photo taken by the photographer the school hired - she hates it.
That's her in the front, middle.