The Sydney Region Dance festival has been on this week. Matilda performed in an item.
creativity on display is markedly, and refreshingly, different from the
kind of dance you see at local dance schools and on music videos. No
skimpy costumes. No bump and grind. No exploitation. Just lots of ideas
were pieces about Willy Wonka, mirrors, about having a cold (performed
in pyjamas), about the daily life of Buddhist monks (based on yoga
poses), the song Naughty from the new musical Matilda (written by Tim
Minchin), a dance about Schindler’ List, and one about the Olympics.
From a program for an earlier night’s show there was a piece called
Where’ Wally and a dance to Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet.
local performing dance school was a stand-out. The primary schools had a
mix of girls and boys performing, expected to dance equally well. Some
of the high schools just had girls dancing, and the standard was
excellent. The biggest disappointment was from a primary school that put
up a group of boys performing a piece about football. There was no
dancing involved. Movement and poses. Low expectations. And they
received the loudest cheers from the audience. I don’t understand. Boys
are celebrated for just turning up at a dance event. But shouldn’t we
expect them to, you know, dance?
definitely be attending these in future years, with or without my
children being involved, and encourage dance teachers to go too.
festival is organised by The Arts Unit. The Arts Unit organise
opportunities for students from NSW public schools to be involved in
programs for dance, drama, music, visual arts and public speaking. They
also run professional development programs for teachers. To sign a
petition protesting against the proposed funding cuts, sign here.