Hedingham School students tackle the Rambert Elements Choreography Challenge!

Rambert Elements is a nationwide choreography challenge for schools and colleges; an ambitious project that aims to support and celebrate some of the amazing creative work that takes place in schools across the country.  Mrs Brighton, the Dance teacher at Hedingham School worked with 21 students aged 13-18 over the course of 4 months to prepare them for this project.  She spent two days at Rambert Dance Studios on London’s Southbank with Mark Baldwin, the Artistic Director of Rambert, and the professional Rambert dancers learning the choreography and skills that the students would need in order to meet the needs of this competition. The group of students were set the challenge of creating a piece of dance that was 11 minutes in length to a complex minimalistic score by Michael Torke, with the theme of murmurations; how birds fly in groups. Mrs Brighton said “This project has been instrumental in improving our students understanding of choreography, music and performance towards their GCSE and Level 2 BTEC Dance courses. As well as this, the students have gained confidence in their performance abilities as well as developing their team working skills.’

On Thursday 3rd March 2016 the excited students travelled by coach to Norwich Playhouse. Following a briefing the students took part in a professional technical rehearsal on stage and were able to watch the technical rehearsals of two other schools.  Libby Conner, one of the Year 11 GCSE Dancers said, ‘It was really interesting to see what the other schools had choreographed and to see how their motifs, movements and music differed from ours.’ After this the girls were taken to their dressing room to prepare for their evening performance to a large live audience. 

That evening Hedingham School opened the show and performed with confidence, artistry and flair. Lucy May said, ’It was an incredible experience to be a part of, especially working with friends and other dance students that I usually wouldn’t get the chance to work with’. Many of their families and friends had travelled to see them perform and commented on how well the girls had done. Nicola Abbott said, ‘It was amazing to showcase what we had been preparing afterschool to our friends and families.’  The students were an absolute credit to the school and behaved impeccably.  Bethany Perrott commented after the performance, ‘It was so exciting to be performing in a theatre that I have watched professional dancers work in.’

Rambert Elements Challenge will culminate in June, with six schools being selected to perform at the Peacock Theatre in London’s West End, accompanied by Rambert’s professional dancers and the Rambert Orchestra.  Hedingham School would like to thank the Jack Petchey Foundation for helping to fund this project and enabling our students to experience life as a professional dancer.