St Catherine’s College perform On-Site film project

St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton, was selected to be involved in a youth contemporary dance and film project, On-Site, for the Greater Hunter region.

On-Site is a large regional project that consists of a team of artists, choreographers, composers and visual designers from Catapult Dance, Newcastle, who worked collaboratively with young people aged 8 to 18 from Singleton, Muswellbrook and Dungog.

41 students from St Catherine’s in Years 4 to 11 embraced the opportunity to work with professional choreographers and film makers from Newcastle and Sydney.

Choreographer Cadi McCarthy, from Flipside Dance, created a 7-minute dance performance for primary students over two days as well as a 5-minute film. Cadi worked with students to break down her choreography to create their own.

Similarly, with the secondary students, an 11-minute work with a 5-minute film was devised. Students also had the opportunity to work with a second choreographer, Angie Diaz, creating a second performance in only 3 days!

“Through an intensive choreographic and filming process, in collaboration with the young people, we created a number of short contemporary dance works, original music composition and dance films that were performed at site specific locations.

“This project aimed to engage young people in new dance and arts practice that linked directly to living in their community,” said Cadi McCarthy.

The focus of the program was to provide opportunities for young people to be participants, creators, and performers in original dance/multi-arts productions, working in collaboration with professional artist.

On Thursday 31 August, we held a performance and viewing night at the College.

The film makers, Ashley de Prazer and Alison Laird were brilliant with the students and Ashley edited and created a beautiful memento of the experience. I am extremely proud of all students involved and what they achieved in such a short time.

“The project is vitally important in exposing young people to new artistic ways that dance can be delivered, creating an inclusive, non-competitive arts environment.

“Young people are the focus of this program, providing creative opportunities, participation and sustainable arts practice for young people, emerging artists, community, and new audiences from the Singleton, Dungog and Muswellbrook region."

Cadi said this project was not about learning the latest dance moves, it was about creating an environment where young people can voice ideas relating to their town and their identity.

“The project was committed to creating challenging performances and films that were relevant and important to young people on a social, and personal level. Often young people feel disenfranchised and without a place, this project provides an avenue to find their voice, in a safe and creative forum.

“Focused on task-devised choreographic practice, in an inclusive environment, we aspired to nurture minds, push boundaries, challenge thoughts, attitudes and expectations while instilling a sense of confidence and power to change, shape and redefine the world through the arts and beyond.”

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