The artists included Sarah Boulter, world-renowned choreographer; Marty Worrall, perhaps best known as a voice coach on the TV program The Voice; Guillaume Barriere, an international performer in the art of clowning; Dan Wilson, a local musical director; and Emma Barrtik, who has worked with some of Australia’s best creative directors across film and TV, editorial and fashion, print and advertising, TVC’s and corporate videos.
The cast members broke up into workshop groups based on their creative passion – dance, vocal, stage band, drama and design – to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their performances and bring their new characters to life.
For the dancers, it was storytelling through movement. Sarah Boulter, taught students how to improve the fluidity of their movements by making better use of the space on stage.
Sarah’s recent choreographic credits include the opening ceremony of the 2011 Arab Games and So You Think You Can Dance in both Australia and the UK, among many other acclaims. Performing on various stages across the world, Sarah’s passion for teaching and sought-after contemporary works were welcome and applauded by the dancers who hung on every word.
“I really enjoyed the way we were able to tell a story with our movement, through a powerful piece and a soft piece,” said student, Hannah Smith, a member of the Senior Dance Ensemble.
“This has helped with our performance because we learnt to just let ourselves go and if we make mistakes just own it.”
The singers worked on their vocal skills as an ensemble with Marty Worrall. Many might recognise Marty’s name from Australian Idol where he was a Top 6 finalist in 2014. A seasoned performer locally and internationally, Marty demonstrated his passion for vocal work - and the students certainly soaked up his harmonies as they echoed through the halls of St Pius X.
Captivating the audience in fits of giggles, Guillaume Barriere taught the drama cast how to embrace their awkwardness and turn it into something humorous. After the group members worked on their performances, they then performed for the rest of the cast.
Guillaume hails from France where he trained with several acting schools in Paris including The School of Acting François Florent and The School of Acting Radka Riaskova.
After many years of performance, television and voice-over work in France, Guillaume moved to Australia and is now a regular lecturer at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and is on the panel for the NIDA auditions.
He has also taught Mask at the Australian Institute of Music - Dramatic Arts (AIMDA), scene study, improvisation and comedy at the New York Film Academy and has conducted many workshops at Australian Theatre for Young People.
Dan Wilson treated the stage band members to his genius as a musical director. Dan also took students through the process of composition and performing as an ensemble. Producing a tight and cohesive sound, the students’ own creativity was on show as they bought to life their original compositions.
There was no shortage of creativity in the art rooms as design crew used faces as canvas and created unique representations of characters – thanks to Emma Barrtik.
The design students loved Emma’s skills in special effects makeup with her making use of colour, space and texture to create something dramatic.
Through the immersive workshop, students learned how to use new materials and textures to heighten the experience for the audience and to captivate them in different ways.
“Emma taught us how to make crazy costume makeup, helping us in this performance and any future performances allowing us to take all the costumes to the next level and creating more depth to each character,” said student Jasmine Hole, a member of the Design Ensemble.
“It was so much fun to learn another form of design and let our imaginations run wild coming up with the craziest possible makeup look.”
“‘In developing skills in creative and performing arts, it is vital students learn from a range of different people with different ways of working and who bring different experiences to their teaching,” said Anna Kerrigan, Artistic Director of Aspire.
“Special guest week is all about opening up aspire students to new ideas and this year’s guests didn’t disappoint.”
Tickets for Aspire’s 2019 production will go on sale in April. Follow their Facebook page for updates!