Students put on a show at Stage Challenge

JAMES GREENLAND
Last updated 13:00 28/05/2013

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Winning Stage Challenge performance Monstrous, by Garin College, was applauded for its concept and choreography, and its message: "you are not you, when you are on drugs."

The act was celebrated by the organisers of the smoke, alcohol, and drug-free event.

Garin's lead dancer, and demon mask-wearing, drug-crazed maniac Hamish McIntosh was the centrepiece of the Jekyll and Hyde performance. The year 13 student said the moral of Garin's story was not just a song and dance, but a serious message for young people in society.

"We wanted our message to be a warning, about the dangers of drugs, and the ease of access to drugs these days, with synthetic cannabis in dairies," he said.

"We wanted to show that just one experiment can be one too many."

Design judge Jane Winter called Monstrous a smooth and polished performance.

"I loved their concept and the high dramatic tension."

Runners-up Nayland College, performed O Cisne Branco, a colourful tour through the Brazilian rainforest, and the swirling chaos of Rio Carnivale. Their message was: "there is a place for everyone in this crazy world, and people who will help you find it."

Waimea College took third place with Balancing Act. It saw a teen conflicted between expectation and desire - the pressure to get a corporate job, versus her passion to join the "freaky circus". Year 13 student Lauren Hammond said the performance reflected students' lives, and the decisions seniors were faced with as they moved on from school, to tertiary study or work.

"It's the battle between performance, which is what we love, rather than the sort of expected thing, getting a degree."

Tapawera Area School and Marlborough Girls' College, picked up an array of awards too. The all intermediate-aged Broadgreen group was a crowd favourite, with a message of social change, peace and love, and their "long live hippies" picket-signs.

The Stage Challenge 2013 national tour involves 190 schools and 16,000 students, performing at 19 shows around the country.

In 21 years of the event, more than 250,000 Kiwi kids have taken the stage.

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- The Nelson Mail

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