Performers light up stage in challenge

TA-DAAA: Southland Girls' High School pupils finish their performance during the Stage Challenge and J Rock event, held at the Civic Theatre last night.
TA-DAAA: Southland Girls' High School pupils finish their performance during the Stage Challenge and J Rock event, held at the Civic Theatre last night.

Young performers showed off their fancy footwork during a combined Stage Challenge and J Rock event in Invercargill last night.

Five primary schools and three high schools took to the stage to explore everything through dance from surrealist dream journeys to troubles children face in war-torn nations.

Stage Challenge event manager Sarah-Jane Phillips said the event not only enabled pupils to improve dance and drama skills but also promoted other life skills.

"Lots of people are given leadership opportunities within Stage Challenge. Senior students lead the J Rock performances."

Stage Challenge and J Rock were also completely smoke, alcohol and drug free, and helped to encourage this behaviour in young people, she said.

Southland Girls' High School and James Hargest College were the only schools to enter both a junior and a senior performance in the Southland event.

Southland Girls' High had 36 year 7 and 8 pupils involved in their junior performance The Story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai and all said they had joined because they enjoyed dance.

Performer Janaya Stevenson, 11, said being part of J Rock had been a great experience.

"We are learning a lot more stuff. We've made new friends."

The school had chosen to stage Hinemoa and Tutanekai's love story because it tied in with the Maori myths they were studying in class, she said.

The Southland Times