Song and dance stars

2019-03-20 06:02
Soloist Catherine van der Merwe (centre) surrounded by members of the St Anne’s Dance Theatre Company, rehearse Jazz Hot Baby from Victor Victoria.

Soloist Catherine van der Merwe (centre) surrounded by members of the St Anne’s Dance Theatre Company, rehearse Jazz Hot Baby from Victor Victoria.

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TO celebrate the completion of its new theatre centre, St Anne’s Diocesan College in Hilton is staging This Is Me — A Tribute to Musicals,at 7.30 pm from March 25 to March 28.

The song and dance numbers have been chosen specifically to expose the school’s talented singers, as well as for their musicality, theatricality and timeless relevance to making brave, individual choices in the face of conformity.

“We have also chosen a few unusual songs that do not generally make the cut in musical reviews, but thoroughly deserve the limelight,” said artistic director Lynn Chemaly.

The songs have been taken from both theatre and film and include numbers from The Greatest Showman, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Sarafina, Sister Act, Mulan, Anastasia, West Side Story, Victor Victoria, The King & I, Moulin Rougeand Wicked.

The cast includes 70 pupils from St Anne’s — 28 singers and 42 dancers — who are rehearsing tirelessly to create the musical spectacular.

The production team is led by Chemaly, choreographer Tegan Peacock, voice training specialists Elsa and Riaan Oosthuizen, and technical director Marcus Henning.

The girls will be accompanied by Anthea Hibbert, Andri Potgieter and Rudi Engelbrecht.

Tickets for This Is Me – A Tribute to Musicals are R70 (R50 concessions). Book via e-mail at

Chemaly saidthe theatre and drama complex at St Anne’s had been completely renovated.

“We’ve stripped it and redone the acoustics, put in new technology, new seating and curtains and added a movement studio with a sprung floor and a drama classroom with a practical studio.

“There’s also a new foyer area, kitchen and ablutions.”

Chemaly said the 300-seat auditorium is the ideal space and size for their educational theatrical requirements.

Of the new movement studio, she said dance theatre is a strong component of their teaching and training in drama.

“We have two dance theatre companies running in the school,” Chemaly added.

“These new facilities have been attached and redistributed within the old, now enabling a separate drama classroom with its own practical studio, a dedicated green room, rack room and backstage dressing rooms, all of which have been upgraded.”

She said the theatre is connected on the same level as the drama studio and the movement studio, enabling the whole complex to open up into one big space for backstage use and/or alternative use in teaching and performance.

The renovations and building started in June 2018 and the front side of the complex, including the theatre, allied foyer, ablutions, green room and backstage, will be completed by March 25.

The back of the complex, including the drama classroom and studio, movement studio, D&T classroom and social responsibility office, roadway and the gardens, should be completed by the end of May.

Chemaly said much research, planning and thought went into the project from all the various role players, both structurally and educationally.

“The architect, Nick Grice, has ensured that the overall look and architectural style of the ‘red brick and white trim’ has been maintained through the modern structures, and connects with the existing chapel and original main school building that forms the impressive school frontage,” she added.

— Arts Editor.


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