IDU: PERFORMANCES WORTHWHILE

By Lyka Peng, G10

Words can not even express how hard Grade 10s have been working this year for their IDUs (interdisciplinary unit) to make their ideas a reality. With the combination of all the Arts disciplines, as well as Language and Literature, they essentially produced entire performances, initially derived from the bare minimum – basic knowledge of the Grimm tales that they would be re-contextualizing.

As the weeks went on, the groups put their heads together to paint out their visions. They have been through thick and thin in order to achieve their goals, from writing various drafts of the script and art experimentations to music pieces, character development ideas, and much more. It was a rigorous process overall; bringing the concepts to life was not as easy as the visualization itself. Students put in an extra mile to simply create what they thought was most cohesive and effective for their performances. 

The day of the performance was definitely exhilarating (and terrifying). Mixed emotions contributed to the atmosphere as a whole, ranging from excitement to nervousness and exhaustion – most of us were ready to pack up and go home. After a few more tech rehearsals and sound checks, the lights turned off, and the night full of performances rolled in. The students were mostly all set and ready to go, but nonetheless filled with determination to put on the best show possible for their audiences, which were mainly parents, teachers, and Grade 9 students who are bound to take on the challenge next year.

The excited whispers of the audience drifted into the Blackbox at last. They took their seats towards the middle of the space to watch the first performance on the program. 

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The fluorescent lights flashed on, an enticing mixture of blues and purples reflected onto the smoke slowly filling the air. It was a magical performance, influenced by Japanese culture and myths. The actors put on voices that ranged from angry to happy tones, which complimented the Japanese music in the background.

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Group 2’s performance was a juxtaposition of Ancient Greek Tragedy theatre and Mondrian art. The actors amplified their voices by speaking in chorus, interacting with a primary colour themed set design– a re-contextualization of the Three Fates in Greek Mythology. The soft yet eerie notes of the soundtrack tied the performance together perfectly.

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The following performance was located in the Theatre classroom. The projector turned on, and the audience was transported to China. The group’s main concept revolved around the One Child policy established there. The audience was captivated by the combination of digital media and traditional set design, along with the acting and music.

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This group’s performance takes place outside in the grass area, a contrast from the enclosed space in the Blackbox and Drama room. The lighting resembled a flickering fire, which definitely set the atmosphere for what was about to come. This group based their story around sacrifices in Aztec culture. This is also clearly seen through their costumes and music.

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Then, the audience walked towards the Loop Gallery, where they visited the art installation, a new visual arts and music only group established this year. It was inspired by the Pol Pot regime, depicting numerous visuals such as children’s toys as well as red Khmer handwriting on the walls. It gave everyone goosebumps to see the installation come to life. 

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The audience was then escorted back to the Blackbox, where they watched a performance that showcased the United States in the 1920s, with their main character pursuing the American Dream. The performance was filled with lots of color, dancing, fun music (and laughter too!).

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Group 7’s performance was heavily influenced by Korean culture. They incorporated tradition into nearly everything in their performance– from the costumes and set, to the music and dancing. The story tells of a village in a drought, asking for a shaman to bring them rain.

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The night of IDU performances ended on a strong note; though a plain sight at first glance, the final performance of the night utilized digital media in order to depict their ideas for the audience. With the use of projection mapping, they transferred the viewers into a whole new world called the ‘Klave’, which does not possess any individuality or originality. 

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A round of applause ensued for the Grade 10s. Everyone was extremely tired after such a long day running endlessly around campus to polish up their performances. Through months of intensive work, various criticisms faced, and other adversities, they persevered, putting on a show that would be without a doubt, unforgettable.

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