Wyvern students gave a superb performance in this year’s Rock Challenge event at Southampton Guildhall, achieving third place overall and winning awards for excellence in Concept, Soundtrack, Video Performance, Stage Crew and Drama.
‘Fragments of the Soul’ represented the changes over time in attitudes towards mental health and how society reacts to those who suffer. This theme was chosen by the College Dance Prefects, who researched articles to gain a greater understanding of mental health awareness and found statistics indicating that 1 in 4 young people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their early teens/20’s.
The innovative performance began with a dramatic sequence, set in Victorian times at the Bethlem Asylum, representing how the inmates were treated with disregard and disdain by the Victorian nurses. In the next sequence, the College Dance Prefects portrayed how we feel when we look in the mirror and perhaps don’t like what we see. Displaying clever choreography, the dancers manipulated mirrors across the stage to show the transition of time and the Victorian patients exchanging places with their modern contemporaries. Smaller groups of dancers then focussed on current mental health issues, interpreting them to show that although the stigma is eroding, there are still times when we shun those who suffer. The finale was a reminder that mental health issues are not something to be ashamed of and through awareness and tolerance, the stigma can be broken.
Thirty-nine dancers were involved in the routine, ably assisted by ten stage crew and five staff, with costumes selected with the support of Hampshire Wardrobe. Reflecting on the students’ success, Theresa Lowe, Dance Teacher, said “The students should be proud of the awards they achieved for their excellent performance and also their contribution to raising awareness of mental health issues.”
Photos courtesy of Nick Scott Photography
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