This has been a great time for the arts at Huili, as pupils have enjoyed a widening range of artistic performances, shows and opportunities to explore the arts on their own terms. The following two events underline the importance of the arts at Huili and the lengths we go to ensure that pupils have every opportunity to experience highly engaging and relevant performances.
Alice's Adventures Underground The Huili Arts Festival came to an exciting end with our grade 6 cohort taking a trip to the theatre production of ‘Alice's Adventures Underground’. Pupils entered the magical world of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ created by the renowned author Lewis Carroll, where they enjoyed a promenade style of theatrical performance.
Promenade allows audience members to walk to different spaces for different sections of the performance so, for example, after making a choice to drink the magic potion that turned our pupils small or eating the enchanted chocolate that made them large, they followed the White Rabbit into the maze of different adventures.
Led by the actors, pupils were taken into four different stories that culminated in a court scene where they met the Queen of Hearts and Alice herself.
My favourite part of the adventure was interacting with the actors. My group had a special task where we had to defeat the evil Queen.——Doris，Xian House
On our adventure we met the cook and his wife. Their characters were really funny and they made me laugh.——Jeffery，Xian House
I thought the puppets were really expressive and it was amazing to see how they worked during our workshop at the end of the day.——Leona，De House
Along the way they also met exciting characters including the Caterpillar, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and the Cheshire Cat. From acrobatics to live music, this show had the pupils engaged from start to finish.
Matilda the Musical On Wednesday 11th December, a group of grade 7 children and teachers went to Shanghai Culture Square Theatre to watch a matinee performance of Matilda the Musical. Based on the popular book written by Roald Dahl, it is a heart-warming tale of a precocious child and a supportive teacher.
This is a highly-acclaimed production that has won numerous awards for its choreography, set design, costumes, lighting and performances, including seven Olivier Awards in 2012 and five Tony Awards in 2013. The score was written by renowned Australian performer and composer Tim Minchin, the catchy melodies and clever lyrics really bring the story to life. The current run of Matilda the Musical in Shanghai is part of the show’s first tour of China, so being able to see such a spectacular performance in person represented a special opportunity for Huili pupils. At its heart, Matilda offers a number of positive messages about how we behave towards others and the importance of learning. At Huili, we pride ourselves on the values that we instil in our pupils through our holistic approach to education, and the events in the story provided valuable examples of these values in practice. Matilda’s honest integrity is shown in stark contrast to the deceitful greed of her father. The kindness of Miss Honey ultimately triumphs over the cruel bully Miss Trunchbull. So, in addition to being thoroughly entertained, our grade 7 children left Shanghai Culture Square Theatre with an even stronger sense of the Huili identity.