Performing Arts Festival MADD is back

The Annual MADD Festival is an opportunity for Year 5 and 6 students from across our family of schools to engage with the disciplines of Music, Art, Drama, Dance, Film and Design. This year a hybrid format MADD Festival 2022 under the theme ‘The Continuum of Space’was virtually hosted by Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong between 26-28 April. 

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While some schools have had to take the festival online this year, students were still able to work collaboratively on a range of projects over the three days. All students had the opportunity to work with drama and dance specialist practitioners from Spotlight Theatre School as well as world-renowned Australian musician and composer Paul Jarman. Jarman even produced a song especially for the Festival – “Fly Across the Universe”, a beautiful piece talking about the importance of humanity and Earth in the vastness of space.

In addition to the main theme, this year six sub-themes were provided to all participating schools to inspire students and inspire their creativity – Outer Space, Inner Space/Mind Space, Personal and Social Space, Positive and Negative Space, Virtual/Digital Space, and Natural Space.

Each day started with a Wake Up Shake Up session together with all the schools led by Spotlight Theatre School, getting prepared to stretch those creativity muscles! Students then began a variety of arranged sessions based on each of their schools’ schedule.

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During the drama and dance sessions with Spotlight, through physical theatre exercises, choreographic projects, poetry, scripted and devised tasks, students produced a range of work linked to their chosen theme.

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Each school also had the opportunity to interpret and learn Jarman’s commissioned song “Fly Across the Universe” in their own way, such as playing it on their musical instruments, or performing with choir group. For students who were learning at home, they could play it on the keyboard or perform acapella as well! Students were able to practice the song with guidance from Paul Jarman, during online sessions.

Besides music, drama and dance, the teachers led art workshops, in which students created their own interpretation of “The Continuum of Space” by using a range of techniques.

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Although we were not able to get everyone together in person for MADD Festival 2022 this year, students still had the chance to better understand and impact the world around them through the creative arts, develop social-emotional competencies, and help build their confidence, self-discipline, communication abilities and leadership skills.

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