By Areej and Nisha
On Monday 25th February 2013, Park High participated in ‘Rock Challenge’, an anti-drugs event in which several schools compete for first place with an eight minute, non-speaking, drama and dance performance. However, Park High’s goal wasn’t to win entirely, but to experience the thrill from competing to the best of their ability.
Aung San Suu Kyi – Getty Images ©
This year’s theme for Park High was about the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, a well-known politician who fought for the people of Burma against a corrupt government. Since her story was a worldwide event, it was quite a challenge for this school to deliver a successful performance while depicting Kyi’s victory in a powerful way.
The actual day consisted of many rehearsals and practices which would, in turn, produce a successful performance if carried out correctly. In the morning, immense happiness was seen across the faces of all participants from the school as they danced gleefully to the ‘Rock Challenge’ national anthem full of hope and anticipation in the coming hours for their make or break performance.
Nevertheless, what was once happiness soon turned into anxiety: it was time to rehearse. After making some drastic improvements to the final piece, Park High School’s budding artistes felt slightly more at ease as they got to experience going on stage for the first time.
Some students felt overwhelmed with excitement as they couldn’t wait to showcase their talent and finally receive the recognition they deserved after months of constant rehearsals after school.
Despite this, there was some tension leading up to the performance because nerves started to overcome other ‘Rock Challengers’ who had never experienced this sort of environment. Yet, when they heard the loud applause which roared throughout the Stevenage Leisure Centre, a sudden surge of determination to compete to the best of their ability overtook any form of anxiety. There was a great sense of unity amongst them and for those eight minutes, they managed to captivate the audience immensely.
Overall, Park High School managed to achieve Third place with the Genesis Community Award for Set Design, the Druglink Award for Costume Design the Hertfordshire Partnership Fund Award for Staging.
On behalf of all Park High’s ‘Rock Challengers’, a special thank you to Ms. Bexson, who has dedicated much of her time and effort to ensure that this school gets the recognition it deserves.
INTERVIEW WITH A PERFORMER
Another perspective is from a thirteen year old performer Hosna, who took part in this year's Rock Challenge.
Q. What was your theme for this year's Rock Challenge?
A. This year our theme was on Aung San Suu Kyi and her house arrest. She was a Burmese Politian, fighting for the freedom of Burmese, who was put on house arrest and our performance was based on how she coped with her house arrest.
Q. What was the highlight of Rock Challenge?
A. The highlight of Rock Challenge was everyone coming together to do our performance. We all collaborated and our confidence increased, giving us Park High's best performance yet!
INTERVIEW WITH HEAD OF ROCK CHALLENGE FOR PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Q. Do you feel that this years Rock Challenge was the best, compared to your past performances?
A. In some ways, I do feel that this year’s performance was the best in terms of the quality of dance as we had dance teachers to choreograph most of our scenes. But, all of the previous Rock Challenge performances are all special to me; therefore I can’t say which one I liked best. They were all good in their own ways.
Q. What is your favourite part of Rock Challenge?
A. When I walk into the theatre and see people’s eyes open wide at the size of the stage, it really warms my heart.
Park High School, Thistlecroft Gardens, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 1PL
Mr Emlyn Lumley
0208 952 2803