Tauranga students are gearing up to showcase their dance and drama talents this week in the ASB 2013 Stage Challenge and J Rock.
Nine Tauranga schools are taking part in the 21st annual event, with the Tauranga leg at Baycourt Theatre on June 20 and 21.
Tauranga Girls' College's performance is based around New Zealand aviator Jean Batten.
This includes performances from Tauranga Boys' and Girls' Colleges, Bethlehem College, Otumoetai College, Katikati College, Papamoa College, and Aquinas College. Mount Maunganui Intermediate is performing in the J Rock category.
Event manager says Sarah-Jane Phillips schools choose their own themes students receive huge benefits from the event – which involves 16,000 students from 200 schools nationwide.
“Students learn about commitment, hard work and working with and alongside others, all while being involved in a 100 per cent drug, alcohol and tobacco free environment.”
Winners of last year's open event and raw divisions Tauranga Girls' College will be performing ‘In the Air', a performance about famous New Zealand aviator Jean Batten.
Teacher Jodie Moore says with 2013 being 100 years since the first powered flight, the girls decided to celebrate the life of Jean Batten – one of New Zealand's pioneer aviators.
“It's about her story and success in being able to overcome obstacles and strike to achieve her goals in a period of adversity.”
The team of 45 girls has been working since the beginning of the school year to produce a show Jodie says will stand apart.
She says the key is choreography, undertaken by Sharon Anderson and Tiana Offsener, offering different elements of contemporary dance.
“The girls make multi-level formations with their bodies. It swings in motifs. All of the set and lighting and costumes will all work together.”
Their second performance, ‘Ring a Ring a Rosie' portrays the meaning of the nursery rhyme, showing the symptoms of the plague.
Sarah-Jane says Stage Challenge has been part of New Zealand's youth performing arts scene since 1993.
“Our primary vision is to achieve social change through the use of the arts and by inspiring creative thinking among the youth who shape our future.
“With students, teachers, parents and communities working together helping to prepare each school's performance, we are positive that we are achieving our goal.”