Drama Highlight: Movement Workshop with Brendan Kydd

Thursday 16th May 2024

It was inspiring to see John McGlashan and Columba students gaining confidence and exploring their own unique movement in this exciting workshop.

I was curious when Kimberley Fridd (HOD Drama & Film - and now a life member of Drama NZ!) invited me along to see this workshop with Brendan, who is a professional dancer & choreographer over in Australia. The two have kept in touch after Brendan choreographed John McGlashan's production of High School Musical back in 2013, and it's easy to see why.

Image by: Peter Claman

Brendan is a talented dancer and a great teacher - the way he set the scene and gave everyone permission to explore their natural sense of movement was both brilliant and seriously fun!

After a a few warm ups, things got interesting when the blindfolds came out and Brendan introduced the concept of freedom of expression through being unseen to the exercise. The students were encouraged to focus on leading their movements through feeling, and to do what came naturally.

Image by: Peter Claman

Then the lights went off! Brendan led the class through five distinct emotional states (happiness, sadness, anger, elation and calm), and the students came up with a unique movement for each state.

To wrap up, the lights came back on and the blindfolds came off. Each student had their unique set of five choreographed movements which were performed to the class! It was awesome to see how practicing unseen and being given permission to explore had given the students a real boost in confidence. Ka pai Brendan!

Catching up with Kimberley afterwards, we talked about how this short workshop ripples out into all performing arts the students take part in at school as they begin to understand how they move and take up space.

I'm looking forward to seeing the effects in motion as we work together on their performance assessments!

Movement Workshop with Brendan Kydd - JMc & Columba 2024