20 December 2011 at 4.57pm | Comment on this article
The High House Production Park in Purfleet was a-buzz yesterday as students from all over the Thames Gateway came together to celebrate their work and share feedback on the final stages of the two projects: Metamorphosis and Bright Sparks.
A performance project, Metamorphosis was created by students from Commonside Children's Support Service in Harlow. Taking inspiration from ROH2's The Metamorphosis, the students composed songs and designed sets with professional artists, working towards a Bronze Arts Award in the process. After their performance they met Edward Watson, Principal of The Royal Ballet and star of The Metamorphosis, presenting him with their sets. It was clear from their enthusiasm how much it meant to the students who took part.
Bright Sparks was a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and students from a group of Essex secondary schools: Shoeburyness High, Basildon Academy, Brentwood Ursuline and Gateway Academy. The project asked students for feedback about their experience of arts education and how it could be improved. The Key Stage 3 students from each school shared lots of ideas with us about what they thought motivated young people to get involved in the arts, and have become Bright Sparks Ambassadors within their schools.
Students also had the opportunity to quiz arts professionals including scriptwriters, actors, digital set designers and our own Edward Watson on their career choices.We hope that events like this open up the arts to students and give us valuable information about how to engage them with the arts – everyone involved certainly seemed to have a great time!