Pupils raise awareness of environmental issues at annual Sunderland Schools Dance Festival

School children from across Sunderland put their best foot forward when they took to the stage in a annual dance festival.

By Sophie Brownson
Saturday, 22 June, 2019, 06:00
Grangetown Primary School pupils performing in the Sunderland Schools Dance Festival held at Sunderland Empire Theatre.

Now in its 34th year, the Sunderland Schools Dance Festival saw pupils come together highlight a range of environmental issues through the medium of dance.

Pupils from Grangetown Primary School pupil with compere Jeff Brown at the Sunderland Schools Dance Festival.

 

Youngsters aged as young as four and five to those as old as 16, based their dance routines around the theme of the environment to highlight issues such as plastic pollution.

Pupils use a huge range of ways to convey such issues through dance, which festival director Lesley Younger said made the festival really engaging.

She said: “Due to the success of the festival it has grown from three schools taking part in Monkwearmouth School Hall, to the University of Sunderland and then finally the Sunderland Empire Theatre where it has been held for around 12 years. 

Grangetown Primary School pupils performing in the Sunderland Schools Dance Festival held at Sunderland Empire Theatre.

“The 2019 festival theme was the environment and this inspired a wide range of dances including several based on plastic pollution.

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“St Paul’s Church of England Primary School’s focused on Save the Penguins and used the movie ‘Happy Feet’, to show how plastic can affect all the animals that live in the ocean.

“While Grangetown Primary School’s performance was called Our Earth, Our Future, and was an exploration of one girl’s journey to overcome a shared global issue by uniting everyone, one step at a time, to save our planet.

”There was a huge range of creative ideas that pupils have used to transate environmental issues into dance.”

Youngsters performing in the Sunderland Schools Dance Festival.

 

Lesley continued: “The environment theme was chosen as it is so topical and highlight how children are so aware of such issues now.

“Their performances really emphasised plastic pollution and saw them address such highly important political issues in an artistic medium.”