On Thursday 22 April, 166 Darwin High School students and 5 staff attended a performance of Secrets, by SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre Company about the consequences and effects of methamphetamine use.
By teacher, Sarah Calver
Watching SECRETS 2021 reminded me of what an exceptional and compelling production this show is! The cast comprised of senior SLIDE Youth Dancers (many of them DHS Dance students) and professional dancers/mentors Jordan Bretherton, Arthur Lariosa, Callum Marshall, Alex Abbott, and Brandan Hardie were beyond all expectations. The new scenes, routines, and music were electrifying and added to this already highly artistic and extraordinary show by the talented Joanna Noonan. In particular, the duets, the party scene with several new sections choreographed by Arthur Lariosa combined with the layers of each character’s journey with the integration of on the edge of your seat new tricks and skills was inspirational.
SECRETS was first realised at DHS via the Stage 2 Creative Arts Dance 2013 group and with the support of SRA Information Technology, Trevor Read, EPRINT, Banyan House, NT Scaffolds and SLIDE Youth Dance Company artistic Director Joanna Noonan it was produced into a full-length work in 2016 and performed in the DHS amphitheatre to capacity audiences. It was remounted in 2018 and now in 2021 with new casts but still in partnership with Banyan House staff and recovering addicts.
The 2021 SECRETS cast was exceptional and it was evident that SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre is providing pivotal and productive pathways for dancers here in the NT. The 2021 cast was also captivating and every one of them played an important role in the story of SECRETS. They portrayed real-life characters interwoven into a story that is honest, painful, heartfelt, unpredictable, and confronting.
Like all of Joanna Noonan’s SLIDE work, SECRETS celebrates what dance does best - it takes us on a journey - it entertains us, it presses buttons, provokes responses, and challenges our boundaries by giving voice to important issues within our community.
Photo credit: SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre Facebook page