Over a four night season, approximately 1100+ audience members viewed SECRETS, an exceptional Dance performance described by audiences as: BRILLIANT! - WOW! - INCREDIBLE! - CAPTIVATING! - REALISTIC! - MEMORABLE! - HEARTFELT!
Darwin High School Dance Department regularly create and present significant Youth Dance theatre works with mentor and local professional choreographer Joanna Noonan from SLIDE YOUTH DANCE THEATRE. Transcending expectations allows us to create new, exciting innovative work which allows dance to continue to move forward and remain relevant.
SECRETS, created in 2016, was an innovative and thought provoking youth dance performance based on a boy's story of friendship, love and life which, over time, became splintered, scarred and destroyed by his addiction to ICE. Crystal meth, or ICE, is the new drug that's ravaging our towns and destroying lives. SECRETS - like all of Joanna Noonan's youth dance theatre works - is heartfelt and real. It paints a disturbing picture of how a young boy's life takes a downward spiral when he becomes hooked on ICE. Noonan's work is renowned for effectively communicating critical messages to young audiences, triggering community and school discussions. Her clever storytelling through the integration of dance, drama, music, film and set connects with the youth of today. SECRETS presented its message in a raw and brave manner with the intention that it will help save lives.
The SECRETS cast and crew shared their final performance on 30 July in the Darwin High School Amphitheatre. Lead dancer/actor Macon Escobal Riley as Jake was outstanding and powerful. Millie Hunt as Harriet and Julia Quinn as Jake's mother were stunning and Roman Delo, as Dion, was sharp and persuasive. Every performer delivered Noonan's inventive choreography with an energy and deliberateness one would only expect from a professional company. The Territory should be proud of this product, which as every audience member who saw it agreed, is a pivotal ICE prevention production.
The audiences - every night - were inspired and amazed at the extraordinary talent and professionalism of SECRETS. The response was unanimous - that SECRETS should be seen by every young Australian. Every cast member under the guidance of Joanna Noonan, Sarah Calver, Imanuel Dado, Rochelle Cabry and Merrilee Mills masterfully let the story of Jake unfold with clarity, strength and power, performing every section with passion and emotion. SECRETS did not sugar coat the horrific reality of ICE and how it controls its users and destroys every facet of their lives.
One amazing lady who fosters kids and provides a safe house was emotionally impacted by the raw reality of the show - she describe SECRETS as an ICE Campaign that should be viewed across Australia! SECRETS was No High School musical - it was REAL, it was CONFRONTING. This is how it is. SECRETS was designed to trigger school and community discussion, and to make a difference – we believe it has achieved this in 2016.
A few comments from audiences:
'This is dance at its best!'
'Painful emotional and necessarily so. This production should be in every middle school in Australia to educate the impact and destruction of such an evil drug. It triggered conversations between my teenager and her friend and us about their experiences with friends and ICE which we were oblivious of. I will be talking to my school council next meeting. Thank you for the emotional journey.'
'It was incredible and harrowing.'
'There were so many magnificent moments that were realised by the talented cast - thank you for sharing your passion for performing arts through SECRETS.'
'I went to the showing of SECRETS last night with my younger sister. I've been making a habit of going to these performances every year because they're always better than the last. BRAVE, TIME and now SECRETS have all been amazing performances to watch. Each one doing an awesome job of getting the message across about very tough and not often spoke about topics. These performances are very thought provoking. SECRETS left me in tears and open mouthed but the end. Amazing cast, fantastic choreography and such a great stage production.'
'I can't describe how I felt about the show, there are no words good enough. Amazing, raw, confronting yet uplifting (at the beginning when they were having a great time) seriously awesome. Their talent is beyond belief, keep having to remind myself these are school students performing.'
Congratulations to all involved, in particular the sponsors SRA, NTS, EPRINT, SLIDE and NT government and Dance teachers. SECRETS 2016 was simply breathtaking and masterful! Audience reactions are testament to the need for this work to be developed and delivered as a national ice prevention program, and we are currently seeking sponsorship and funding for SECRETS in 2017 to be presented as part of a national ice prevention campaign. This product is in your face, confronting, uncomfortable and powerful. If you saw this show, help us to make a difference. Contact Sarah Calver, Producer and Creative Advisor SECRETS 2016 at [email protected].