Hillhacks Gala Show

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Highlights from the Hillhacks Gala Show

One of the cool things we did at hillhacks was to create a Gala Show on June 6. 

At our venue, Shiv Shakti, we discovered a natural ampitheatre in the woods and created a wonderful stage. There was a crew clearing brush, we cleared rocks, dug out steps and broadened terraces. A massive group effort brought together the physical space for 90 minutes performances and an audience of 150 people. Two schools in our school outreach participated and the rest of our show was filled in with talented hillhackers.

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WWIS Class 4/5 presenting The Maiden and the Boy Who Vanished

At Woodwhistlers International School in Nadi, upper Dharamsala, we introduced two folktales as plays. Class Three students performed The Caterpillar's Voice and the Class Four/Five students did The Maiden and the Boy Who Vanished. The project started with a workshop on creating character, then we read the plays, assigned the parts, and practiced. We did coaching on projection and discussions of costumes, props and sets.

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WWIS Class 3 presenting The Caterpillar's Voice

The kids worked so hard - they are not all native English speakers and some are just learning to read English. Their teachers got them motivated, everyone memorised their parts and brought life to their characters.  On the day of the Gala Show, I was seeing their costumes for the first time and they were terrific! The makeup was brilliant - especially the bright face paint for all the animals in the Caterpillar's Voice.

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Shanti Om presents Red Riding Hood

Our other school, Shanti Om, wrote their own play. It was a fractured fairy tale based on Red Riding Hood. They'd started doing this the previous year as a video project, but didn't complete it. There was an outline of the plot and all of the dialogue was improvised. It was such fun to watch it evolve as we visited the school for sessions with them. By the time it was presented it had acquired a narrator, sound effects, gags and jokes, a choreographed fight scene, and a Bollywood dance. This is one creative group of kids, let me tell you.

The rest of the show comprised dance, music, and singing. I MCed the show and did little bits of circus in between the acts. I also led the Hillhacks Song, sung to the tune of Daft Punk's Get Lucky:

We're up all night to make hacks
We're up all night to eat snacks
Watch out for monkey attacks
We're up all night 'cause we're hillhacks

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