Spectacular technology unites performers

The Sydney Entertainment Centre came alive when more than 1,000 dancers from Sydney schools were linked by video technology with dancers from some of the state's most remote communities at the Schools Spectacular combined rehearsal.

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Students from Norfolk Island Public School, Cobar High School, Nyngan High School, Narrandera Public School and Oxley Vale Public School were able to join rehearsals as well as experience a run-through of the now iconic massed finale.

Ever ground-breaking, this year the finale will begin with all 3,600 student performers singing Beethoven's Ode to Joy before breaking into exuberant dance with contemporary party anthems.

The annual Schools Spectacular which showcases performing arts across NSW public schools will be held on November 23 and 24.

Relieving Schools Spectacular director Sonja Benson said the use of emerging technology demonstrated how the Schools Spectacular had evolved and built on its rich tradition during the past 29 years.

"The high-speed, broadband link-up was crucial in enabling regional and remote students to be connected via live webcast rehearsals. This made it possible for the show's production staff to connect with cast members from locations around NSW," she said.

The 2012 Schools Spectacular will showcase students from 400 public schools including 59 featured artists, who come from all over NSW. The featured artists will join a 1,300-voice choir, 180 musicians, 2,000 dancers and a marching band.

"Audiences will have the chance to see the wealth of talent and versatility in today's public schools, and the dedication, commitment and creativity of the teachers who nurture that talent," executive producer Bill Anderson said.

The theme for 2012 is Our Time.

"The great Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim wrote thisterrific piece called Our Time about a couple of young people who are at the brink of their future and their professional life and performing arts career," Ms Benson said.

"We've taken on that concept and I think it really captures how these young people will be feeling when they're up on stage later in November."

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.


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