Master Class-Harrow Zhuhai Explores the Mysteries of a Musical with the Creator Team of Anna Karenina

HZN 2023-04-06【HOLISTIC】Chloe Xiong

“What does a musical look like to you?” Harrow Zhuhai had the pleasure of inviting the creative team of the Chinese musical Anna Karenina – Zhao Qian, Executive Producer, Lv Qi, Production Director, He Shan, Theatre Director and Li SongNan, Executive Director of the tour – to explore the secrets of a musical with Harrow students in the third Master Class last Thursday.

Leo Tolstoy’s magnum opus, Anna Karenina, has endured through the centuries and been staged time and again. The cast of the Chinese version of Anna Karenina came to Harrow Zhuhai to give the students a rare opportunity to interpret this great work from a musical perspective, allowing them to learn from the masters up close and to recreate their imagination. Producer Mr. Zhao Qian explained that musicals are composed of music, acting and dancing, as well as choreography and staging. Ms. Lv Qi, the production director, said the show has more than 40 musical pieces, including pop, classical and Russian folk songs; the dance consists of ballet, folk dance, and court dance, and uses body language to convey emotions. She then showed visual elements such as lighting and choreography to immerse the students and help them visualise the atmosphere of the musical, such as the cogwheel props on stage that help create the forward rolling of the train. Fascinating behind-the-scenes stories were also shared by other teachers.

Harrow students raised many representative and practical questions during the interactive session. “The train props in the musical look very realistic, is it possible to recycle them when you’re done using them?” ” I’ve been studying Shakespeare recently and I always feel stiff when performing monologues. How can I make them more vivid?” The creative team gave more detailed answers to the questions that were asked. Afterwards, the masters and the students went to the professional black box theatre of Harrow Zhuhai for a drama training session. They performed obliviously, taking in the tricks of the trade taught by the masters in role play, mobilizing their bodies, unleashing their imaginations and entering the world of performance completely.

The aim of this Master Class is to give the students a more professional perspective and an insight into the magic of theatre. Holistic education has always been at the heart of Harrow Zhuhai, providing students with a variety of curricular and practical opportunities. Our school will continue to organise theatre productions involving the whole school community and will next prepare a stage production of The Lion King, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the role and experience the aesthetics of art in practice.