Born to Perform

Friday 25 March 2011, 9:41AM


Students from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA) have sung and danced up an amazing $20,000 for earthquake relief in three separate concerts around the country.

Head of NASDA Richard Marrett learned of the concerts while keeping in touch with his students through Facebook. “They are getting out there, doing what they do. None of them are shy about performing,” he said.

Second year student Tainui Kuru organised a concert at a week’s notice at the Ashburton Event Centre featuring fellow NASDA students, tutors and local celebrities. The event, Unite for Canterbury, was a sell-out success. “They raised $5000, it was a full house; more than full. It was a variety show with singers, musicians, dancers – I went down there to support them and ended up playing too,” Richard said.

Speaking on Ashburton TV, Tainui said the event had “exceeded his expectations”. He thanked Ashburton for supporting the event and acknowledged the performers and technicians who donated their time and talent.

In Tauranga, third year student Kaitlin Spedding organised a similar event with NASDA students from the North Island and raised around $5000 as well.

“I was at the Music Theatre Federation Conference last week in the North Island and people were talking about the concert in Tauranga, so it made quite an impact. All of which is great for Christchurch and great for NASDA,” Richard said.

Meanwhile, Matt van den Yssel and Edwin Beats raised an astounding $10,000 in Alexandra at a variety concert.

Students in Christchurch, meanwhile, are back treading the boards for the time being at the Impact Dance and Stage school, which opened its doors to NASDA despite many inquiries from businesses needing temporary offices. Two American composers who were scheduled to visit have been able to work with the students at the Impact studio.

Richard expects to be back in NASDA’s facilities at CPIT’s city campus soon. “The buildings are fine,” he said. “The theatre looks like the day we left it. There is just some cleaning up to do, but we are hoping to put a performance on there in the next couple of months.”

Although Richard acknowledged that Christchurch’s performing arts scene faced some major challenges, he was also positive about the future and the possible innovations encouraged by the changed circumstances. “Restrictions breed creativity,” he said.