“Nobody but me is gonna change my story，Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.”
In the depths of winter, the hearts of the students at SUIS Pudong were warmly illuminated by the stubborn and proud little girl known as “Matilda.”
On December 26th, Shen Yihui, a graduate of New York University’s arts programme, visited SUIS Pudong campus. Utilising the British national treasure, the musical “Matilda,” as a medium, Shen introduced the children to another door of art — musical theatre.
Ms. Shen began by engaging the studens with art and literary works they find delightful, explaining various mediums and the charm of art, prompting them to consider how different media can convey a story to a broader audience. Her approachable explanations and engaging interactions familiarised the students with this classic and accessible Western art form, allowing them to appreciate the seamless blend of literature and art inherent in musical theatre.
Ms. Shen was particularly impressed when the conversation turned to the author and the story; the students of SUIS Pudong showed a deep understanding of Roald Dahl’s works, discussing them fluently. She then re-enacted classic scenes from “Matilda,” igniting the students’ artistic cells. The exaggerated and forceful dance movements of the little girl, her uncompromisingly proud demeanour, and the leaping musical rhythms helped the students grasp how musicals vividly express storylines and characters’ emotions through sound and dance.
The session concluded with the singing of “Naughty” from the “Matilda” musical, ending the day’s artistic exploration. However, the powerful spirit and wise light of the “hands-on-hips” little girl profoundly touched the students’ hearts. There are always shadows in the world, but becoming one’s own light can dispel all darkness!
As the end of the term draws near, the lecture on the “Matilda” musical added a bright touch to our lives. Upon entering the hall, the buoyant and lively music, befitting Matilda’s just and slightly mischievous character, welcomed us. Through the teacher’s witty and vivid language, we were gradually introduced to the famous musical. The distinctive characteristics of each character were brought to life with the music. The music and dance encapsulated the characters’ personalities and visions, with every beam of light and every prop contributing to the progression of the narrative, culminating in a philosophical reflection on life at the story’s end. The music that filled every corner of the stage inspired us with Matilda’s clear-cut disdain and admiration, encouraging us to defy an unjust fate. During the lecture, we enjoyed the myriad of life depicted in the play, experiencing the humour and romance unique to musical theatre, and enriching our life experiences.
On December 28th, I attended a lecture on the “Matilda” musical, an unforgettable experience. The lecture revolved around the musical, discussing aspects such as composition, choreography, stage, and costume design. The focus was on how musicals create a captivating artistic effect through a blend of music and dance. I was profoundly inspired, realizing that musicals are more than just a display of sound and movement; they are a medium for emotional and narrative transmission. Each song and movement carries the creator’s emotions and story, engaging the audience deeply. Overall, this lecture provided us with a deeper understanding of musicals and sparked my interest in this field. It’s not just an entertainment form but a mode of artistic and cultural expression. I’ve developed a keen interest in musical theatre and look forward to the opportunity to appreciate more classic musical works in the future.
On the morning of December 28th, we went to the auditorium for a lecture on the Matilda musical. Initially, the presenter introduced us to Matilda’s background, plot, and characters like the amiable teacher, indolent family members, and the extraordinary little girl’s naughty, diligent, and talented traits, which are central to the story. We then learned about the songs written for the characters in the opera, created based on the characters’ backgrounds, current states, and future actions. Finally, we collectively adapted a song and scene from “Matilda,” an incredibly fun and educational activity. This type of course and activity is very interesting.
“Matilda,” a recipient of 101 international awards and 24 musical theatre awards, holds a special place in my heart as a musical theatre enthusiast. The story of Matilda’s growth and self-redemption is also a musical that strips away labels, conveying to the audience the powerful message that one must write their own destiny. The mutual redemption of Matilda and Miss Honey reflects the core spirit of courage and confidence, and the wisdom of love and growth. In this lecture, the teacher led us to understand the intricacies of music composition and the detailed design of scenic beauty. The pace, rhythm, and character traits of the music are intricately linked; the lighting, costumes, and scenery are indispensable. The entire play uses music and dance to present the most genuine feelings and thoughts.