top of page

Past Events

  • Writer's pictureNear West




Near West-ISTA Drama Festival officially ended on 27 January 2019. This is the first Near West - ISTA collaboration, marking the introductory steps for future collaborative festivals. Please join us as we review this piece of history together...


Images | Xiao Lin, Ari

Video | Jonny Long

Original Chinese Article Author | Michael Mak

Article English Translation | Linda Luo

Day 1: Orientation and Ice Breakers

At this middle and high school drama festival, 7 schools participated and their students embarked on a 4 days journey of learning, exploration and fun.

Four ISTA artists lead unique ensembles.

Near West President - Mike Ludwick | ISTA Event Representative - Kate Milton

Artistic Director Dinos Aristidou and Music Director Anne Drouet work with students, introducing them to this event's themes and direction.

Site of the opening ceremony was at LN Garden Hotel in Nansha, Guangdong.


Day 2: Folklore and Nansha's Tin Hau Temple

Artists brought students to Nansha's Tin Hau Temple to find inspiration after learning the lore of Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess.

Folklore-telling is an ISTA tradition. Artists and students will use all their senses in their learning environment to gain further insight of the stories and customs they have been taught.


Day 3: Creative Workshops, Teacher Workshops, and Student Social

Students continued to partake in their ensemble groups with their assigned ensemble leading artists and student leaders.

Though each ensemble is lead by a guiding artist, most of the performance inspirations and ideas were choreographed or thought by the students as a cooperating unit.

Students were also provided opportunities to break away from their usual ensemble groups and participate in creative workshops that would help them evolve as unique and expressive individuals. These workshops included dance, music, and meditation.

And whilst the students were gathering their own experiences, chaperones and teachers also had their own workshops to open up and learn from each other -- under the guidance of Artistic Director Dinos and Music Director Anne.

At the end of the day, the students gathered together for a fun social.


Day 4: Final Show

After 4 days of hard work, the students provided a final performance of retelling the lore of Mazu.

And our wonderful audience appreciated the tell-tale.

Ultimately, pleasant memories and friendships were established at this festival...

And we hope that the seeds of learning at this event are able to grow into fruitful futures for our participating students.

We hope that you'll join us again in the future...



bottom of page