Visual & Performing Arts
Dulwich College founder and actor Edward Alleyn, through his association with Philip Henslowe and Christopher Marlowe, ignited the theatres on London’s Bankside with thrilling and ground breaking plays.
Four hundred years later, Edward Alleyn’s creative legacy continues. Pursuit of the arts is a staple of school life and we devote considerable resources to creating opportunities for our students to experience all areas of the arts.
We offer a holistic education equipping our students with skills for lifelong success, therefore we are committed to providing a vigorous arts programme. Students study the arts as part of the academic curriculum throughout their school life, and students in the older year levels are highly encouraged to take IGCSE, IB or A Level in an arts subject. The vibrant arts culture of visiting professional arts practitioners, performances and events is carefully planned to develop and enhance not only the co-curricular life of the school, but also the academic curriculum.
As part of the Dulwich College International network, we are able to offer students opportunities that a single school would not have the capacity to provide. Some of these opportunities, such as the Dulwich Festival of Music and the Dulwich Science Art Photography Competition, focus on a single artistic discipline, while others, like the Diversity series and the MADD Festival, are broad ranging. The group has also cultivated collaborative relationships and partnerships with top educational and artistic institutions throughout the world, offering students direct access and exposure to creative industries, while developing transferable skills that will prepare them for life after Dulwich.
Music plays a major role in a Dulwich education. The College provides all students from Years 3 to 7 with a musical instrument and group lessons each week, giving them an appreciation for music and the associated developmental skills from a young age. For older students, music is offered at IGCSE and IB or A-Level.
Individual schools support music through formal concerts and ad hoc performance opportunities, such as the “Busking Corners” at some DCI schools, where anyone can perform and pass the hat for contributions to charity.
Group music events include Diversity, ISCMS, MADD, and the Dulwich Festival of Music.
We encourage students’ engagement in the performing arts not only to improve their performance skills but also to improve levels of confidence, communication, social, self-discipline and leadership skills. The performing arts helps give them insight into other cultures, explore the world that they live in, take risks and express themselves.
Students have abundant opportunities to experiment and perform, with drama taught as part of the curriculum in Junior School and offered at IGCSE and IB or A-Level. It is an important core subject in our high schools, preparing students for life after Dulwich.
Throughout the year, students perform in a range of drama showcases, examination productions, and main school productions. Many of the Dulwich College International schools work in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company through week long residencies and professional development, in addition to collaborating on the annual Shakespeare Festival.
Each year students participate in a range of external drama festivals across Asia, working with professional actors, directors, writers and theatre companies.
Group drama events include Diversity, MADD, and the Shakespeare Festival.
Art is taught at all levels in our schools, including IGCSE and IB or A-Level. Our facilities support a wide range of art, including ceramics and sculpture, digital imagery, drawing and painting, print-making, photography, film and video. Our students participate in a variety of both internal and external exhibitions and festivals, and many of our students are making an impact in the art scene. In 2017, a Dulwich College International student had his work short-listed for the prestigious Saatchi Gallery Art Prize and exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, and each year students are offered places on prestigious arts programmes.
Students take part in a range of arts projects in the local communities, from exhibitions to vibrant social and arts service projects.
Group art events include MADD and the Dulwich Science Art Photography Competition.
Film, Dance and other Arts
Film is taught as part of the curriculum in some of our schools, and all schools have a commitment to developing film further. Some of our schools have green box film studios and, our college in Shanghai Pudong is taking the lead on rolling out a film curriculum in Junior School and key stage 3, in addition to offering IB Film Studies. Junior School students from DCI schools and Dulwich College take part in the annual D’ Oscars film festival. Our school, as part of the DCI network, also has the opportunity to work with visiting professional film directors, animators and artists connected with the film industry each year.
Schools offer opportunities for students to engage in dance projects, courses and performances across our schools through our arts ‘Diversity’ programme, or co-curricular activities. We have a collaboration with the University of Auckland Dance Studies, who work across our schools each year offering residencies, and performance opportunities.
Culturally DCI is committed to working with local artists within the local communities of each of our schools, ensuring that students participate and experience traditional cultures from across Asia.
Group Events in the Arts
Diversity’s workshops, residencies and performances feature world renowned musicians, theatre companies, directors, actors, dancers, film producers, and artists who tour our schools and work with our students each year.
The MADD Festival is for Junior School students and encompasses Music, Art, Drama and Dance. It is hosted by a different DCI school each year.
The Dulwich Festival of Music, also hosted by a different DCI school each year, offers students workshops with professional musicians and culminates in an evening concert.
The International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS) is one of the largest music festivals in Asia, and Dulwich College International has been a key supporter and host over the past ten years. Over 20 schools across Asia belong to ISCMS, and the annual festival attracts world-class professional musicians, conductors and composers to work with the 400 students who take part. Concerts are held in top professional venues such as the Forbidden City Concert Hall (2017).
Drama students from across the network take part in the annual Dulwich Shakespeare Festival, where they produce and perform versions of Shakespeare productions, and participate in a range of theatre workshops throughout the week. The Royal Shakespeare Company collaborates with us on this festival, allowing our students and staff to work with professional directors and workshop leaders.
The Dulwich Science Art Photography Competition is popular each year, producing outstanding contributions from our students, and an opportunity to exhibit awarded work in prestigious venues.
The D’ Oscars film festival, a celebration of our younger students’ film work, culminates in a glamorous Oscar-style awards evening, where professionals from the film industry judge the work and present the awards.