Are the Arts the Universal Language?

Communication, according to many experts, is the creation and sharing of meaning. Is there a form of communication that transcends linguistic boundaries and cultural divides?Can art, dance, drama and music speak to all people everywhere? If the Arts are a Universal Language, are they capable of uniting all of us?

The arts can be used to develop intercultural relationships, inspire creativity and influence how people “see things” and open them up to new possibilities. Just as the painter gazes at the blank canvas, and the actor steps onto the darkened stage, and the musician is surrounded by the silence that precedes the first sound, the journey of the artist is not defined by any destination ,but by the infinite possibilities uncovered in the pursuit of profound human communication.

There have been many possibilities this term starting with the HS musical “Fame” in January. There was a second visiting artist vernissage, Rock for Rosie and the Refugees, IB Drama Showcase, School-wide Dance Showcase and the Chamber Concert. Students have been able to meet and work with students from across the world at HS ISTA in Munich, MS ISTA at ISB and St. John’s hosted the AMIS International Senior Honor Orchestra and Mixed Choir Festival with students from 42 international schools with 35 nationalities all performing together. There is one more event this term, the School-wide Spring Concert on Tuesday 27th March at 7pm. Come and join us for an evening of music with students from Grades 1 -12 performing together.

Next term promises to be just as busy with a new venture of a combined ES and MS Spring play “Wind in the Willows”. Please look at the Visual and Performing Arts Calendar on the Arts  page of the website ( for details of all upcoming events.

To finish I would like to share two comments given to me by Grade 2 Irish Dancers at the Dance Showcase. When asked “what did you like the best thing about this evening?” they said ‘that we could dance” and  “that you would let us”.

Cathy Swanson – Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator