A spectacular of music and performance opened at the AIS Arena on Thursday night as part of Canberra's Centenary celebrations.
The Step into the Limelight gala features more than 1300 students from 62 Canberra public schools around the theme of ''Roundabout''.
The production manager of Step into the Limelight, Maria Stewart, said the theme was chosen because of its deep link to Canberra.
''The roundabout is such an iconic image for Canberra,'' she said.
''When you stand on top of Mount Ainslie and look out, there are circles everywhere.''
The gala includes performances from a senior vocal ensemble and senior concert band that the ANU School of Music had helped co-ordinate. ''With Step into the Limelight, there's a really invaluable collaboration with the ANU School of Music because they're the ones who give support to the senior vocal ensemble,'' Ms Stewart said.
Jake Silvestro and Ryan Whitmore, of Warehouse Circus and Kulture Break respectively, have collaborated to create a spectacular show that combines circus performance and dance.
''It's been a really good experience. We've had great reactions from the kids as to how we've connected the two groups,'' Jake Silvestro said.
''We've sort of thrown the kids in the deep end and they've loved the experience.''
Whitmore, a hip-hop dance instructor for Kulture Break, said working with the students had been a challenging experience.
''It's been a real challenge for me. Circus performing is a brand new element of performing arts and co-ordinating the two groups has been a great learning experience,'' he said. This will be the first year that the event has taken place at the AIS Arena.
Previously, it had been held at the Canberra Theatre and Royal Theatre.
''It's a got a much greater capacity, it's a different sort of venue to what the schools are used to but it suits our needs and the theme this year,'' Ms Stewart said. The Step into the Limelight gala continues at the AIS Arena on Friday night.
Tickets are available through Ticketek.