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make your day dance

The logistics of low-key

December 16th, 2009 · 6 Comments · Tags: ··

Last year’s winter performance, scheduled for just about now, with a performance in the afternoon for the kids and another in the evening for families, was snow- and ice-stormed out. So this year, we decided on a low-key performance:

  • Audience: the kids
  • Performers: instrumental musicians & anyone who wants to contribute.

This afternoon.  Low-key, but it still makes for a logistically challenged day.

Kindergarten is contributing a song; everyone else has been too busy with academics. My dancers will contribute 3 pieces:

  • 2nd graders will use focus to tell the traveling dance/story Hoe Ana from the Rarotonga Islands in Tahiti (here’s one version, though ours is different & we don’t have costumes!)
  • 4th graders will highlight balance (on-balance, off-balance, counterbalance) in a combination to a piece from a Teaching Tolerance CD
  • 5th graders have been working on spatial relationships in Te Ve Orez, a dance from Israel.

But the logistics…

  • can’t open the stage door because the instrumental musicians will be practicing all day in the cafeteria (which is where the audience sits)
  • must set up the music for projection in the cafeteria during performance, but also have to use it all day for classes inside the stage (sound-proof wall in between)
  • 5th graders need to rehearse Te Ve Orez one more time during my planning time cause I haven’t seen them since last week
  • 2nd graders need to rehearse Hoe Ana together cause they never have
  • 1st graders need to have class in the gym, so kindergartners can use the stage
  • can’t open the stage door til after the autism class cause for them the space needs to be contained — their class finished 25 minutes before the performance starts
  • 15 minutes of which are recess, when I have to be outside supervising
  • chairs need to be set up for staff & parents, who may show up because there was a phone notification that went out last night to invite them.

I wonder what else will occur to me as the day unfolds?  I guess I’d best go find out.

6 Comments so far ↓

  • Arerangi Tongia

    re: comments above on “… traveling dance/story Hoe Ana from the Rarotonga Islands in Tahiti …”
    I wish to inform you that
    1. yes, it was a travelling kaparima dance across the Pacific Ocean in search of land,
    2. no, “Hoe Ana” is not the proper title of the song but NGAPUARIKI is the proper title,
    3. no, it is not from the island of Rarotonga but rather it is from the island of Aitutaki,
    4. no, Rarotonga is not an island in Tahiti but rather Rarotonga is an island in the Cook Islands. There are 15 islands in the Cook Islands including Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Cook Islands is the name of the country and Rarotonga is the centre of adminstration with Avarua as the capital, and
    5. Tahiti is an island in the Society Islands. The Society Islands is one of five groups of islands in French Polynesia. French Polynesia is the name of the country and Tahiti is the centre of administration with Papeete as the capital.
    Please respond to for additional educational material.
    Arerangi Tongia
    Former Director/Curator National Museum of the Cook Islands,
    Minsitry of Cultural Development,
    Government of the Cook Islands,
    Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS.
    now a resident of Foster City, California since 2007.

  • Deborah Robson

    Hope it went really well, and that you were low-key even though the logistics raised their pitch a bit!

  • megrm

    Wow! Clearly, I had only a snippet of incorrect information and didn’t even know it. Had I even known I needed better information, it would have taken me awhile to find this much. Instead of even having to look, it came to me. Thank you for happening by my blog, and many thanks for sending this gift of information! I stand happily corrected.

  • megrm

    It all went fine! At the end, I threw in one last dance that everyone could do sitting down. It was great fun, and by the time we finished, it was almost time to go home, so I was done for the day, except for putting my classroom (stage) back together again for tomorrow.

  • K W

    a low-key kind of year, I think. This year, I am often questioning the performance aspect of the work I do with kids. While I think performance is essential to the learning process, I am questioning what that performance needs to actually ‘look’ like, and which aspect of learning is being celebrated. With 800 students at our large K-8 school, it is mind boggling to plan large performances at assemblies (student audience) or evenings (family, adult audiences). I have tried more of an “informance” model this year, with classes coming in to see other classes’ work, and also at family events (PTA supported) in which families are already planning to attend (i.e. multicultural night). A few grade levels share a few songs. And while I believe in the importance of this work, I still find myself questioning myself (I always do that!)…. is it enough? Should all ages be involved? Should the performance be themeatic or just a display of lessons learned in class? What do the parents want? What do the teachers expect? It goes on and on.

    And then I realize… I do my job, I do it well, and that is enough. The performance is the icing on the cake, the celebration of student learning and progress. And whatever it looks like, it is good. I keep telling myself that, and soon I am going to start believing it.

  • megrm

    Great questions, and even better answers for yourself! The small performances/small audiences approach is a really good one. I only had 3 groups performing yesterday, and I felt a little regretful about all the kids in the audience that wished they had something ready… But the pieces I put on stage were ready with minimal rehearsal, so I lost very little instructional time. I liked that part, cause I have so little instructional time!