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make your day dance


March 31st, 2010 · 3 Comments · Tags:

Next Monday, the day after spring vacation, we’ll start choreographing & rehearsing pieces for the End-of-Year Performance. So by then, I’ll need a pretty good idea of what everyone’s going to do!

The kids rehearse in two-class groups (~50 kids onstage) because attendance at the evening performance for parents is variable (parents have second jobs or small children at home; their religion disapproves of dancing or performing or both; transportation or language create a barrier…).   Everyone performs during the day, and at night the kiddos who come fill in for everyone.

Considerations abound concerning what everyone will perform:

  • Everyone (360 strong) participates! (with the minor exception of one or two who make the stage a dangerous place for the other kids).
  • No one can have a special part, cause they might not come at night.  Alternately, we can rotate parts frequently, so everyone knows most of the parts.
  • The rehearsal process has to build skills, cause we’ll spend a fair amount of time at it — especially at the primary level!  Thus, kindergarten dances make liberal use of ALL the locomotor & developmental skills!  Or scarf-juggling — great practice!
  • The program needs variety — & a fair representation of the various things we do during the year… skills & technique, cultural dances, curriculum-based dances & a healthy of dose of kid-choreography.
  • The kids usually remember best whatever we do first, so clarity from the start is good!
  • One group has a real mix of abilities & personalities & behavior issues, including 2 of my main-streamed kiddos with autism.  I’m thinking drumming for them, so they all have a place to BE!
  • 5th graders want to feel independent and EMPOWERED!  Whatever we do, they’ve got to own it.

So… it’s all on the back burner this week, but simmering nonetheless…

Planning for rehearsal & performance

what to do, what to do...

3 Comments so far ↓

  • kw

    Meg – Thanks for all of the glimpses into your process, I appreciate your wisdom and insight. We are looking forward to a performance at the end of this month, tied to an artist study theme. Each class has visited the SAM this year and studied the work of Alexander Calder. In order to tie in the study to a musical performance, we are going to put on our own circus, since this was a big part of Calder’s history. I have the same considerations, everyone must know the piece, must be able to do any part at any time, so that whoever shows will be able to jump in! Each grade will present one or two songs, some with integrated movement, props, etc. and a theme like “clowns”, “jugglers”, “acrobats”. Thank you for the reminder to let those 5th graders OWN their work. I have set up the structure, but I must let them determine the final outcome. Also, I like to see that you process on the computer – I am still handwriting everything and it’s difficult to pull out old gems. Oh, if only I could come and be your apprentice. I have much to learn!

  • Katie R.

    I love your spreadsheet – it’s such a clean way to lay out what your kids might do. I’d love to hear more about how long your performances are, and how long the performing time for each class is. I really struggle with finding the balance between getting kids on stage for an amount of time that lets them shine, and keeping the program short enough that families will stay for the whole show and small children don’t completely lose focus.

  • megrm

    I loved the Calder exhibit! What a great inspiration for a performance! It was great watching Calder show his circus… When is your performance? Send details!

    And yes, I do a lot of thinking on the computer — it’s so much easier to change my mind!