Sunday, December 19, 2010

Targets Arts-Holiday Residency Teaching Artist Check– In 12/13/10-12/17/10

Targets Arts- Holiday Residency

Teaching Artist Check – In
Name and School: Ellison Parks Week of 12/13-12/17/10

Goals for the week: Make sure choreography is memorized; rehearse the students in the flamenco choreography; Junkanoo art project; prepare the students for visit to Boston for Radio City Music Spectacular; prepare students for residency culmination next Tuesday including performance by guest artist and informational letter to be sent home

Achievements/Accomplishments What worked well this week? The students loved the art project creating a Junkanoo costume piece which we will use at the beginning of our presentation; students have fully memorized the flamenco choreography and are adding style to their movements.

Challenges and Solutions
Identify some challenges you faced this week and what you did to meet them.
After asking for more teachers to be present during our class, we had more help focusing the children and the more teachers who participated; the more the children did too. There are a large number of students who are so very focused on the dance and participate fully, but there is also a contingency of kids who just desire to run around and I cannot say they do not want to participate, because they have told me they like it, they just cannot seem to stay focused for long stretches of time. Sometimes, I have to realize that I am more distracted by them than are their peers.

Peer to Peer/Buddy System Notes
Let us know what relationships are forming and how things are going with your assistant: Carol strongly led the art project and with a very simple model, gave each child the ability to create and then be able to wear proudly their creation.

Attendance and participant behavior issues: There still continues to be a number of students who cannot keep their hands off of each other and the school really does nothing to hinder this; whether the contact is a friendly one or a threatening one. There does not seem to be a “bullying” policy in place and at times each child in that room does something that could be perceived as threatening and or caring.

Other comments/concerns/questions: I am honored to be a part of this residency program. It has given me great insight into the artistic needs of communities in the Boston area. I will continue to strive to add my love of art to these communities, because I see how interested the students, faculty and parents are. Citi Performing Arts Center has created a wonderful program not only of bringing arts into schools but also bringing the schools to the art. I loved every minute of this program and I hope to continue my partnership with the Citi Performing Arts Center in the future!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Targets Arts-Holiday Residency Teaching Artist Check– In 12/6/10-12/10/10

Targets Arts- Holiday Residency

Teaching Artist Check – In

                                                  Ellison Parks__Week of__12/6/10_

My goals for the week: Finish flamenco choreography, Read folk stories in relation to flamenco and Junkanoo; Choose dance spots for kids to perform in; work on tying in flamenco, yoga and Junkanoo for final presentation. Continue working on kids to help them learn focusing techniques, dance technique, rhythmic ear to changing rhythms and essence of the way you  move in relation to the style of music you are dancing to. Focus attention on spine.

What worked well this week? Finished flamenco choreography and a majority of the children are really getting in to it. There have been some great connections form kids who originally did not seem so focused, but they have gotten comfortable with the new learning style being offered to them and they are striving for their own success. I love to watch the students move and see their personal expression in their movements. They have learned a difficult piece of choreography that is very intricate rhythmically and technically. This is proving to be such a successful program. I am thrilled to see their enjoyment.

Identify some challenges you faced this week and what you did to meet them.
Fridays are a challenge for the students because a large number of them are feeling the pull of the weekend. It takes a bit longer for them to quiet down and settle into focusing on the class. Starting the music and just getting going roves to be one of the most effective tools. The students like to see Ms. Carol joining in and that gives them a sense of community, along with a few other teachers too.

Let us know what relationships are forming and how things are going with your assistant: I see a large sense of community growing as the students embody the flamenco. New friendships and groupings seem to come about and just shifting one or two kids can change the dynamic of the whole class.  

Attendance and participant behavior issues: I had to send a large number of boys to the principal’s office. They all returned to class, apologized for their disruption and have now remained a little more connected to the class. One girl has been expressing a lot of displeasure with the school and is losing focus in class and repeatedly acting out. I did speak to her teacher about this. The student who we recently were concerned about (due to their written note) is showing much more connection to the class and it retaining all the choreography.
Host school issues and resolutions: I have noticed some of the teachers are leaving after class begins and I will ask them to remain in the gym with us during class. We need more teacher involvement to help with the sometimes unruly behavior of the students.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas at Lunares Flamenco

Santa is bringing me a beautiful new outfit from Lunares Flamenco! Have you checked out their most recent on-line catalog? If you order $200+ you will receive a free gift!

Lunares Flamenco
+55 41 3779-3301

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What do I know from Bulerias...I mean it! Oy vey! What do I know!

Let me kvetch! The ominous Bulerías has been on my mind lately. Why is it such an illusive dance for me? I get the rhythm, I get it...but damn there is something so stifling about letting myself let go and just dancing. I feel stiff and awkward and so not "me"...but I love the lime light...the center of the circle...the attention of the moment. So I will journey into myself and find my Bulería-self!

My journey begins...

Bulerías is a flamenco style which stems from the soleá family. It shares the same rhythmical structure, the difference being, in general terms, a more up-tempo performance. The bulería has many variations in terms of both melody and meter and is normally accompanied by hand claps (palmas) on the off beats and a turn by the dancer (bailaor). Jerez de la Frontera is the true home of the bulería. As for the dance, the bulería has made the break away from private family gatherings to make a name for itself on the stage - as a coda to the soleá, as a climatic closing number, or frequently as an encore. This is a palo where the whole company joins in, gathering round to form a 'corrillo' as they egg on not only the bailaores, but also the tentative footwork (or tomfoolery) of the musicians.

The compás pattern is: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
For the palmas, you can follow the above pattern, but the music dictates the rhythm you should be clapping, so you need to listen tot he music and decide if it is 12's, 6's or 3's...
So, for palmas:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 
1(+) 2 3 4 (+) 5 6 7 (+) 8 9 10 (+) 11 12 
1(+) 2 (+) 3 (+) 4 (+) 5 (+) 6 7 (+) 8 (+) 9 (+) 10 (+) 11 (+) 12

A very good site, with an explanation of the nuances of the palmas for this palo is compas-flamenco/palos.

When dancing Bulería in fiesta form (this is also referred to as Bulerías de Jerez) everyone only offers up a "Patada de Bulería"-a morsel-and this is the "magic structure":

Entrada (can sit and clap until you decide to dance; can mark time with just instruments playing; can mark time with singer. If you mark time while it is just instrumental, you will need to do a desplante to mark the end of your dance)
Letra (Mark time during letra; Llamada at end of singing; can dance now and do as many desplantes that you want, but once you end your desplante on 10, you have indicated that you are done dancing. If you do not go to the corenrner another letra will be sung)
Desplante (final call, bring yourself to corner to note that you are ready for the colatilla)
Salida (exiting marking and desplantes and final ending on 7 8 9 10)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Targets Arts-Holiday Residency Teaching Artist Check– In 11/29/-12/3/2010

Targets Arts- Holiday Residency

Teaching Artist Check–In

School: Ellison-Parks; Week of 11/29/2010-12/3/2010

My goals for this week:  
  Continue flamenco choreography, student memorization of choreography, increase student involvement, continue yoga poses and message of goodwill to all, non-possessiveness, self acceptance, peace, respect for self and others. 

Achievements/Accomplishments What worked well this week?  
  The increase of choreographic memorization has more and more students involved. I came at the class with a new tactic on Monday. I used a predetermined play list which includes:  warm up songs, the flamenco choreography's song and Junkanoo music. I just get the kids moving at the onset of class. They follow me through the warm ups and Carol joins in and also helps to quiet down the more unruly students and she tries to keep some order. I challenge the kids to reach for high levels of learning and memorization and I just keep the music going. I have incorporated yoga, Junkanoo and flamenco into the warm up. 

  The style of flamenco I am using for the choreography is Rumba Flamenco:
Flamenco Rumba (also called Rumba Flamenca, Rumba Gitana, Gypsy Rumba or Spanish Rumba) is a style of Flamenco music which derives its style from the influence of Afro-Cuban Rumba brought back from Cuba to Spain in the 19th century. It is usually accompanied by guitars and hand clapping (Palmas). However, modern performers (guitarists and dance groups) such as Paco de Lucia and Tomatito have incorporated congas and cajon to the percussion section as well as hand clapping.

Challenges/ Solution Identify some challenges you faced this week and what you did to meet them.
  I had previously determined the need to reduce the "free time" during the class and I accomplished this with my new play list, choreography and then using the yoga as a way to calm the kids down at the end. They continue to love "Yogini Went To Sea" which is a yoga song I use and I make sure that is something we do before the end of class. I end each class with savasana, which is for total relaxation and self focus.

Peer to Peer/Buddy System Notes Let us know what relationships are forming and how things are going with your assistant:
  Many students are interested in continuing to dance with me, which I know will be difficult since I do not live in their area. I appreciate their connection to my art and myself and feel honored at their desire to learn more from me.

Attendance and participant behavior issues:
  There are some kids who just do not listen to directions and I have learned to "ignore" a large part of it. I have every child continue to be a part of the learning process and encourage each child to rise above the noise and commotion and have self focus. I have noticed a number of students who really are participating 100% and are learning and memorizing the material and are becoming role models for the students around them.