Dance China NY performs dances of different genres, from raucous folk dances of farming villages to gentle classical dances of the Imperial Palaces.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE CARIBBEAN
¡Retumba!, a multi-cultural all-woman ensemble, traces the roots of Afro-Caribbean music and dance, introducing students to the dances of Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
POETS AND PEACEMAKERS
Led by Artistic Director Kim Grier, The Rod Rodgers Dance Company celebrates the creative struggles and landmark achievements of Black heroes in choreographed tributes to Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, and Harriet Tubman using poetry, music, and when possible, media elements.
AMERICAN FOOTSTEPS (in-person only)
Foot & Fiddle Dance Company’s performance of “American Footsteps” introduces three centuries of American folk dance in a dazzling blend of square dancing, tap dancing, Irish step dancing,and Appalachian clogging.
Performances by Aishwarya Madhav (new):
INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCE
Indian Classical Dance combines music, dance, storytelling, and poetry to create a highly stylized, artistic endeavor. Solo Artist Aishwarya Madhav combines athleticism, drama and beauty presented in traditional dance attire.
Bollywood Dance blends different art forms like Indian classical and Indian folk dances. Performed to very strong beats and high energy music, it is presented in colorful and elaborate costumes.
HANDMADE BAND: I’M WORKING ON SOMETHING – CHILDREN’S SONGS FOR EVERYONE
A sharing of music, a collective performance, and a groovy show, I’m Working on Something is for children of all ages, featuring songs that make the mind think and the body move. Performed in both English and Spanish, and occasionally Yoruba and Mandarin, traditional stories, songs from the World Children Repertoire, along with original compositions, and learning about percussion and string instruments are all part of this interactive, audience participatory performance by the Handmade Band.
MEXICO BEYOND MARIACHI
This delightful program showcases the vast cultural expression of Mexico. Each region from the country has its own rituals, celebrations, costumes, language and music. The ensemble’s mission is to encourage students to look beyond stereotypes and into the fascinating story and history of the Mexican people. The concert will bring students on a journey that begins over 500 years ago, first with the Aztec civilization, then continuing in a chronological order showing how time, geography, climate and foreign influence have affected folk traditions to the present day.
INTRO TO THE STRING QUARTET
The West Village Quartet performs works by composers as diverse as Mozart, Scott Joplin, and Dvorak to illustrate the universal language of music. Members of the quartet provided a glimpse into their lives as performers, and give historical information about their instruments, the music, and the composers.
SWING STREET ENSEMBLE: THE DIXIE RASCALS
Six dynamic musicians trace the origins of tap-your-feet, clap-your-hands, grin-on-your-face American folk music. They perform in period costume on traditional instruments: trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, tuba and drums and focus on the role of each instrument in the ensemble. Emphasis is placed on the importance of listening to each other in the music as in every day conversation. Special attention is devoted to the cultural place of the music in “life events”, New Orleans traditions, and a celebration of the human spirit.
Taikoza, a Japanese Taiko drum group, demonstrates the powerful rhythms of the taiko drums. Students learn from master Taiko drummer Marco Lienhard about the role of the drum in Japanese culture, and experience the pounding rhythms of the taiko, a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder.
PICTURES COME TO LIFE
Jeff Hopkins tells stories by quickly sketching, narrating, and acting out characters’ movements and sounds. Jeff draws on wall-sized sheets of mural paper, creating large-scale images that transform and develop over the course of the story. Interactive performances incorporate humor, history, and folklore. His subjects range from Greek mythology and Impressionist painting to baseball and tall tales of the Wild West.
THEATRESPORTS (in-person only)
Freestyle Repertory Theatre‘s masters of improvisation form competing teams to create scenes, stories, songs, and poems on the spot, based on audience suggestions from poetry, history and literature.
Performances by Anne Pasquale:
They came from all parts of the world: Russia, Italy, China and Latin America. Some came to escape oppression, others just to seek a better way of life. Meet the women who made us Americans, and hear the stories from every point of Liberty’s crown in Liberty Belles.
THE REVOLUTION OF DEBORAH SAMPSON
The story of Deborah Sampson tells the story of America’s birth. At the age of eighteen, when the young woman heard the cry of George Washington, she was prepared to fight and die for her liberty; she dressed as a man and enlisted in the Continental Army. See 18th-century America brought to life as Deborah Sampson joins George Washington’s Army for the Revolutionary War.
HELEN AND ME
Blind from the age of two and orphaned by the age of nine, Ms. Sullivan conquered seemingly impossible obstacles and revolutionized the teaching of the deaf and blind. From her own perspective, listen as ‘Teacher’ relates the miraculous work that transformed the life of Helen Keller and has continued to inspire millions.
CALAMITY JANE: THE WOMAN AND HER LEGEND
This is the story of how a young girl from Princeton, Missouri became the legendary Calamity Jane. Martha Jane Cannary, a.k.a. Calamity Jane, was an orphan at the age of fifteen when she dressed as a man to earn a man’s wage. Calamity Jane was one of the Old West’s most colorful characters. Now you can hear her story from her point of view and learn about a time long forgotten. Catch the pioneer spirit and travel the Overland Trail with Calamity Jane!
Performances by Ron Sopyla (new):
STORIES AND MYTHOLOGY FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Auditorium Performance, ages K-3
Ron Sopyla tells a multi-cultural mix of stories designed specifically for each class and age group. Stories for the younger children are participatory, with children joining in the storytelling by becoming characters in the stories, joining in dialogue, singing and movement, and improvising parts of the stories.
STORIES AND MYTHOLOGY FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Classroom Performance, ages K-5
Ron Sopyla tells a multi-cultural mix of stories designed specifically for each class and age group. Stories for the younger children are participatory, with children joining in the storytelling by becoming characters in the stories, joining in dialogue, singing and movement, and improvising parts of the stories. Props, story cloths and rolling story scrolls (“crankies”) may be used to illustrate the stories. More complex stories for older children are drawn from fairytales and mythology from around the world.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE JUNGLE
Classroom Performance, ages K-3
Ron Sopyla performs a mix of shadow puppetry and storytelling to tell folktales from around the world. The stories are rich with participatory elements, where children can sing, speak, create sound effects and move like the characters as Ron illustrates the stories with shadow puppets. There is an opportunity after the performance for the children to look at artifacts of the construction process, source material for ideas, rough sketches, and the finished puppets up close.
Multi-Arts Family Events
Online, Multi-Arts Family Events include three performances by three different performing artists/companies, plus a hands on art-making workshop led by a visual artist. Families are led through the event by an MC. These events are 50-60 minutes in duration. Below are descriptions of three events developed by ArtsConnection artists. However, family events may be customized based on a school’s interest.
BUBBLE SHOW (online only)
all ages, especially grades PK-5
The show takes you on an exploration of the ethereal nature and delight of bubbles! Create a bubble wand and your own bubble mix and explore multiple art forms. Artist workshops and performances include live and pre-recorded events. Families will be invited to make their own bubble wand and solution with Visual Artist, Angel Thompson-Georges. Families will then get to watch a bubble duet with Circus Arts Artists, Laine Barton and Flutist, Marco Granados and a story told by Storyteller and Puppeteer, Ron Sopyla. The event ends with Laine Barton and Marco Granados leading families in a live bubble making dance party. Families may participate at home with basic materials for making the bubble wand and bubble solution.
DANCE AROUND THE WORLD (online only)
all ages, especially grades 2-12
Families are invited to join a live workshop with Dance teaching artists Dionne Kamara, Aishwarya Madhav, and Susanna Dolan to learn culturally specific dances from Jamaica, India, and China. Families will also make a Dance Wand with visual artist, Katrina Avino-Barracato that they will incorporate into each dance. Hosted by AC program manager, Ed Miller. Families may participate at home with some basic materials for making the dance wand (paper, tape, scissors, markers/crayons/colored pencils).
DAY OF THE IGUANA (online only)
all ages, especially grades K-8
Please join us for a live multi-art-form celebration of everyone’s favorite reptile! Families will be invited to sing songs about iguanas with members of Mexico Beyond Mariachi. They be led by, Visual Artist, Angel Thompson in a live iguana puppet making workshop. Then join Grandpa Mike from Freestyle Repertory Theater to build an interactive improvised story about iguanas and the event culminates with learning a traditional Puerto Rican iguana dance with members of the Afro-Caribbean dance troupe, ¡Retumba! Families may participate at home with some basic materials for making the dance wand (thick paper/cardstock, markers/crayons/colored pencils, scissors, a stick, tape).