Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Synergy Arts Camp: 'The Paper Bag Princess', Day Two

Welcome to our second day of Paper Bag Princess week!  The kids were very excited to get their scripts - hot off the press!  They wanted to work on it right away with the costumes and props.  I really couldn't resist their persistence, so we got to it! 
Look!  The princesses have their 'flower baskets' that Simran asked for yesterday!  They had also made their construction paper princess crowns during art with Alessandra yesterday.  The crowns match their dresses, complete with 'macaroni jewels' and glitter!  They also made the horses' bones (I've now been told they're 'leg bones', according to Dante, the 'expert' on dragons) and flowers out of construction paper and 'dragon's breath' blowers out of painted toilet paper rolls and tissue paper.  (Pictures of those very soon!  They're absolutely adorable!)

The kids were so focused on the script that we didn't play any theatre games today.  They got right into costume and were ready to go!  We sat down and had our first 'read-through' of the script, as the professionals call it, and talked about the stage directions in the script, like entrances, exits, scene changes and 'special effect magic'.  The kids are very excited about their roles not only onstage, but backstage, as well!  Their favourite 'special effect' of the show - the 'fire magic' made by the cheer poms!
After two 'successful' turns of acting out the script, the kids had some free time for snackin' and playin'.  Looks like Rianna wanted a turn as the dragon to knock down the castle herself!
And today in dance - we jazz it up!

Jazz dance has its roots in African American free-form dance styles of the late 1800s to mid-1900s.  Tap dance was considered part of the jazz dance form in the mid-1950s, being the main performance dance at the time, and it was also choreographed to jazz music.  Tap and jazz began to evolve into separate dance forms, and many different jazz steps became popular.  Everything from swing dancing to the Charleston, boogie woogie to the Lindy Hop all became forms of jazz being danced everywhere!

The pioneers of jazz dance start with the vaudeville star Joe Frisco, who, in the 1910s, danced in a loose-limbed style close to the ground while juggling his derby, hat and cigar.  Katherine Dunham took the essence of traditional Caribbean dance and made it into a performance art, which started a process of 'jazz evolution' to the musical theatres of Broadway and into the smooth, lyrical form known as Modern Jazz.  Much of the musical theatre and modern jazz style can be credited to famous choreographer Bob Fosse, who's work can be defined in such musical theatre productions such as Chicago, Cabaret, Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game

You'll find jazz everywhere nowadays!  It's the backbone of musical theatre choreography and it's all over television, movies, music videos and pop concerts.  Teen favourites such as Hairspray, High School Musical, So You Think You Can Dance and Glee are all great examples of some of the best modern and musical theatre jazz dance!

Alessia, one of our volunteers and a dance student, got the kids into a stretch warm-up - it's very important to stretch, kids! - and showed them a few moves!
Musical theatre performance dance is my favourite jazz form, both as a performer and fan.  Take a look at the 65th Annual Tony Awards' favourite musical performances of professional Broadway productions - you'll even find a spectacular tap dance, if you look careful!

Alessandra will be showing the kids violin this afternoon, as well as starting on their castle and trees for their set in art.  I'll be getting some pictures of Alessandra's 'artful adventures' before the end of the week to share!  Until tomorrow - don't forget to practice your lines, kids!

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