Hey CPC blog readers...happy Monday to you all! So much has happened since the last time I blogged. I even lose blogger points because I was supposed to be the blogger for our time in Fayetteville, North Carolina...sorry. It was a really fun trip...it started off on a cold note because our flight was rescheduled for the evening (instead of the early 8 o'clock flight) due to possible snowy conditions; however, there was no snow, and it was a beautiful sunny morning that day, but the flight was already rescheduled.
So we ended up in North Carolina a day later, but we made the most of the trip. We did a lecture/demonstration performance twice a day for two different schools in the town. Our audience were kids from gifted and talented high school program in Fayetteville. Performing for high school students is a different challenge than performing for elementary kids because even if a high school kid likes the performance, sometimes liking art isn't exactly "cool."
On the whole, most of the kids (and schools) we performed for seemed to really enjoy everything, and they asked thoughtful, and appropriate questions. It is always refreshing to regain faith in the next generation. I remember being in school and choosing not to like certain presentations just because it was cool to seem so disinterested. So, I was pleasantly surprised when the students had a genuine interest in what our stories were (as dancers) and asked very articulate (and thoughtful) questions in regards to the work that we did. We took, and performed, an eclectic mix of work from our rep: Nature from Corazon, two sections from Alicia Sanchez's Tus Pasos, an excerpt from Polly Motley's Charmed Romantics, and lastly we showed what material we had from Sue Schroeder's newest work The Point.
Personally, I thought the lecture/demo performances were meant to not only show kids dance, but to teach them about the various aspects of modern (or contemporary dance) and then to encourage critical thinking of art. One of my favorite moments of the program came at the end when we would have our question and answer session. When the kids would ask what a particular dance meant, or asked if we could explain any of the dances to them; I would flip the questions and toss it back at them asking what they got from it all. I believe it was Corian that said it the best, "the beauty of modern (contemporary) dance is that it makes you use your brain...as an audience member, but also (and even more importantly) as a dancer." It forces us to be thinking, conscious performers...because if we don't bring something to the table, when the audience sits down they can just hop on the ride with us and experience something worthwhile...and not just check out. It is all about perspective anyway...and at the end of the day, it teaches the kids to sit up, pay attention, and eventually (hopefully) think for themselves.