Click to see 2011 Youth Performance or Youth Workshop Photos
The workshop took place at Larragoite Elementary, our wonderful new home. It presented the opportunity for underserved children of the Santa Fe community to participate in a two-week workshop offering five courses: Painting, Percussion, Flamenco Dance, Flamenco Guitar and Theater. Approximately 22 children, ages 6-12 were selected to participate in the workshop, each receiving a $450 scholarship.
In course assessments from the seven instructors, the general consensus was that students were able to connect with the courses on an individual level. Painting instructor Francisco Benitez had the students focus on painting and drawing expression through narratives and various self-portraits. Benitez wrote in his assessment “The purpose of doing portraits and narratives is to have the children find a voice of self-expression, and gain a sense of empowerment. Interestingly enough, the girls have an easier time representing their lives and identities than the boys. The boys are more concerned with characters or narratives which they have absorbed from TV or Mangas, but nonetheless represent their reality, albeit, less direct. In the end, I believe the class was successful and instilled what Kandinsky coined, “the inner need to produce art”.
In the Percussion course with Jeff Sussman, students were introduced to basic rhythms, composed of quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets and sixteenth notes, through clapping and percussion instruments, in this case, dum beks and tambourines. The Theater workshop's goal was to create a short bi-lingual play. The sub-goals of the project were to work as a team, to build self-confidence and to have a positive experience. Students played characters from an adapted folk tale entitled “How The Chameleon Got Its Colors.”
Having no previous dance experience, students in flamenco classes learned the 4/8 count flamenco rhythm Tangos that was successfully performed at the Boys & Girls Club. Instructors Emmy Grimm and Miquela Sanchez Wiegel (both members of ISA's youth company Flamenco's Next Generation) felt the success of the course was reflected in the fact that many of the dance students wish to continue classes with ISA throughout the year.
Flamenco guitar is indeed difficult as besides acquiring the arduous technique (which takes years of study) one must also be completely familiar with the particular flamenco rhythms, nevertheless, the class was able to strum (rasgueados) through a simple flamenco Tangos.
The workshop culminated in a community performance at The Boys and Girls Club where workshop students got to show off what they had learned in the two-week intensive. Theater instructor, Kathryn Mark, expressed that “students were excited by the experience, and those who did the entire program had a good time. Additionally, one student wrote a song that was performed as a finale with the cast.” See performance pictures
All in all... a wonderful summer workshop!