Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Festival of Joy

This week has been full of work and energy, new projects starting, old ones ending. This is life! Surprise dance workshop on Thursday for two hundred student visitors at Centre Wellington, one drum and high ceilings. Everythng was larger than the drum and the microphone but we persevered.
A new choreography is finding its path with 12 kids and one me, at the Guelph Youth Dance Company, all for Asabea's outdooring!
Proofreading Between Sisters, all weekend, preplanning Asabea, for May 8th, but the highlight of this weekend was the rehearsal of the production "The Festival of Joy!"
A simple presentation has morphed into a production because of a small demand placed on me. Mr. Oates said, we want to perform this for our "Theatre for young audiences series." So over the weekend, I wrote the script, putting together three days of workshops into a fun dramatic peiece for young children.
Never underestimate the youth. The dull indifference on day one, has transformed itself into a dynamic and dramatic presentation, showcasing storytelling, drama, dance, drumming, joy, interaction and community which is sure to be a blast. I enjoy directing and I learned from Mr. Oates just how little things dramatically impact a scene. Important key elements in all of this is trust and perseverance and patience. WRITE the VISION and make it PLAIN!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

International Day of Storytelling

Today we were at the Waterloo Children's Museum- downtown Kitchener, to celebrate the International day of Storytelling. We were hosted by Latitudes Storytelling Festival, and did indeed celebrate the hour before dinner with families, telling stories with song and drum.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Old Mill Inn, Spa, Brulee A etc

Yesterday's workshops in Toronto's Old Mill Inn or Hotel were very succesful. But the experience in it's entirety had serious shortcomings. We huffed and puffed our way up and down stairs, laden with equipment with little help. I was grateful for the help of two members of staff who ameliorated what would have been a bad situation. Thank God for "a few good men."
Also I pray the lady who lost her rings found them.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stratford Northwestern

Second workshops at Stratford Northwestern: The polyrhythms have been laid down, one over the other and the dance has progressed but what was most amazing, the storytelling! They owned the story, they TOLD it. Wow. Another thing I learned guitar students make fantastic drummers.

Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day

Sad to say, I didn't celebrate today...too many celebrations from Friday, through Sunday so the day passed with me teaching workshops and my women's dance class. At least I hang out with my favorite women.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

GHANA IS 53 years old.

The country called Ghana was born 53 years ago, delivered out of the womb of colonization. A thick umbilical cord was severed at birth and mother British Empire turned her swollen mammae away in disgust- let this infant fend for herself.

Which she has done, and like Tarzan, often the surrogates she found were, "Oh so wild". Yet willy nilly, she carried on, through the charged passion of her independence, with hope peaking higher than Afajato, through the withdrawal symptoms of megadeals gone awry, one party state, coup d'├ętats upon coup d'├ętats while civillians struggled in vain against the lure of corruption, so much money to dazzle the eyes and dizzy the mind. And the years passed, calendar months were torn of sheets and thrown in the trash.

And inspite of all this, and malaria and malnutrition and barefooted children trudging off to school, there were some who got PhDs, and then were cast adrift along channels of brain drain. And somehow by the great mercies of God, whether through the military or the military turned civillian, inspite of rumours, plans, schemes and machinations; inspite of the lack of comprehensive civil rights, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, imprisonment etc the country has escaped the round of wars which have hit the region like the seasonal hurricanes, one after another, and another and another.

53...we are alive, more of us educated than ever before, away or at home our impact is felt, speaking out louder than ever before. Discovering, oil and more of oil, just at it seemed to be getting out of fashion.
53.... and growing wiser, pragmatic and more compassionate; daring to dream a bigger brighter world where we maintain and upkeep, plan, design and build for the glorious sustainable future...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Third Day at The Stewart School

On this third day of workshops at The Stewart School, Perth, Upper Canada School Board, everything is coming together. The rhythms are holding, the dance movements have definition, the singing is robust and the storytelling is humorous. Today we tried the rhythmic hand-game, and we're just shy of completing cycyle after cycle in perfect sequence and synchronization. An earlier break means we can relax and sort out our business emailing etc. Tomorrow we carry our practice to the stage to prep for our Friday performance. AFRIFEST-IN-SCHOOLS is the name of the celebration. This is an OAC Artist-in-Education project.

Monday, March 01, 2010

McKinnon P.S. "SOAR"

As part of their African Heritage Month and also the SOAR project inspired by Stephen Lewis, we were invited to spend the day teaching workshops at McKinnon P.S. A busy day of activities led to an evening performance by the grade five students for their parents who had supported McKinnon P.S.'s SOAR (Students helping Orphans in Africa with Relief) fundraiser.