Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Don't Mess with Texas by Rachel Harrah

First of all, my new name is Texas. I have been named by a little British child and therefore it has been accepted. You are welcome.

Well, this was a special day for the DaY artists. We began the day by making our early morning commute on Platform 3 to Rose-Buford in Sidcup. We were all grateful for the coffee we had enough time to purchase until we all realized that coffee was obviously broken because we were still tired. However, what did work to wake us up was our work with Jeremy Harrison.

The entire group was so excited by the idea of filling our morning with play and Jeremy led us in a space exploration exercise that combined music and unity of purpose and form. I particularly enjoyed hearing where the foot musicians on the four and three would collide. It seemed very inherent to the group to want to sing and support each other and it flowed from the walking and stomping into a new form that encouraged us to sing and produce music.


Then we began creating a piece of music together and Yulissa was very brave and went first in creating her own piece of music with us as her musical minions (instruments). Sam went next and then I. Speaking of Sam, here she is modelling the latest fashions outside of the primary school.



Sam (Yogi) looks adorable in our summer chic teaching artist wear. Roll on the floor, it won’t wrinkle!



Greta is modeling the sticker that tells all of your colleagues, I am approved to be here.



Isabel is smiling even though inside, she is mourning for Brazil’s hard loss last night. We were very supportive. The children, however, were another story.


We collaboratively devised a thirty minute framework with our teams based on the theme “imagined spaces” and then we were all given thirty minutes to work with around 10 to 15 children from the local elementary (primary) school.

When we arrived, we were quickly greeted by around 60 children and their teachers. We began the session by introducing ourselves and telling them where we were from around the world. Then, he said something really great. He asked them to recall who he said were the experts in children’s theater. With no questioning or hesitation, hands shot up and said, “We are!” I loved this ownership and it started our day of so beautifully.

I was nervous to share my poetry with the group, because it felt a little mature and dark but I was truly encouraged by the other artists in our group who were supportive and kind.






Look at this picture, I look possessed. GNAAA!! 






Crystal was so brave and inspiring as she had every single person in the room creating a sound scape to her poem. It was wonderful to watch a teacher with 9 years of experience in her element. She was fantastic and we are all very proud of her.

After our work, we came back together and listened as the children reflected and retold their experiences with the work. They were just incredible and so eloquent. I was so touched by their fervor in wanting to tell the class what they experienced. It was a lovely moment.


The children left. We returned and began figuring out what we were going to bring back Jeremy led us in creation of a thought chart. Then we divided up the room and began working.







We all had an amazing time and ended our day by hearing Isaiah’s poem in the stairwell while five musical muses sang Siyahamba in perfect harmony. He gave a shout out to Peabo Bryson, so we were all moved to tears. All jokes aside, it was a beautiful end to a tiring and inspiring day.  To sum up our feelings of happiness and exhaustion, here is a picture of Andre. Is he on Tinder or is he writing his reflections? No one knows.





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