Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An "Avant-Garde" Performance

Tuesday night my nieces' Montessori school held their winter program. It was billed as an "avant-garde" performance, so no one knew exactly what to expect. They acted out an African myth, complete with African drums and dancing. The main character was the Anansi, who is a spider and a trickster . (I found out there are many "Anansi Myths" in African legend.) My niece played a supporting character, a firefly. They mixed in a few traditional winter songs (the program was originally to take place near Christmas but got postponed due to weather). I was impressed with the depth and breadth of the learning that was represented. The children ranged in age from three to twelve, and each had a part. The youngest children had non-speaking parts as singers and dancers. The older children portrayed the Anansi, the firefly (my niece) as well as tigers, trees, monkeys, and other creatures and characters.

These two girls were trees. The Anansi hid in their branches when he was chased by a pack of wild dogs. The girl on the right is a pepper tree... notice that she's holding a yellow pepper in her hand. The girl on the left is my nine-year old niece. They didn't specify what kind of tree she was, but she waved her branches beautifully.

This is my eleven-year old niece. She played the firefly. I couldn't get a picture of her with her wings and tail light in place, because she wouldn't put them on except when she was "in the role". In this photo she was holding on to her wings, waiting to put them on. The strap around her waist held her "tail light" which flashed in the back.

These two were in the chorus. The girl on the right is my seven-year old niece. They are sharing a few pre-performance jitters, I think. Serious discussion of their craft, no doubt. (They do take it very seriously.)

The program was a success. Because of it I came home and looked up African myths. I learned things that I had not known before. The kids learned, and I learned, and I imagine some other audience members learned, too. My nieces often surprise me by the things they learn about other cultures, about nature, and about life in other parts of the world. Very smart, those Montessori school kids.

Speaking of the Montessori school, the photo below shows my youngest niece (she's in the middle) at her graduation ceremony last year. These kids are so cute! Yes, I am the proud aunt... can you tell?


anya said...

Hey, Judy. This isn't a comment about this post, but I left this comment on your post a couple back about anti depressants. Then I thought that perhaps you don't look back at comments so I thought I'd repeat.

I have a LOT of experience in that area and I'd love to share info or a suggestion. Seems like email would be a better place to talk about that at greater length than the comment area. I don't see that you list your email on your blog but if you want to email me I'll write back and let's chat about it.

judy in ky said...

Thank you so much, Anya. I was hoping someone would respond. I will send you and e-mail. (I would have my e-mail address on my blog, but I can't figure out how to do it.)

Bearette24 said...

The girl on the left, talking with your 7-year-old niece, looks a bit like Abigail Breslin (from Little Miss Sunshine)...

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What an interesting program! I love that story they used--and that each child had some kind of part, even nonverbal. Very cool!

And thank you for your comment today! It's nice to make new blogging friends!

judy in ky said...

Bearette, you're right, she does. I just saw that movie the other day. I enjoyed it.

Rebecca, your blog is interesting and original. It looks like you must put a lot of work into it.

Mim said...

HI Judy
I just read Anya's comment.
I too would love to email you about meds, so here is my email if you so desire!

Anonymous said...

Hi Judy,

Saw you post over at PunditMom's site and followed your link here. Sounds like you guys had a memorable time at the play-skit. Have a great year.

judy in ky said...

Hello Al,
It's good to meet you.

Natalie said...

What a beautiful post. Everything those children do looks thoughtful and interesting, but my favorite part is the thoughtful interest you have regarding them and their lives. They will excel even further thanks to your considerate support.

judy in ky said...

Thank you, Natalie.