Captain Cook Gr 7
Arts Education, Language Arts, Social Studies
Captain Cook Elementary, Vancouver, BC
Sources of Inspiration
Vancouver Biennale Legacy, Walking Figures (Magdalena Abakanowicz) and its site: Canada Line City Hall Station at Broadway and Cambie Street. Artist’s own life experience and relationship with authoritative figures she has encountered.
The students were inspired by the Walking Figures to explore, respect and express individuality within the group through dance movement. Learning under a joint effort of the classroom teacher and dance artist, the students were introduced to public art, elements of dance and connecting with each other and as a class. Through creative thinking and patterning, the students were introduced to the BIG IDEAS of Finding Voice through celebrating individuality and not conforming to group norms. The students’ journey of self-discovery questions what makes everyone unique and what does each person have in common with others? The students then continued their learning of the BIG IDEAS through creating movement and a dance performance to reflect their writings.
How can we recognize and celebrate individuality while existing within a larger group?
Arts Education – Drama, Dance, Theatre and Visual Arts, Daily Physical Activity, Language Arts, Physical Education, Social Studies
During their field trip to the art installation and performance site, the students created movement sequences within groups responding to the three groups of sculptures. Returning to the classroom, the students worked in a simulation of the sculptural site to express self and group identity and creative a way of connecting the performance to the sculpture, site and audience. Throughout the rehearsal and review process, the students were encouraged to make choreographic decision, assume ownership while building pride and confidence. On April 23, 2012 the students performed Individually Together at the Vancouver Biennale art installation: Walking Figures to celebrate the individual, the group, and the individual within the group.
Creative writing, public dance performance
Jan: Teacher and artist discussed program approach, choice of sculpture for learning and scheduled artist classroom sessions.
Artist participated at the Vancouver Biennale Sharing BIG IDEAS Workshop
Feb: Artist visited Walking Figure sculpture to survey site and for inspiration.
Mar: Artist visited Walking Figures sculpture to solidify classroom sessions.
Apr: Artist in collaborated with the teacher and students directly through a series of learning sessions.
Introduced the Vancouver Biennale exhibition and BIG IDEAS program. Introduced students to elements of dance.
Worked on connecting the class as a whole.
Facilitated students to think creatively.
Students were introduced to the sculpture and BIG IDEA learning.
Explored the concept of leaders and followers.
Students created movement in response to writing. Visited Walking Figures.
Students explored performance space and created sequences responding to installation space.
Facilitated students to develop connections to the sculpture and the BIG IDEA of identity.
Focus learning on musicality.
Students made choreographic decisions.
Workshop emphasizing on performance qualities, energy, confidence and conviction.
Final rehearsal session.
Recap on BIG IDEA, reviewed creative process & making the combined voices visible.
Public performance at the Walking Figures installation.
Students showed commitment, pride, energy and belief in self – and joy.
Reflect of the learning experience and peer review of each other
May: Students, teacher, principal and artist shared the learning experience with other participating schools at the Vancouver Biennale Dialogue session
Teacher: “Through this experience I was able to include elements of writing, fine arts, and physical education. As Lorraine taught the dance, and inspired the students to look beyond just what they saw, a transition from movement to paper began. Feelings, emotions, ideas, opinions and connections to personal experiences developed. Many students found their voice through the dance, and were able to express their opinions in an expressive and individualistic way. To each and every student a story began to unfold through each session we had with Lorraine. The passion grew, some became emotional, and some went to a much deeper level, seeing the sculpture as a representation of our everyday life. The music chosen allowed for the students to create a story that included their path on achieving their present life goals. As their passion grew for their own story, and their rock (the sculpture), their movement in response to the music, images and feelings became to transcend.”
“All of us are so thankful for this opportunity. Thank you to Biennale for allowing us to have an experience that will forever be in our mind, body and soul. Thank you to Lorraine for carving a new path in all of my students lives.“
Artist: “Having done many school residencies in the past, I was excited to do this one because rather than being independent, it was a residency that was part of a larger project. The idea of many artists, teachers, and students coming together to celebrate the Biennale sculptures in the city was magnetic.”
“I was hoping to open the students’ eyes to the connections between dance, art, and life and Corianne broadened this perspective by bringing forth connections that were breathtaking. While I was working with linking images and concepts, Corianne saw the possibilities of our dance as a complete narrative. This speaks to the power of collaboration, where specialists in different fields come together to uncover something that otherwise would be unseen, and what Corianne and I uncovered was truly beautiful. It was an honour and privilege to work with her and her incredible class of Grade 7 students.”
Students: “The walking figure does not have head and arms, so, we made this dance to join the walking figure. Later, we show the people the walking men can have arms and a head. When our arms come out, we scream because we are happy.” – Jack
“We are so lucky to learn about the arts like this. It’s not every day you can dance in a public place with tall, meaningful public art!” – Sara
“Being yourself is not always following the crowd. It is following your hopes, dreams, and staying firm to your beliefs and boundaries. Our dance displayed the feeling that people experience when they first break away from the crowd and find themselves.” – Christine
“Every time I loop around the figures I get a share of the feeling the artist feels, well at least what I think she feels. We’re all humans yet we’re all different. But why do some people walk different ways while others follow the leader?” – Julie
“In all my life I have never seen nor experienced something so near and dear to my heart… This piece definitely spoke to me and now I am going to take this wonderful experience and use it to my benefit! From this day forward I vowed to myself that if I ever get lost in the crowd to remember that performance and remind myself of how easy it is to get pulled into the crowd but to always find my way out and walk my own direction.” – Lida