Reports from Lead Teacher Geneviève Anthony and Artist
On October 16th, the Opening Circle Ceremony was the start to the DAREarts Nee-tum-ochi-bek (First Roots) program in Webequie, a fly-in only First Nations community in Northern Ontario. During the introductions, Bob Wabasse spoke passionately about creativity, community and self-healing. Members of the community along with Elders attended to show their support for DAREarts. Thirty-six students were in attendance for the opening ceremonies offering a warm welcome to the teaching team, who in turn were thrilled to see so many familiar faces in the crowd.
This year the DAREarts team, together with community members, is working with the students in intensive workshops in music, dance, fashion and visual arts. Within three weeks, the students will; write their own lyrics; perform their own song; choreograph a B-Boy/B-Girl dance; sew their own moccasins; style their own costumes; put on their own performance; and paint their own masterpiece.
|Students in Webequie starting to sew their moccasins|
Glenn Marais, DAREarts artist-as-teacher, introduced the group to reading lyrics, themes, and the parts of a song. The theme presented was ‘life as a journey down the road’ and the positive and negative “sideroads” that can pull you off from your goals and dreams. The students were divided into groups and started to write words that reflected their lives both positively and negatively. The theme is to reflect the goal of endorsing the moccasin project, this year’s sewing project.
The B-Boy/B-Girl dance session was wonderfully energetic. There were 17 teenagers alongside a group of little ones who joined in on the activity. Artist-as-teacher, Lee Pham, took the group through a variety of steps. The kids were charged and energetic.
|Students learning the steps|
On the second day the song started taking shape. Two paragraphs have been written and an Oji-Cree chorus has been created. The dance class brought lots of laughter and new moves for the students.The students are involved and energized with the classes and looking forward to tomorrow!
Our thanks to the following supporters who have made this 2012 program possible for the students at Webequie.
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario.