Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Idealist – Creative Dance Pedagogy Workshop

In September of 2011, Origins collaborated with United Arts Society, to organize a three day creative dance pedagogy workshop at Smriti Nandan Cultural Centre in Bangalore. The workshop was held from the 19th to the 21st of September 2011 and involved young as well as experienced professionals involved in arts education for children.

The aim of the workshop was to bring arts facilitators from different backgrounds together to share their ideas and experiences working with children, to create a dialogue on training and technical practices in the field and engage in capacity building practices for young educators. Participants broached the need to understand the creative process and how to communicate that to a young age group. Over the three days, they explored child-centered teaching practices, expanded on the concept of play as a mode of learning and creating and even lead mock sessions to share their personal teaching style evolved through their experiences.

Exchanging ideas and experiences on creative arts pedagogy at Idealist, 2011 

Bringing seasoned practitioners in the field of dance, kinesiology, arts education and special needs education together with younger dance professionals who had just engaged upon their teaching careers created a wonderful participatory environment where everyone shared their ideas, experiences and concerns, and collectively elaborated on certain principles and practices of arts education for children.

As someone who had only recently begun to work with children, the workshop made me realize that my views on education and creativity were widely supported, and were in fact the norm among many professionals in arts education. It also gave me the chance to interact with and learn from other people who had embarked on the same journey as I had, all of us at different stages and with varied experiences. Fundamental to each of our practices was the belief that the child is most important, and in finding fun and innovative ways to help them explore their creativity, the arts could have a truly remarkable effect in a child’s life.

United Arts Society is an organization dedicated to the promotion and development of arts. Over the past two years, they have trained hundreds of children with our various programs and workshops in art. At the same time they have also provided the chance and ability for artists to use their talents in varied many ways.

Usha Rao, a cultural anthropologist (University of Massachusetts Amherst) has traversed many paths, teaching taught humanities and music at the Valley School, Bangalore between 1999 and 2006. Over the past 4 years she has been working as a free lance researcher in Bangalore.The projects that she enjoyed most have been in the areas of education, arts education, theater, and law and culture. Usha has been associated with IFA as a senior researcher with the baseline study on Theatre Infrastructure for the Theatre Infrastructure Cell in 2008 and the Kali Kalisu (Arts Education workshops for government school teachers in Karnataka) and is currently scripting and producing science audio programmes for government school children.

Badri Rao (Kinesiologist ) is an Exercise Therapist and an Sports Science Specialist, educated in Australia. He is accredited in the areas of coaching for cricket from the ACB, Australian Strength & Conditioning Association, and other industry related associations. He is a member of ACSM, MFA, AAESS. He has his own practice of Exercise Therapy in Bangalore, India. Badri’s Philosophy of treatment and therapy is activity heals, hence the name of his practice 'ACTIVITY HEALS' which prescribes corrective exercises to correct posture, gait, human movement and function. “We apply principles of Kinesiology (study of applied anatomy to movement) and Biomechanics (study of principles of physics to movement) to improve human movement, prevent injury and help
people return to active and functional living.”

Nakula Somana was introduced to Contemporary Dance through community dance workshops in the UK during the 80s. Currently he works as a part time faculty at Terence Lewis Dance Company in Mumbai and at Attakkalari in Bangalore. He is also working with beginners and local dance companies on a regular basis and is part of the mixed media arts group Origins.

Jyotsna B Rao is a professional artist with 15 years of experience in performance and her pedagogical skills are guided by training in Dance pedagogy, a Masters degree in Psychology from Bangalore University, working as a special educator with children with learning disabilities, and teaching in the broad spectrum of education for 4 years as a facilitator with a leading contemporary dance company in Bangalore. She is experimental, creative and sensitive to the needs of the child and makes learning a
fun filled, safe environment for growth.

Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy has been engaged in artistic work as a performer, creator and teacher since 2000. He has trained and worked with dance companies like Attakkaliari in India, Bodhi project in Austria, Danshuisstationzuid in Netherlands, Hausgemacht in Germany. He completed a post graduate diploma in choreography at S.E.A.D in Austria. His dance creations have been showcased in many venues in India and Europe.

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