Friday, October 30, 2009

A Fellow Morehouse Man Comes to Teach Capoeira

As the Dance and Creative Movement Teacher, I have an opportunity to bring in guest teachers who are experts in their field and live locally to present to the BUGS Students what they know and teach it to them. I have had an African dance teacher, drum instructor, and tap instructors. This time around the students are learning about Capoeira. I had a great opportunity to bring another Morehouse Man and guest teacher, Jason Harris, to teach this art form that originates from Brazil.

Jason is holding a Berimbau (musical bow) which by changing the tension of the string effects the tone and sound that the berimbau makes. Along with the berimbau, he used an Agogo (double bell). It was in a woven capsule that had bells inside. As he strummed the berimbau, he would shake the agogo. The students were mesmerized. How could he play two instruments at once? They wanted to try to do the same. A few were successful but they tried and were interested in something new and that was more important than playing like Jason who has been studying and learning for years.

After the introduction of the instruments, he began with the Ginga (a two step movement that goes from side to side). This movement was the first step that they learned. He asked the students to do what they thought was the two step. All of them did what they had learned from videos. How wrong they were! This two step was very different from what they were used to seeing.

The students were taught how to execute a Meia Lua (half-moon kick). As the Meia Lua was executed, the partner fell to the ground in a motion called Negativa. Negativa is a movement where one falls toward the ground and stopping their momentum with their hands on the ground.

Bria going into her negativa.

A great deal of thanks to Jason Harris for his expertise!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let's Congratulate....

A round of applause for former BUGS Student, Willis Brandon, Jr. He attended the Maryland Council for Dance Festival during the weekend of October 23 - 25 at South River High School in Edgewater, MD. He participated in a scholarship audition, took classes in modern, ballet, Afro-Cuban, and tap. There were performances on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. He performed in the Sunday performance with his fellow dancers from the Morton Street Dance Center. After the Sunday performance, scholarships were given out to many of the participants. He, along with Teresa Hinton (pictured below), was awarded a scholarship to the White Marsh Ballet Academy for their summer intensive while she received a scholarship to Rage Box Dance Center. As the excitement dwindled on the ride home, he was excited and exhausted. BUGS Students are excelling in many different areas! Congrats to Willis Brandon!!!

So Much Has Been Happening...

On Sunday, Oct. 18th, a group of BUGS Students had a great opportunity to see the Shaolin Warriors at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE!!! These Chinese Monks are trained in a special martial art that has been around for hundreds of years. Many of the performers have been training and performing in this artform since they were very young.

There were two young boys who had to be the same age as some of our students performing incredible and eye-popping feats.

They jumped over one another, twisted their bodies into different unimaginable shapes, and turned on poles. It was an amazement to see. They used all kinds of props. They broke slabs of concrete on their bodies with big iron mallets, used their hands to break wood, and even their heads to break metal.

The students were so excited they couldn't believe what they were seeing. Sitting on the edge of their seats, literally, not wanting to miss what was happening. It was just a great experience to have and see!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

BUGS in Art in America

BUGS was mentioned in an Art in America article in reference to our partnership with Participation Park, an urban garden located near Johnston Square Elementary. Very exciting! Click on the image to read.