By Pei-San Brown, Community Education Director
Watching dancers perform Stephen Mills’ The Carnival of the Animals is just the start of the fun for elementary school students, teachers, and parents in Central Texas. During this interactive educational performance, which lasts just under an hour, the students even get to choreograph part of a ballet!
Build-a-Ballet, which has been performed for many years in schools and at Ballet Austin, starts with a quick introduction and a brief discussion about dance as an art form. The dancers then perform four excerpts from Carnival and a brief piece that they choreographed themselves, asking the audience members to help them improve it just a little bit by adding in some movement. They then perform the finished piece, and end the program with four more excerpts. These are just some of the things that people have told us about their Build-a-Ballet experiences:
“Thank you so much for your visit to Bridge Point Elementary. What a wonderful presentation you provided! With all of the stereotypes that go hand-in-hand with fine arts, it is so nice to see our students (and teachers) fully engaged in the performance. The show was accessible, fun, and informative. Thanks again.”
“The build-a-ballet was awesome! My students had a marvelous time and learned so much! Yesterday we listened to the turtle music … I wish you could have seen them at their seats. They had their hands moving just like the dancers and where “spelling” their names with their heads.” (St. Paul Lutheran School)
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