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The Making of YAP: Week One Progress

Day Three and Already Inspired!

Although the Youth Arts Program only began on Monday, the YAP faculty are already feeling inspired and are exploring ideas for the final showing. This year’s “Yappers” have decided to call themselves “The Funky Timers,” as the theme for this year is time. The littles (grades 2-3) have chosen to be called “Tick Tocks,” the middIMG_3788les (grades 4-6) “Middle Agers,” and the teens (grades 7-11) “Senior Citizens.”

On Wednesday evening, the YAP staff met to discuss ideas to develop as the program continues. At the end of the third day, they had already begun to see sparks of brilliance from the kids and were learning how best to work with this year’s group.

Immediately, faculty began spouting ideas for the final showing. Annalyn Lehnig, YAP’s theatre teacher and assistant to YAP director, suggested recording the kids stating where and when they were born, and staggering the statements with music. Annalyn thought that it would be a great way to support the theme of time through background music.

Patrick Ferreri, one of YAP’s dance instructors, enthusiastically described an accompanying movement of two figures in the center of a revolving circle of others. He imagined the couple constantly switching in and out with other dancers. Patrick saw it as a representation of change and time passing, and also imagined it resembling the circular rotation of a clock. In class, Patrick has been working with the teens and the concept of age. They have been investigating the development of life in relation to movement. He asked them to imagine themselves as babies, toddlers, and their current age. At each stage, the teens created a movement to represent that time. The students loved this assignment and have created many fun and inventive gestures.

IMG_3726Rose Leach, another YAP dance instructor, has been working on meditation in her classes. The students are learning to pause every so often and take a breath. She suggested that the final showing express these pauses. The faculty may play with stopping and starting accompanied by a gong, alarm clock, or other sounds that people associate with time.

In music class with Terrence Karn and Rob Flax, the students are becoming fluent with time signatures. They are even learning complicated timing including counting in fives and sevens. The YAP staff is extremely impressed with the students’ talent and how quickly they have absorbed new information.

Another theme that YAP may explore is the concept of seasons, which Priscilla Rivas, YAP’s acting director and dance and visual arts instructor, will be studying in art class. Priscilla has also been working with the students and creating timelines of their lives, including their past, present and future. In this way, they have been able to express what they hope will happen in their lives, as well as what they have already experienced. Priscilla is considering giving the students an assignment of painting their own version of Salvador Dali’s painting of melting IMG_3778clocks, “The Persistence of Memory.”

This year’s “Yappers” are enthusiastic and hard working. The YAP faculty cannot help but be inspired by their infectious happiness. They are looking forward to developing these ideas and watching as they grow into a beautiful final showcase of the students’ work.

This post was written by Sydney Burrows. Sydney is the BDF Social Media Intern for the 2016 summer.