This 5-10 day residency project on Chinese Dance and Culture will be appropriate for grades K-12. The difficulty of dances will be adjusted according to the age of the participants.
The goal of the project will be to help students learn dances in the context of Chinese culture. The project will introduce students to the history, cultural significance and the technical aspects of Chinese dances. Many dance costumes and props plus other artistic articles will be available for the students to observe and to try themselves. The students will be allowed adequate amount of time for questions and discussion. Based on the student interest, they will be divided into small groups to learn and practice one or two traditional dances such as the fan dance, ribbon dance or ethnic dances such as the Dai dance, Mongolian dance or Tibetan dance. The students will learn specific dance movements, form, size and force as well as the use of traditional props and costumes such as fans, ribbons, and umbrella and flowers. Students will also be able to propose modifications or additions to the choreography so they can take pride in the dance routine and practice the routine diligently in each of the classes. At the end of the program, a public performance will be presented in the school. All teachers, administrators and parents will be encouraged to attend. Thus, the students will have an opportunity to learn important components of live performance including stage presence, posture-controlling techniques, costume/ prop preparation, and bowing. This project will not only help the students to learn the basic dance skills, but also will learn to appreciate the uniqueness of Chinese dances, the diversity among different regions of China and many ethnic minorities, and the connection to the celebration of festivals like the Chinese New Year.
A special session can be arranged for all interested teachers, focusing on integrating the Chinese dance and culture into the art and humanity curriculum. A list of resource materials and a bibliography will be provided. On the last day of the program, evaluation forms will be distributed to students, teachers and parents for their assessment of the program and for any suggestions they may have for program improvement in the future. A final report will be shared with the school personnel and Kentucky Arts Council.
This residency will provide an in-depth boost to the hosting school's existing arts and humanities education plan. Specifically, students will have an opportunity to meet Kentucky Core Content “Academic Expectations in music and dance” by 1.Performing dances with a small group (1.15, 2.22, 2.23) (2.2.21); 2. Performing traditional folk and ethnic dances (1.15, 2.22, 2.23) (2.2.13); 3. Being able to explain how dance has been a part of cultures and time periods throughout history (1.15, 2.23, 2.25) (2.2.31) and 4.Being able to discuss purposes of dance. (1.15, 2.23, 2.25) (2.2.31); 5. Using appropriate terminology to describe differences and commonalities in dances of International cultures, their purposes and styles (1.15, 2.23, 2.25, 2.1.31).