Dance

A Place in the Middle

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Learn about the native Hawaiian approach to gender diversity, the power of cultural heritage, and the true meaning of aloha – love, honor and respect for all – in this short film about an eleven year-old girl who dreams of leading the all-male hula troupe at her school in Honolulu. She's fortunate that her teacher understands the traditional Hawaiian embrace of māhū - those who are “in the middle” between male and female. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is what's inside a person's heart and mind. For further background and materials to support student understanding of the issue see the Classroom Discussion Guide.

Passage for Two

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Using video from Great Performances: Dance In America: NY Export: Opus Jazz, students examine Jerome Robbins’ famous ballet and complete associated English Language Arts activities. The activities include answering text-dependent discussion questions, completing a close read of the video and exploring important literary elements like characterization, narrative structure, and mood.

Sister Mildred Barker | Ken Burns: The Shakers

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Sister Mildred Barker discusses ritual movements that evolved after Ann Lee's death. The Shakers believed that dancing brought them closer to God. When Ann Lee died, the dancing changed.

Kei Lun Lion Dancers Find New Meaning in Ancient Steps

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There are several lion dance troupes in the Bay Area. What sets Kei Lun apart is the group's dedication to passing on ancient Chinese stories, told through the art of lion dance. In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful.

Kyle Abraham, Choreographer and Dancer | MacArthur Fellows Program

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In this interview, 2013 MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham shares how his dance uses a unique hybrid of traditional and vernacular dance styles to explore the relationship between identity and personal history. With training in music, visual art, and dance, Abraham’s dance vocabulary reflects the energy of the hip-hop and urban dance he encountered in his adolescence as well as a grounding in modern dance. Through his own dance company and others, Abraham is establishing a creative vision for exploring contemporary issues that resonates with a wide range of audiences. This resource is part of the MacArthur Fellows Program Collection.

Bransle | Arts in the Renaissance

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In this video viewers watch as Kentucky students perform the Maltese Bransle (pronounced brahwl), a country dance that was popular in the royal courts of France and England during the Renaissance. The segment was recorded by KET in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Shakespeare. Kentucky Shakespeare also provided the costumes worn by the dancers.

Collaborate with Son Lux-Ryan Lott | The Art Assignment

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Ryan Lott, also known as Son Lux, is a musician and composer who works in collaboration.

Shaundra Bryant Daily

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In this video from Science City, Shaundra Bryant Daily, an electrical engineer, describes a software program she developed to help girls reflect on their emotions, and how her two passions—science and dance—are connected.

The Creative Process

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The Cirkus Theatre Project at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA)—a collaboration of the UNCSA School of Design and Production and Cirque du Soleil—offers students the opportunity to develop student-driven creative performances. These students compete to become Cirkus Theatre Resident Artists for the summer to rehearse, stage, and perform their pieces. This video, produced by the 2013 WGBH Boston Kenan Fellows, documents the creative process as the students bring their performances to fruition. 

Movement Telephone: Ryan McNamara | The Art Assignment

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Performance artist Ryan McNamara joins PBS Digital Studio's The Art Assignment to challenge you to play a game of MOVEMENT TELEPHONE.

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