*Guest Post by Lindsey Buller Maliekel *
This summer The New Victory Theater is excited to present Victory Dance (running July 16- August 1, 2014), featuring a cross-section of New York choreographers and companies who perform a range of dance styles and share in the theater’s goal of inspiring young people to embrace the art form. Through Victory Dance, New York City kids and families will have the opportunity to meet with the choreographers and dancers, as well as see these incredible artists and companies present their very best work on the New Vic stage!
What’s more, the New Vic is providing free daytime performances for students enrolled in NYC Department of Education summer school enrichment programs and subsidized/City-run summer day camps so that all New York City kids can see this amazing work. If you know of any schools or programs that would be interested in attending, please contact Janice Acevedo, New Victory Education Programs Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.223.3090.
Here to share some tips to help you prepare for and focus on when watching dance with your kids is Lindsey Buller Maliekel, Director of Education/ Public Engagement at The New Victory Theater (and a mom herself!):
Make sure to set aside time to talk before they see the show – this could be in the car or the subway before the show – or you could take some time in the week preceding the performance to have longer conversations and, perhaps, even look up some YouTube videos of different dance styles.
Use these questions to spark their curiosity about the show and enhance their anticipation for the trip.
Where do you see people dance?
Do you dance? When?
Why do people dance?
How would you define dance?
What different styles of dance have you seen?
What style of dance do you enjoy most, either as a dancer or audience member?
If you had to put together a program of your favorite dancers (famous or not), who would be on your list?
After the performance, take the time to reflect on what you saw. These questions are great conversation starters to talk about the dance.
What words would you use to describe the performance?
What emotions did you feel while you were watching this piece?
Did this dance make you think of anything from your own life?
What do you think the “story” of this dance was?
How did the music impact the performance?
What styles of dance or movements did you see? Where have you seen this style of dance before?
What surprised you about what you saw?
What was your favorite part? Why?
If you could ask the dancers a question, what would it be?
Once you are back home, it is great to go look for additional works by the choreographer on YouTube or the artist’s website. Being able to relive the experience and continue to explore the world of dance will help your kid broaden their understanding of the world and reflect more deeply on the dance pieces they saw live.
Use this handout to help your kid expand their dance vocabulary and gain additional language to describe each dance piece. (Click Dance Language to print a full size handout)
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post to appear. I love the arts, especially dance! Plus I’m a big fan of the programs offered at The New Victory Theater in NYC!