What a treat this workshop was! It took approximately 3 meetings prior to nail down what fantastic ideas the four extraordinary teachers had in mind for the kids. The result was a turnout that was pure fun for all involved. Many of the same volunteers from previous workshops returned and brought along new friends so we hit maximum capacity almost immediately. This time we also stayed overnight for the two-day course. I requested all those staying the night to bring a potluck item to share with each other and our community hosts.
The weather was dreary but this did not stop the volunteers from tromping around the village with the children who were on the hunt for their “object” they would sketch into a “friend” to introduce to the rest of us. Teacher YunPei was in charge of this section and artfully maneuvered the large group through the village until all the children had selected a new “friend.” Teacher James was everywhere, darting to capture video footage for our documentary.
Kids sketched then transferred this miracle onto a large piece of black paper, utilizing colorful chalk. Afterwards, Teacher Ichi with her melodic voice warmed the kids up with some light stretching and movements, her flexibility wowing even the children. Various games were thought of to move around these rambunctious kids who never tire. Meanwhile in the kitchen we were having our own woes with the huge wok that never seemed to heat up the pasta properly.
Things eventually came together and lunch was served to a starving team of volunteers and children. After a break we continued with the rest of the course, moving various parts of the bodies to draw outlines and express what the characters may be instead of simply saying it. Kids were a bit shy to perform in front of others, often pulling in their guiding older ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ but in the end, each kid did show us the movement that depicted the “friend” they selected and had drawn.
Teacher KangNing brought out colorful bolts of stretch fabric for the third section of the workshop and we let the kids get a feel of what was to come for Sunday’s workshop. We proceeded to pack up and head to our hostel for the evening. I drove a few volunteers back down to the base of the mountain to catch public transport while those who stayed in ChingChuan either got themselves to the hot springs or began to prepare their potluck dinner.
The next day we woke up to some more rain and a heap of eager kids who were curious about the stretchy colorful fabric. Hot chocolate was served with breads and cakes for their brunch while they played around in the fabric, testing out various poses. We ended with the TaoShan Elementary School Principal stopping by and then inviting all of us to his office for a chat and catch-up on what we were doing and planned to do in ChingChuan for 2013. It’s wonderful to have the support of the local community on our side, not only LaLing Yumin but also the school principal! It’s great to know that we are all on the same side and pushing for the good of the children, the future.
Summary: Yunpei Hsiung, Ichi Lin, James Teng, and “electric eyes extraordinaire” Chin KangNing will take us through a series of sessions in the two day workshop that pushes through not only conventional means of appreciating and interpreting our environment, but the way we express this as well. We will guide kids and ourselves to honing our senses and expressing this through our bodies in art, dance, and movement in material.
Purpose: We push through the usual conventional means of interpretation and expression by honing our senses to communicate in different ways with the body; and doing so along with the children.
Children Will Learn: Various forms of artistic expression, not necessarily through just speech. Drawing, movement, dance.
Lead Teachers: Yunpei Hsiung, Ichi Lin, James Teng, Chin KangNing
Volunteers: Paula Perry, Sarah Perry, Rippling Tsou, Jon Burke, Sophie Chang, 藍元蔚 David, Rita Yeh, 鄭又綺， 蘇嘉琦， Angela Lin, Sarah Milne
Benefactors: Michelle Lin, Carol Lin
Tasks: Assist the teachers with the kids activities and participate alongside with them. Walking with the kids through the village, making sure they sketch their objects and take a photo of the original. Guide the children on various ways to use the body to move in contour lines and ‘draw’ the object, perform. Kitchen shift!
Hearty Vegan Tomato Sauce Pasta
Fruit Salad with Coconut Milk
Second Day Snack:
Vegan Banana Peanut Bread
Location: ChingChuan, Hsinchu at the Taoshan Elementary School