A DANCE OUTING

A DANCE OUTING

Dear Teachers,

First of all, welcome to Bouge de là! Thank you for visiting our site. You are the instigators and point of contact for the dance performance your students will see, and we feel it is extremely important to offer you our support.

At Bouge de là we believe that attending a dance show with children is a stimulating and enriching activity. We feel that a bit of in-class preparation beforehand will greatly increase the pleasure of the performance for the students (and for you!) once they are in the theatre. The return to class after the outing is an opportunity to allow them to give their impressions and opinions about what they saw, thereby reinforcing the dance experience.

In an ideal world we would like to be able to personally accompany each group in discovering, exploring and discussing dance and choreography, but for the moment we will simply present a few ideas worth pursuing so that you and your students can better appreciate the dance outing. We realize that you put your heart and soul into such activities with your students, and we thank you for your interest and commitment.

We are including in this section–and in the teaching guide that accompanies each Bouge de là show–a few tools that will help you better understand and prepare for a dance performance, thereby facilitating your work with the children before and after seeing the show.

Enjoy both the preparation and the discovery!

ABOUT OUR SHOWS

ABOUT OUR SHOWS

The Bouge de là audience consists of preschoolers plus children in Grades 1 to 6. As someone who teaches creative dance to youngsters, Hélène Langevin draws much of her inspiration from children when creating her shows.

She closely observes how children perceive reality and all the manifestations of their imaginations, as well as their concerns and their needs. While giving free rein to her own creativity, the choreographer remains attentive to the cognitive development of her young audience. Dance remains the driving force of her artistry, and she puts it to effective use with short dance sequences rich in contrasting atmospheres and rhythms.

Our shows combine various artistic disciplines (theatre, visual art, live video, shadow theatre) in a blend of story elements and situations that children recognize and can identify with. The aim of our creative approach is to capture the child’s attention and thus allow him or her to open up to the dance experience on offer.

Bouge de là shows are designed to stimulate a response from the young audience. The only word that is not part of our vocabulary–and one to be avoided during our presentations–is sshh!

WHAT IS DANCE?
“With dance we use another language with children, the language of the body. It is a means of expression little used in the classroom, yet it opens up a whole new world, a world without speech. It is a language that also allows us to get beyond the divisions of language and culture, providing access to a poetic, universal language [ … ] Dance is for one and all: girls and boys, the overweight and the skinny, the able-bodied and the handicapped, the young and the old*.”

Dance also means:

  • taking delight in body movement
  • inventing our own personal movements
  • discovering new ways of thinking, imagining and creating
  • expressing images, states of being and feelings with the body

Dance has many benefits:

  • reduces stress, for a body in rhythmic motion helps clear the mind
  • develops kinetic, spatial and musical intelligence
  • increases concentration
  • improves posture, musculature, coordination and endurance
  • raises self-esteem
  • strengthens the individual in his or her basic nature and well-being

* Excerpt from the book La danse pour tous les enfants à l’école, by Marie-France Bonnard (Éditions Retz, collection Pédagogie pratique).

WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY DANCE?
“It is not a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, but instead a series of images, scenes that express an idea, an emotion, an expression, a universe. It is not a form that needs to be understood. [ … ] It is not coded language like classical ballet or a spoken language such as French or English. It is a place where each choreographer invents his own language of movement*. [ … ]”
TALKING ABOUT DANCE WITH CHILDREN
There are many different styles of dance, from ballet to hip-hop, not to mention contemporary dance, breakdance, tap dance, tango, salsa, folk dancing, etc. The basis of all these styles is the body. The body is the dancer’s instrument. The dancer must know and develop her body and work on endurance, flexibility, coordination and agility. People all over the world dance, and have been dancing since the dawn of time. Dancing is another form of human expression. It is a way of connecting with the self, of clearing the mind and letting the body speak! Dancing is a great source of joy, whether dancing alone or with others.
QUESTIONS FOR THE CLASS
  • How would you describe dance?
  • Do you dance at home?When do you dance?
  • Who do you dance with?
  • Do you make up dance shows with your friends, or with your brothers and sisters?
  • What do you like about dance?
  • Do you know different styles of dance? What style do you prefer?

BEFORE THE SHOW

BEFORE THE SHOW

Talking about dance with the class before the show is also an opportunity to make use of the teaching guide for the dance piece being presented. The guide is an official presentation of the show you will be attending, and also one of many ways of explaining the piece to the students. It includes certain dance vocabulary words, as well as an interview with the choreographer where she describes her creative process. Each guide also proposes activities to be done in class, both before and after the outing. These activities are related to dance or to the theme of the piece. Also included is a bibliography of books used by the choreographer in her research, which can be helpful in further discussion of the themes of the piece.

You are of course free to use these teaching guides as you see fit. The guide is a tool that can help the class prepare for the outing, but by no means a mandatory prerequisite!

AFTER THE SHOW

AFTER THE SHOW

While a picture is worth a thousand words, for choreographer and artistic director Hélène Langevin dance is worth a thousand pictures! Contemporary dance must be approached with an open mind, and interpreting a dance piece is a subjective, personal affair. Once back in class, encourage the students to discuss what they have seen. You will be surprised at their level of understanding as they relive the event once again in the classroom discussion.

Questions to ask the class:

  • What was their favourite moment or scene?
  • What sort of feelings did the show generate?
  • What did they understand about the piece?
  • How did they interpret it?
  • Do they remember specific dance sequences and if so, which ones?
  • What would they have done differently?

Some of the activities in the guide are to be done after the dance outing. We urge you to explore them with your students and thus enrich the overall dance experience.

Nothing would make us happier than to receive comments from your students about the dance show, to discover how they responded to the performance and to the activities (drawings, telling stories through dance, etc.). You can contact us:

Complementary workshops

Workshops

To complete your student’s experience, Bouge de là offers dance workshops in the classroom that focus on the underlying themes of the dance piece they will be seeing. It is a way of introducing youngsters to the art form by means of improvisation and creative dance exercises.

The choreographer or one of the performers can conduct a creative dance session to prepare the students before the show, or to enjoy the experience of dance themselves in a post-show workshop. The objective is to raise their awareness and appreciation of dance.

26 cartes à danser workshop

The 26 cartes à danser workshop (inspired by the show The 26 Letter Dance

Duration: 1 hour
Target audience: kindergarten and primary school
Requirements: a classroom set up so the children have room to dance, or any space free of desks.

Aims
The objective of this creative dance workshop is to help children explore different motor skills, through activities taken from the game 26 cartes à danser. While leaving the children in control of their own movements, we promote learning through communication and cooperation. 

Process

  • Children are encouraged to explore the letters of the alphabet in 3 dimensions by forming the shapes with their bodies, alone or in teams.
  • In the game, each letter is associated with a word, which will be danced by the class. The group will dance up to 4 or 5 letters per session. These letter-words are chosen according to the age of the group (for example: I for Igloo, F for Folklore, etc.) 
Through my eyes workshop

Through My Eyes workshop (inspired by the show)

Duration: 45 min to 1 hour (depending on school times)
Target audience: kindergarten and primary school
Requirements: a classroom set up so the children have room to dance, or any space free of desks.

Aims:
In conjunction with the show Through My Eyes, the objective of this creative dance workshop is to help children explore different motor skills. We deal with a variety of themes such as speed, reproduction of shapes, circles, or even sounds. While leaving the children in control of their own movements, we promote learning through communication and cooperation. 

In class, the children will explore:

  • the circle, by imitating others and their movements;
  • the movement of each part of the body to different music and at different speeds;
  • listening and the relationship between each movement and the sounds they hear, whether ambient or instrumental;
  • shape, by reproducing those of their fellow pupils with mirrored dance.

*The workshop leader reserves the right to adapt the activity based on considerations of age, available space and the amount of time reserved for the workshop. 

Bouge de là is listed in the Répertoire culture-éducation (Culture-Education Directory). La culture à l’école program offers support to schools interested in hosting our creative dance workshops.

In the current context, workshops can be provided virtually via Zoom or Teams, or socially-distanced face-to-face. Contact us for further assistance.

TEACHER’S GUIDE

TEACHER’S GUIDE

Through my Eyes

Through my Eyes

2018

26 lettres à danser

The 26 Letter dance

2016

26 lettres à danser

Bedtime!

2013

L'atelier

The Studio

2010

Vieux Thomas et la petite fée

Old Thomas and The Little Fairy

2008

Chut!!

SSHH!!

2006

(Teacher’s Guide in French only)

Comme les 5 doigts de la main

LIKE THE 5 FINGERS ON YOUR HAND

2003

La Tribu Hurluberlu

La Tribu Hurluberlu

2000

(Teacher’s Guide in French only)