Monday, 9 February 2015

Meet Our Team of March Break Camp Instructors

Our Arts Explosion March Break and Summer Camps are a fun-filled, pressure-free exploration of the arts. Renowned local and national artists encourage children from 4-13 in all art forms. This March Break Camp is perfect for the child who loves to create: they'll sing in a glee club, dance up a storm, make art, and get theatrical! Book with the River Run Centre now to have them join this fabulous roster of local artists from March 16-20, 2015! New this year, we are also offering full-day camp for the Orange Group (born 2009-2010) and an extra hour of post-camp care, perfect for busy parents! Read our last camp blog for more details.

On today's blog, our teachers tell us why they are excited to work with your kids and what you can expect from their workshops!
Music instructors Carey West (L) and Shannon Kingsbury (R) performing at our 2014 In the Park series. Photo by Pulse Photography.
Local songstress Shannon Kingsbury returns to our camp for music and stories with the Orange group. "Having had the pleasure of teaching with Arts Explosion for many years, I greatly look forward to being part of the excitement and energy that is co-created by the enthusiastic campers, youth volunteers and arts educators. It is especially a delight to witness first time campers sprout their creative wings. 

Young campers will love using their voices, bodies, small instruments, and props in creative music play. Each music session will conclude with a traditional song story, providing a comforting interval of calm in the campers' active day."

Having worked as a music specialist in elementary schools over the last decade and performing with bands from all genres, Carey West was a great addition to our camps in the summer! She will be instructing the Red and Blue Groups (campers born 2002-2008). "
I’m excited to facilitate music and movement at this year’s March Break Camp because I had such a fantastic time working with Arts Explosion last summer! The kids were all so comfortable moving and singing. I saw a lot of musicality in their dance as well as in their voices. They were all so expressive! This camp hits the sweet spot between hard work and straight up fun. The result is a week of good times and great art.

In the music component we start with language, and add movement. These two elements serve as an anchor to help kids layer sounds and create songs. Campers can expect to use their whole body as an instrument, and play their unique part in order to create a larger whole."
Lynette Segal joins us for Creative Movement with the Orange and Red Groups. Photo by Eden Segal-Grossman.
Renowned local dancer and RMT Lynette Segal will be exploring Creative Movement with the Orange and Red Groups. "Another exciting March Break Camp! I'm thrilled to continue working with the wee ones again and with the 6-8 year olds. What a delight it is to learn about each camper, watching them express precisely their unique personalities. By exploring how their bodies move, the forms they can make and feelings evoked in-so-doing, we set compassion, coordination and confidence in motion."
It is a delight to watch Courtney Riddell in action with our campers of all ages!
Courtney Riddell, a First Light Theatre teacher and one-woman show extraordinaire, joins us again this year to work with all three age groups. "I'm super excited to teach this March Break Camp to see the campers come out of their shells and fall in love with the crazy world of theatre. For this camp I want to give some focus on how to create characters. We will explore this through some fun theatre games."
Local dancer Katie Ewald performed at the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Jacklyn Barber.
We are excited to welcome Festival performer and Pilates instructor Katie Ewald to our camp roster as the Contemporary Dance instructor for the Blue Group! "I am excited to meet the campers and to get to know each other through dancing. I have been very fortunate to study and work with some of the leading contemporary dancers and choreographers of our time. I am happy I can share that knowledge with the Guelph community. We will explore the space and the ways we can move through it!"
Visual artist Adrienne Spier poses with her exhibit of repurposed school desks.
Adrienne Spier is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who has exhibited her work across Canada and internationally. She has an MFA from Concordia University, completed the Independent Studio Program at the Toronto School of Art, and has a BA in Fine Art from University of Guelph. She is a qualified teacher, and has been teaching art for over twenty years to children and adults at a variety of schools, camps, and after school programs. She looks forward to exploring a variety of visual materials with campers this March Break.
Don't miss out on this amazing experience for your children ages 4-13! Now, in addition to the 5% sibling discount for our camps, we are offering 20% off your total order with the River Run centre when you purchase two full weeks of our camps, whether that is March Break and a week in the summer, both weeks in the summer, or all three! In-person and phone orders only. Take advantage of this steal of a deal now!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Get Up and Dance at Hillside Inside!

The countdown to Hillside Inside is definitely on! With headliners like STARS and Hey Rosetta!, this mid-winter festival is not to be missed. We are so happy that this action-packed weekend can also include some dance!

On the blog today, we hear from Guelph Dance Co-Artistic Director Catrina von Radecki and Hillside Festival Executive Director Marie Zimmerman on the groovy ways that dance will be woven throughout the weekend-long festival.

We've been co-presenting dance at Hillside Inside since 2011 when the Fab 5 had the idea that we would do a collective "Art Attack" at the River Run Centre in the lobby. The aim was to take people completely off-guard, and it worked beautifully: 700 or so people entered the lobby at intermission and were suddenly surrounded by music, dance and spoken word. It was the buzz around town for weeks afterward!  

Now, five years later, we are thinking that since people are used to us taking this surprise approach that we should now shift toward more formal introductions of the performances. So, this year, we have advertised both intermission performances instead of just springing them on people. We are excited about the intermission pieces because they mark our fifth year of getting contemporary dance in front of Hillsiders, who are well known for their love of movement and their veneration of the body.  Most Hillsiders are familiar with African, Middle Eastern, Celtic, and Afro-Cuban dance styles because we have a Drum & Dance program at the summer festival. But contemporary dance is less familiar, and yet it is so overwhelmingly gorgeous.

The piece for intermission at the 
Oliver Mtukudzi and Alex Cuba show is choreographed by Megan O'Donnell, a Guelph dancer. I have seen her work in the Guelph Shebang and I was really impressed by how grounded her poetry is. 

Catrina: Her piece entitled A Time to Come Home will be performed by an amazing line-up of local dancers: Suzette Sherman, Georgia Simms, Kristine Muth, Jordana Deveau, Lisa Bush, Susan Oxley, and Jenna Oxley. The dancers will sweep through the Canada Company Hall, bringing the audience into the woods with them is time to come home... and to go back into the theatre for the rest of the show. 

: When I saw Frog In Hand perform Cafe Noisette at Guelph Dance's CSA Nooner at the University of Guelph, I knew the piece would work well for the STARS and Hey Rosetta! show. It's got the kind of high-energy cheekiness and rebellion that STARS has played with in the past - flirting with gangsterism as it clashes with innocence.  The piece will contrast just enough with the music on the bill that it will seem like a breath of fresh air.  I hope it sparks lots of questions about the Dance Festival. It would be great if people could glean from this performance that contemporary dance is not the brooding, highfalutin' stuff that mainstream culture makes it out to be. It's relevant; it's athletic; it's in-your-face; and it's exciting.

For the first time ever, the Guelph Dance Festival is ​offering a dance workshop at Hillside Inside. We are glad that they can keep it alive, as it is an audience favourite. The Dance Festival has stepped in with Frog In Hand who will do a swing workshop on Sunday Feb 8th at 2pm at DanceTheatre David Earle Studios on Quebec Street. We are thrilled. Imagine: swing in the winter! We can't wait for this one!

It is not often you get to let it all out on the dance floor, so don't miss this chance! We know Hillsiders love to have fun, and performers/teachers Mayumi Lashbrook and Mateo Galindo Torres will bring it!

The Guelph Dance Festival is able to program dance at other performing arts festivals thanks to the Guelph Fab 5, a partnership between the Guelph Dance Festival, Hillside Festival, Guelph Film Festival (FOMM), Guelph Jazz Festival, and Eden Mills Writers' Festival, and thanks to support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  

It is our belief that our audiences share our passion for the arts and that by presenting dance at Hillside, we will expose new audiences to our incredible art form and we will be able to support more local and national artists. We also hope you will be enthralled by what you see and will come join us at the Guelph Dance Festival this June 4-7th, 2015. Not only will you see Frog In Hand perform in our In the Park series, you will also see artists from across Canada and many artists from right here in Guelph, perform in our parks, streets, studios, and theatres!