On this day, our group traveled to Tarsh Dance Academy. There we learnt dance moves to three Hindi songs. It took us about 4-6 hours to learn the moves, but we still have to refine the moves before we present the dance at the assembly next week. We will practice to perfect it.
While doing that we also did have a theory period as we learnt how Bollywood dance originated and how it became popular. We also learnt a bit about the teachers. Fredrick was our choreographer today. He used to perform in Cirque du Soleil. That's so cool!
Yesterday, I went to the studio and I met artists from the Shimoga. We saw their paintings of Chittara art and then, they showed us how they draw straight lines without a ruler. I thought to myself, it probably takes a long time.
They also showed us that there's a meaning behind each symbol in each painting. We wrote those symbols down in our journals and wrote their meanings in Kannada. It was interesting.
They use a very short string or piece of grass to draw with. It was very difficult to draw, but they were used to it. Jeehye also tried to use grass, but it wasn't easy.
They made paint from natural materials. They used rice to make paint for example. They dried rice and made powder. If we add some water, we can use it as a paint. We used black paint also made with rice.
"Chittara art was fun and I enjoyed painting on canvas, even though some of they patterns were complicated. I also enjoyed learning the history behind the art." - Maya, grade 6
We left from school at 9:00am and the teachers Miss Archana and Miss Veena accompanied us. We travelled to Eartha Art and Heritage Academy. We went inside and met the teacher Miss Roopa. We started the day with a 'pooja' (prayer to Lord Nataraja, the God of dance). We do it to seek His blessings and give our respect and also to give us the physical and mental strength to perform the dance.
After we finished the prayer, we introduced ourselves and told about the different dance forms we know. Then we started practicing Kathak. First we did the 'namaskar' in the dance form to worship god before the dance routine or practice. We did some basic steps and learned how to do spins.
I found that a little difficult, but for some students it was kind of easy.
The teacher then told us to prepare a solo dance. I was so nervous but some of them just did some random steps. Some students enacted a story and it looked cool. After we finished with the solos, we split into two groups practicing Kathak and Bollywood. We then put it together in a dance routine which consisted of steps and movements depicting an elephant.
After that we took a break for a little while and then the teacher talked to us about the history of Kathak, the British influences, and the revival of the dance form, post independence. Before it was time to leave she showed us some steps with the feet and some hand movements. After thanking
Ms. Roopa for teaching us so patiently, we went back to school.
Overall Kathak, an Indian classical dance form, was actually not bad or boring. It was fun and interesting as we learned the basics. I think everyone enjoyed the day. I really feel our CIS contextual learning is that unique tool which gives us students various opportunities to learn varied new things in our student life. Thank you CIS!
The first activity we did was a partnered activity in the band room. In said activity, we had to find and practice a yoga or a Bollywood dance move. We would then teach that move to our partner and then show it to the group. To do this well, we had to be willing to try whatever our partner had chosen and be willing to make a complete fool of our selves - in CIS terms, we had to be confident and be risk takers.
After that we went on a bus trip to Haute Fitness gym most known for being a floor below Druid Garden, perhaps one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. At the Haute Fitness gym, we did a Bollywood fitness routine which was absolutely exhausting. After that we had an even more tiring yoga session which was relaxing, as well as being good exercise… somehow.
The fitness sessions were great, the staff were fun and had no problems making sure we got the most out of our one and a half hour classes. But even better than the exercise was the smoothies! I ordered an immune builder which contained pineapple, banana, tandem coconut water and ginger. Needless to say it was delicious.
As with any exercise, you get out as much as you put in, and the staff at the Haute Fitness gym were brilliant at persuading you to put in as much as you could. All in all it was an incredible experience that I and quite probably the rest of the class would gladly repeat.
CL day was very interesting and fun. We really needed this day to brush up on our play, and that's exactly what we did. We used our time wisely by practicing breathing and motion exercises. One of the key exercises was knowing your character better. Since I was Egeus (the father), I had to know how to act like him. It was a very useful exercise.
We also finally practiced without the scripts, which meant we had to memorize our lines. Mr. Terry stated something very key when he said "Try not to memorize your lines while acting because you don't become your natural character and you look very bad on stage." It was true because many people did that at first until Mr, Terry fixed the problem.
We took a long time to finish Act 1 because many people had long monologues and it took a lot of time to act out those scenes. We were rehearsing all the scenes up to Act 3.
The show is a week after the exams and everyone is going to enjoy the show because we put a lot of effort.
Regarding the elementary performance, only some people did it because we only showed a scene and that didn't involve many people. However, the feedback was good, and I'm sure the ES kids enjoyed our scenes. Overall, the session was good because we covered a lot, of mistakes and we also clarified a lot.
We also went swimming and that was fun. We played water polo the entire time and it was very intense and competitive. The score at the end was 5-4 and we beat the other team by one goal.
I'd say the best part was that the pool was warm and refreshing. I know a lot of people will agree with me on this: the pool session really relaxed us after practicing really hard the whole day!
Today was CL day 5; we were celebrating Indian heritage through Art, Drama and Dance. The group that I worked with today worked on a traditional Indian art form called Pookalam. The word Pookalam means flower Art. Pookalam is a type of art made during the Keralian festival of Onam. For each of the ten days in Onam there is a new Pookalam design.
In the morning we watched a video about the different types of designs we could make. Then we were separated into two groups, the girls and the boys. Each group planned the design we wanted to make and chose the colours we wanted to buy in the flower market.
After we were sure of what we wanted, we left for the flower market. First we went to a market which sold garlands, but we decided that those flowers would be too expensive and not within our budget of ₹1500 per group. Next we went to a wholesale flower market where we had a limited choice of colours, but more than enough flowers. In this market, the 2 groups handled their money separately as we bought what we thought was appropriate for our designs, while trying to stay within the budget.
After we came back to the school, we did a bit of reflection and then went outside the Odeum, where some of us started plucking petals while others drew the designs with chalk. When we were done picking petals, we started arranging the petals. Sometimes we had less of each type of flower, so we thinned out the layers. At first the arranging was hard, but later we found it easier and fun.
The end results of both the Pookalams turned out beautiful, and even though it may have been hard, in the end it was worth it.
After the Pookalam we learnt a traditional folk dance called Thiruvathira which is a dance done during Onam. We learnt a few steps and made a dance around our Pookalams. The dance was an interesting way to end our day.
Overall I think that everything we did today was really fun. We learn't the traditional way of celebrating Onam and making Pookalams. I think that Pookalam is an art form that should be preserved because not only is it fun to make, but it's also beautiful to look at. In the end, we got jasmine garlands and took pictures with our art work.
Sometimes it takes a different set of abilities to open our eyes.
Today, we had visually impaired dancers visit our school and perform some graceful numbers of Bharatnatyam. They even took risks, dancing with swords, indulging in acrobatics, forming a human pyramid and stunting. It was indeed surprising that none of them made mistakes, despite not being able to see. Their rhythm was constant, and all of them were in identical positions while performing group pieces.
Later, our interviewers Aryav and Alina asked them about their daily lives and how they manage to get through the day. They told us how they differentiate between different currency notes, use transportation safely, and even run individual businesses! Some of them even shared personal stories about being abandoned by their families.
Then, we put blindfolds on and tried to dance without actually seeing the steps. It was really DIFFICULT for all of us. Words weren't enough to picture the steps in our head, as all of us were doing ludicrous moves, stepping on each other's toes. The room was filled with screams and people falling down. It was a huge disaster. Us climbing Mount Everest seemed easier than dancing blindfolded!
At the end of it, we realized that nothing is impossible if you are determined, disciplined, fearless, and confident. It also taught us not to judge a person based on their physical disabilities. A winner is someone who takes everything in their stride to emerge victorious.