Literary/Performance Arts and Dance

Week 1:      Literary/Performance Arts       Dance

Week 2:     Literary/Performance Arts        Dance
 

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Week 1 Workshop Course Descriptions
Special Gatherings Distinctive Lectures Literary & Performance Arts Music Courses 
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Download Common Ground on the Hill Catalog as a PDF HERE.

Traditions Week 1: June 26 - July 1

 

  

~ Literary/Performance Arts: Week 1 ~

Costume Design on a Shoestring

Design and create the costumes for a school play, Halloween, or a Faire. Explore simple but good design choices for costumes as well as ways to create something viable from what you have sitting around in a closet or thrift store finds, plus a few items from a craft or dollar store. Students should bring basic clothing pieces and various supplies (a list will be sent directly to each registered student). This year we will create a ‘matching’ Renaissance Lord and Lady (European style). Pieces created can include gown, tunic, hats, and possibly other accessories. Limit 12 students, ages 16 and up. klapietra@gmail.com   Period 5 ~ Katherine La Pietra

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Nature Writing: Envisioning Our Place in the World

In describing his two-year sojourn in the woods near Walden Pond, Thoreau famously wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” We will spend the week discussing excerpts and ideas, not only from Thoreau, but from a variety of later writers who, like Thoreau, have struggled to understand their place in the natural world. The genre of nature writing, as it is often called, includes the likes of Edward Abbey, Rachel Carson, Annie Dillard, Barbara Kingsolver, and even Bill Bryson. We will read short bits from authors such as these, spend some time outside doing our own careful observations of the natural world near at hand, and write brief creative reflections.  Period 1 Bill Spence

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The Poetry of Loss: Our Fearful Trip is Done

In this class, we will explore how poets have dealt with loss and death for thousands of years and explore ways that our own poetry can help us deal with personal loss. Each session we will draw on the wide variety of traditions poetry has to offer: prayers from Native American tribes and religious texts, romantic verse of England and America, British poets from World War 1, modern African American poetry, and songwriters. We will read the poems of Lucille Clifton, Jeffrey McDaniel, Wilfred Owens, Ben Johnston, Langston Hughes, and more, as well as prayers and blessings for the sick and dying. After looking at the works of other writers, students will work on their own poems with the help of a variety of writing prompts and exercises. Each class will end with the opportunity to share your work; however, this will not be required. At the end of the week, each student should have a richer understanding of poetry, particularly as a vehicle to discuss loss, and have drafts of several new poems. ❖ Period 3 Blaine Martin

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Poetry of the Civil Rights Movement

Read and discuss poetry that influenced, was written during, and was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. First, we will look at the poetry of Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, and other pre-Civil Rights writers and discuss how these writers tackled issues of inequality in the period ranging from pre-abolition to the first half of the 20th century. We will then read and discuss the poems of Margaret Clock, Charlie Cobb, Lulu Westbrook Griffin, Abdul Aziz Khaalis, Molly Watt, Annette Jones White, and others who wrote during the Civil Rights Movement. Finally, we will explore the poetry of Eve Merriam, Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, and others inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the class, we will discuss the importance of art and writing as a means of non-violent protest and how the written word can matter in the face of systems of violence and oppression. While we read and discuss poems about the Civil Rights Movement, we will have the option to end each class with a writing exercise, using prompts to create original pieces based on our own social and political anxiety. The writing component of this class is completely optional. ❖ Period 4 Blaine Martin

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~ Dance ~

American Vernacular Dance Remix

America often displays complex, intertwined shared roots. This workshop will focus on similarities and differences in American social dances, and will play with Appalachian flatfooting, some contemporary urban dances, and vernacular jazz dances like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, and Charleston. Through looking at these vintage dances of African American origins, we’ll attempt to return these social dances to their social (as in party) context, looking at some historical sources and sociopolitical issues along the way!   Period 2 ~ Emily Oleson

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Flatfooting & Clogging

A close cousin of American tap dance, Appalachian percussive dance is a blend of Irish, West African, and Native American Indian dances. While tap is often associated with swing and jazz, clogging and flatfooting have close ties to Appalachian old time music. Exploring the highly improvisational nature of these traditions, we will draw from both clogging and flatfooting vocabulary and examine the places where these forms intersect and overlap. We will explore phrasing, musicality and economy of motion to acquire a solid foundation of rhythmic building blocks. A great class for students of any level, from beginners who want fast-paced steps and improv drills to advanced dancers who want to hone their technique, facility and repertoire. No previous experience necessary. Leather-soled shoes are recommended but not required.  Period 4 ~ Emily Oleson, Matthew Olwell

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Jazz Era Party Dances

This class will focus on playing with jazz era "moves" like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, and the Charleston- vintage vernacular movement of African American origins done in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. We'll attempt to return these social dances to their social (as in party) context, looking at some historical and sociopolitical context along the way!  Period 3 ~ Emily Oleson

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Latin Dance

If you're looking to have a great time while dancing, then this class is for you! Diana Cervantes will teach you basic dance steps from every Latin style of music, the most common being Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue and Bachata. Come prepared to listen to good music and dance the week away. The class will include people of all ages and abilities.  Period 1 ~ Cristina Huertas

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Old-Time Jam & Dance Lab

At its heart, Appalachian dance & music is best when it is shared in an informal context that encourages communication, improvisation, and fun. Come experience these traditions in their natural habitat. Bring an instrument and your dancing shoes. On the dance side, we'll do some freestyle flatfooting, and maybe a square dance or two! All are welcome.  Period 5 ~ Slim Harrison, Joe Herrmann, Lydia Sylvia Martin, Emily Oleson, Matthew Olwell

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YogaRhythmics

This class provides a joyous approach to strengthen the mind/body/spirit connection. Participants will be instructed to align with the seven energy areas of the body (chakras) associated with yoga. A structured sequence of natural movement patterns, serve to open, energize, and integrate these areas, also providing greater energy flow in the body. The rhythms of dance, creative movement and frequent use of multicultural music play into a dynamic and fun experience of self-expression. It is for all bodies and requires no prior yoga or dance experience. Leave the class with an increased sense of joy, freedom, fitness, flexibility, and energy for a busy life. Students should bring a yoga mat and water. ❖ Period 3 ~ Marya Michael

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Literary/Performance Arts and Dance

Week 1:      Literary/Performance Arts       Dance

Week 2:      Literary/Performance Arts       Dance

 

Download Common Ground on the Hill Catalog as a PDF HERE.

Traditions Week 2: July 3 - July 8

 

  

~ Literary/Performance Arts: Week 2 ~

Folktales, Fairytales & Social Justice

Fairytales can engage us in the imaginary and hopeful. Folktales give us glimpses into cultural thoughts and norms. This session will combine hopes and cultural thoughts to address social justice issues, like suicide, PTSD, poverty, immigration, race reconciliation, etc. Hear a story combining fairy tale and a current issue, and then join a group discussion and brainstorm how we can use the oldest stories as vehicles for awareness and change.  Period 1 ~ Sheila Arnold Jones

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Great Story Swap

The vast talent and experience of Common Ground on the Hill's facility and participants makes this story swap a gold mine that will enrich our lives, broaden our understanding and deepen our appreciation of the Common Ground community and experience. This is not a "slam" or competition, just a sharing of knowledge and experience through stories. Join us and tell a story, or just listen.  
Period 5 Sheila Arnold Jones, Pun Plamondon

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Set Design and Creation on a Shoestring Budget

So your principal found out that you build things (or maybe you once built a birdhouse and he or she thinks that means you can build anything). The principal has decided that you should be in charge of designing and building the set for the school musical, the winter festival, or the Fashion Show, and you don’t know where to start. This class will help you find methods to create/coordinate the setting needs of a production. We’ll work hands-on with set painting techniques and simple set design. Returning students will work on advanced painting techniques and more complex design processes. Limit 15 students ages 16 and older. klapietra@gmail.com Periods 3 & 4 ~
Katherine La Pietra

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Sharing Our Stories

We all have stories to tell. In this workshop, appropriate for both novice and experienced writers, we’ll tell ours in memoirs we compose and then share. After looking at different kinds of memoirs, we will combine in-class writing exercises with instruction on subjects such as creating dynamic scenes and structuring your story. You will begin transforming your experiences into stories that will touch others. Bring to the workshop whatever writing materials you’ll need. bmorrison@bmorrison.com. www.bmorrison.com   
Period 1 ~ Barbara Morrison

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Storytelling with Pun Plamondon

Our starting point will be the traditional stories of the Ottawa as told by venerable First Nation's storyteller Pun Plamondon. Through the course we will examine the role of stories in the life of our Nation, communities, families and lives. Participants will be encouraged to develop and share their own stories in a safe and supportive atmosphere.  
Period 2 Pun Plamondon

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Understanding and Writing a Political/Revolution Poem

“Warriors are poets and poems...Art is the weapon in the struggle of ideas”-Amiri Baraka
How do you write the wrongs of this present world? How do you connect passion to spark a revolution? Since the dawn of time poets have written pieces that express the best and the worst of their time; many times mirroring our present realities. This class will teach you how to effectively write and express your passions about the world in a safe place. Let’s find your voice!  
Period 2 ~ Jonathan Gilmore

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~ Dance: Week 2 ~

African Dance

This class will follow the African drumming class and will teach the rudiments and nuances of African and African-American traditional dance. The class will include people of all ages and abilities.  Period 2 ~ Jumoke Ajanku

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Bustin' Loose

Everyone at any level of experience and ability will enjoy moving in this class with easy and fun games and activities designed to tap into the individual's own playfulness and creativity. The class includes spontaneous movements in the moment without being judged or assessed. Eileen has collected and created many activities that anyone can do and presents them in a way that helps participants move beyond inhibitions. The class does not require learning specific steps, so students move freely and are energized and inspired by moving just for the fun of it, including those students who will be focused on their instrument, art, or craft for most of the day. For students who are teachers, Eileen is also a Certified Teaching Artist in MD, is an arts-integration specialist with years of experience teaching professional development classes to teachers, and most of the material taught in this class is easily adaptable to arts-integrated activities in the classroom. 
 Period 2 ~ Eileen Carson Schatz, Mark Schatz, Joe Herrmann

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Estonian Folk Dance, Music & Craft FULL

Discover Estonian folk dance, music and craft of their home country, from young Estonian artists. Experience an authentic multi-disciplinary cross-cultural exchange while learning first-hand about these rich traditions. Dancers will learn some of the most famous Estonian folk dances. Fiddlers will learn Estonian folk songs on fiddle through listening and repetition, without written materials. For all skill levels! For additional information about this workshop and this partnership, click HERE. Presented in partnership with The Westminster – Paide Partner City Program.  Period 3 ~ Members of the Paide Gymnasium Folk Dance Group

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Intro to House Dance: The House that Jack Built

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT is not a fairytale. It is the house music experience instructed and demonstrated through house dance and cultural enlightenment. Since its origin in the underground dance scene of the late 1970’s, “Jack” is a reference to jacking; the dance recognized as the foundation of house dance culture. Jacking sparked the creative minds that would eventually engineer the movement influenced by many dance styles, but a true descendant of none. This freedom has provided a home for those who wish to grow artistically and culturally in house music. This an introductory level class geared for those who are interested in learning the basic movements and historical underpinnings of the House dance experience. Students will build a working understanding of foundational house dance movements such as jacking, footwork, and lofting. Furthermore students will garner an understanding of participating, learning, and growing in the cypher as it pertains to the constant evolution and relevance of house dance culture. Participation in this class will equip students with the foundational techniques and vocabulary that lead to confidence and intention in performance, battle, and cypher settings.  Period 3 ~
Junious "House" Brickhouse

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Intro to Popping/Boogaloo

Popping/Boogaloo (sometimes also spelled as poppin’ or referred to as pop n’ lock, pop and lock, or even poplocking) is a dance that has its roots in Oakland, CA during the 1960’s. The dance was born out of a time of social and political awareness. Traditionally, it was done to funk and soul music as a solo and group dance, pulling from many resources like James Brown, vernacular jazz, tap, singing group routines, science-fiction films and cartoons. These various influences allowed dancers to be original in their presentation. A “boogaloo” is a dancer that understands a variety of sub-styles. INTRO TO POPPING / BOOGALOO is an introductory level class geared for those interested in learning the basic movements and historical underpinnings of popping and boogalooing. Students will be taught fundamental techniques such as posing, popping, twisto-flex, waving, isolations, robotics, gliding, tutting, and more.  Period 1 ~ Ryan "Future" Webb

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Old-Time Jam & Dance

At its heart, Appalachian dance & music is best when it is shared in an informal context that encourages communication, improvisation, and fun. Come experience these traditions in their natural habitat. Bring an instrument and your dancing shoes. On the dance side, we'll do some freestyle flatfooting, and maybe a square dance or two! All are welcome.  Period 5 ~ 
Rachel Eddy, Slim HarrisonDanny Knicely, Brad Kolodner, Ken Kolodner, Eileen Carson Schatz, Mark Schatz

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Southern Appalachian Dance
Eileen has over 40 years of experience teaching and performing flatfooting and clogging which is part of her family heritage and is still her all-time favorite percussive dance form. Come and learn how to keep time with your feet as Eileen shares steps from the many masters that have influenced her over the years. She is skilled at breaking down the steps and making them fun and accessible to all. The class will be a guaranteed great time! Yeeehoooo!   Period 4 ~
Eileen Carson Schatz, Mark Schatz, Joe Herrmann

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Swing Band & Swing Dance

This collaborative and multi-faceted workshop will surely draw your attention! Do some swing dancing with Miranda Ten Broeke and Bill & Livia Vanaver of the Vanaver Caravan! Also not to be missed is the chance for instrumentalists to join guitarist Joe Selly, bassist Ralph Gordon, and mandolinist Radim Zenkl for break-out sessions as well as ensemble playing (other instruments, and all levels are welcome). This is going to be one fun-packed, swinging, rocking good time!  Period 5 ~ Ralph Gordon, Joe Selly, Radim Zenkl, Miranda ten Broeke, Bill Vanaver

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World Dance

Over the past 42 years, Bill and Livia Vanaver, along with their dance and music company, The Vanaver Caravan, have been performing and collecting dances from all over the world. They will be teaching a selection of dances from around the world. This class is designed for all levels. Teachers will gather exciting and informative material for their own multicultural curriculum. Dance DVDs and information will be given at the end of the week. This class is accompanied by live music from some of Common Ground on the Hill's most exquisite musicians.  Period 3 ~
Bill & Livia Vanaver, Miranda ten Broeke

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