Monday, November 30, 2009

Reawakening Wild Moves in Ghana with ASANTI in Australia

Saturday 6 February, 4.00 - 9.00pm
Rhythm of Africa, Werribee Open Range Zoo

Do you remember when you first saw Asanti in Ghana? What was your first impression? Can you believe that they are now resident in Australia and manifesting their visions on the Ghana Australia Connection!

Well it is time to reawaken your Wild Moves and meet for a Ghana reunion for our annual dance and drum experience with Asanti. If you would like to perform and therefore have free entry into Rhythm of Africa please come along to the rehearsals below or if you are still knowledgeable with the dance or drumming patterns and have the confidence to just get up and perform it with Wild Moves, well then just jump in. However, you need to register so that I can provide a costume for you and if need be a drum.
This is a great time to catch up with friends that you haven't seen for a while, and to listen to new stories of recent travellers to Ghana and also to meet the "freshers" who are about to embark on a journey of a life time. Give them some good advice. Bring a picnic. Bring your photos.
Appiah and Jacqui will be promoting their respective study tours to Ghana in January and June.
You will be joining with Wild Moves on the Surf Coast drummers and dancers led by Immanuel and myself.

Rehearsals: Every Tuesday in January 6-9pm, Bellbrae Hall, 90 School Rd Bellbrae
If you are a past Wild Mover that has been to Ghana, these workshops will be free and taught by myself at Centre for Wild Moves in Bellbrae, Surf Coast
Performance: Saturday 6 February. Arrive at 4pm.
Our performance is at 4.30 - 5.15pm sharp as the public is expecting Asanti to start at 5.30pm. We will be performing in front of the stage
Costume: Wear your Wild Moves Tshirt, runners/sandals. Call or email Jacqui to register your interest or if you need to book a drum. If you have not registered you cannot have free entry. Please understand that this is an important fundraiser for the Zoo, so please bring along as many friends as possible to enjoy the show and the magnificent surroundings. Mobile: 0409 025 062  

Return of the Sacred Kingfisher festival 28 November 2009

Looking for Signs 
On our journey through life, signs are present to guide us if we take the time to look, listen and feel for them. Working with Indigenous signs, the deaf community, musicians and choreographers, this years Kingfisher Festival will create an immersive installation inviting the audience to listen with all of their body, to go on a journey of discovery and to come together in celebration of the work that has happened on this old rubbish tip
Call out to all past, present and new Wild Movers, who would like to perform in a community arts celebration of people and place. Now seeking movers and music makers who would like to collaboratively develop a sound and movement installation symbolising Murup’s Ascension as well as the annual Kingfisher Boogie. No experience necessary just a commitment to rehearsal times, costume & prop construction, every body and every ability welcome. Byo favorite instrument, percussion & flutes desirable but not essential.

Rehearsals: Every Saturday in November 1-4pm
Dress rehearsal: Wednesday 25 November, 5-7pm
Performance: Saturday 28 November, 8.45pm CERES environment Park, 8 Lee St Brunswick
Costume: Wear white or black with clay. CERES will provide the props and costumes. Wear runners. Call or email Jacqui to register your interest Mobile: 0409 025 062

Now in its 16th year, Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival recognises and incorporates the significance of the CERES land site and the kingfisher bird to the culture of the land’s original occupants, Wurundjeri- of what are now known as the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Merri creek (adapted from “Merri Merri” or “very rocky creek”), which runs through CERES environmental park, has much indigenous and non-indigenous historical significance and is also an important site for the vitality of the local flora and fauna (MCMC, 2009).  

Prior to becoming the CERES Community Environmental Park some 25 years ago, the site was an old rubbish tip. Until 16years ago, and after work to restore the area, the Sacred Kingfisher bird had not habituated its traditional nesting site for some time, and CERES Community Environmental Park has held a festival to celebrate the return of the Sacred Kingfisher ever since (CERES, 2009). The Sacred Kingfisher’s return now signifies the success of efforts from thousands of volunteers and employees to regenerate the land, as well as a spiritual reconciliation with the land and its habitatReturn of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival attracts a diverse crowd from our multicultural society to recognise the impact of the relationship between the people, the land, and environment. The festival also provides an opportunity for the local community to learn about the indigenous culture and its rich history.  

Each year, a different theme inspires the festival. This year, the theme was: “Looking For Signs”, and the Wild Moves community dance work titled Murup’s Ascension symobolised “…the flight that the Sacred Kingfisher takes while carrying the responsibility of transporting Murup, who is the collective spirit of all the people who have passed into the spirit world since the (Sacred) Kingfisher’s last return to the Merri Creek environs in November 2008” (Wild Moves International, 2009)Jacqui spoke to me at length about the history of the festival and the “Looking for Signs” theme, as it ties to indigenous culture and the Deaf community and how the recognition for signs of change is promoted to educate patrons of the event. As I have musical performance experience, I was extremely relieved to be given the chance to participate as a musical performer. Although, I was none-the-less petrified at the eventuality of having to dress up in costume and be covered in clay to perform in public, not to mention the anxieties I felt about my ability as a musician. Obviously, I am not a confident public performer, but I later learned my nerves and apprehension were due to a lack of knowledge, education and experience in this situation (as per usual). Unfamiliar with dance and performance in a community-based event - with a message, prior to my initial discussion with Jacqui, I would have dismissed the significance of Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival and labeled it with a derogatory title: “a hippie festival”. The more I learned from Jacqui about the event and its involvement with indigenous culture (of which I am curious), I began to see the social, cultural and political significance of the event and wanted to learn more. 
The method of my research project was akin to what education-writer Burns (1997, p. 346) describes of Action –Research with the characteristics of being situational, collaborative, participatory, and self-evaluative. I was well-aware there was a connection between the unit, ‘Engaging Community Through the Performing Arts’, and my potential development as a teacher, and from the onset I appropriated my personal goals for the research, accordingly (as taken from my research proposal): “I hope to build on the skills and confidence needed to engage people with ideas and affect the possibilities of positive growth and change”. Subsequently, I believe my research was successful. While getting “clayed” and wearing a costume initially made me uncomfortable, I soon felt at ease. I was part of a group and viewed together, as evidenced by the photographs, I was impressed at the impact of what made up our costumes, which I initially considered as crude materials.  
As our performance for Murup’s Ascension symobolised the Sacred Kingfisher as part of the indigenous, Wurundjeri culture, I primarily used clap sticks for Murup’s Ascension as it is percussion often used in Aboriginal music. I was particularly nervous during this, the first of two performances. During the second performance, the traditional ritual celebration, the Kingfisher Boogie, I began to grow in confidence and decided to slightly lose myself in the performance. I realised that if I showed enthusiasm, then the crowd participation in the “boogie” may be greater. This kind of experience is valuable for student teachers and shows the possibilities of incorporating education with performance, enjoyment and a community spirit. Photos of the crowd during the Kingfisher Boogie shows the willingness and joy of the crowd to participate, and is a testament to the knowledge and experience of my instructor, Jacqui Dreessens, and the organisers of the event. .  

As Mead writes in ‘Dancing Communities’ (p. 12, 2000), a qualitative approach to evaluating a community dance program is a chance to “capture the spirit of dance” through photographs, written feedback (and more). The photos of the event and my writing tells the story of a successful festival and performance, a personal experience open to all, and one I will remember and draw upon for my personal future and career.  

Burns, R B., 1997, Introduction to Research Methods, 3rd Ed., Longman, South Melbourne  
CERES, “Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival”, 2009, retrieved 14/12/09,  
Mead, J 2000, Dancing Communities, Vichealth, Melbourne Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC), “About Merri Creek”, 2009, retrieved 14/12/09,  
Wild Moves International, Creative Dreaming for 2009, “Looking For Signs”, 2009, retrieved via email form Dreessens.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wild Moves on the Surf Coast, Cowrie market

Wild Moves on the Surf Coast
FREE Interactive performance workshop for the whole community. Every 3rd Sunday of the month, September to April
2.00 - 3.00pm Cowrie Market, Elephant walk, The Esplanade, Front Beach, Torquay

Bring your friends, family and anybody else who would like to join us in singing, drumming and dancing in community based African styles. Drums and seats provided. A time for past Wild Movers to also jump in and join us.

The following photos are from Cowrie Market at the High Tide Festival 5th December, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

High Tide Festival "Aqua"

Saturday 5th December, 7.30pm Cosy Corner Torquay

Call out to all those who would like to have a go at community music making for the creation of the soundscape to accompany Circus 3230 physical theatre performance of Aqua.
No experience necessary, just a commitment to rehearsal times and bring: enthusiasm, water bottle. Every body and every ability welcome.
Flutes, violins and all instruments encouraged. Percussion instruments available.

Rehearsals: Every Thursday in November 7-9pm, Bellbrae Hall, 90 School Rd Bellbrae
Dress rehearsal: Cosy Corner: Thursday 3rd December, 7-9pm

Performance: Saturday 5th December at Cosy Corner. Park in Pt Danger carpark at the end of The Esplanade, Torquay. Walk to the Front Beach not the surf beach.
Costume: Wear white with your festival Tshirt, please order your size with me. Wear runners. Call or email Jacqui to register your interest or if you need to book a drum. Mobile: 0409 025 062