“Fiesta Flamenco” in Teacher EducationPosted by Elisabeth Jakab on March 12, 2012
Workshops: Gateways to Understanding
“The arts provide a different way of seeing the world, and help the learner better understand and interact with diverse peoples and areas of experience," says Harriet Lenk, Coordinator of the Lincoln Center Institute/Bank Street Collaborative. “Education in the performing arts should be an integral part of every non-arts teacher’s education at Bank Street.”
On February 22, Bank Street hosted LCI in presenting "Fiesta Flamenco”—a traditional flamenco performance featuring a guitarist, a singer, and two dancers—for students in Bank Street’s advisement groups and their advisors.
Prior to the performance, four teaching artists from the Lincoln Center Institute, together with four Bank Street faculty (Marcia Singer, Sue Carbary, Cathleen Wiggins, and Marian Howard), both co-planned and conducted workshops for the advisement students and their advisors. They learned about the history of flamenco, and practiced traditional flamenco hand clapping and foot stamping rhythms as well as several of the dance movements.
“The workshops are a critical piece of the event,” says Lenk. “By experiencing what is involved, the students are prepared to have a deeper understanding of the actual presentation.”
History of the Collaboration
Bank Street’s teacher development collaboration with the Lincoln Center Institute, which was founded to promote the performing arts in education, dates back to 1999. Currently, Lenk collaborates with several members of the graduate faculty to identify two suitable performances from the LCI repertoire for the academic year. They focus on diversity in their selections, opting for as wide an ethnic and cultural range as possible.
For example, a previous LCI presentation in December included student workshops and a professional performance—a French puppet play about a man who planted trees and the aftermath of WWI. Participants included faculty and students from six different Graduate School courses.
This is one of the few Bank Street events that brings in students from across the programs, which results in people interacting and exchanging ideas with others they wouldn’t normally meet—that cross-fertilization fosters learning, too.