Monday, May 30, 2011

Art School Antics

As our two girls get older, it seems our after-school and weekend time gets more and more frantic.  This is not a complaint, just an observation, but I don't recall needing a daytimer when I was twelve, even though I was a Cub leader and on swim team.

Insightful art by a Vic student.

This weekend was the Victoria School Festival for the Arts, and it was also the school's 100th birthday.  Unlike a lot of other school events I have attended over the years, I really look forward to this festival, and I am always amazed at the quality of work put out by the students.

There are displays of sculpture (ranging from cardboard castles and papier mache dragons), painting and textile work, and performances in dance, theatre, concert band and even a junior high improv group.  There is also a television production class, but we didn't get a chance to see their presentation this time around.

Normally we go to events to see Glory dance, or Fenya sing; this time we got to see Glory sing with her school choir, and Fenya dance with her class.  Glory's choir sang a Humpty Dumpty song that was actually pretty funny and not just schmaltzy:

...while Fenya's dance class did a Footloose routine to a very appreciative audience.  (Who figured that show to have such legs?  I guess that's why they are remaking it...)

The dance presentation turned out to be my favourite, which was a bit of a surprise to me, as I am not much of a dance aficionado.  Watching some of the routines, I had to repeatedly remind myself that these are not professionals, or even college students, but just kids.  The huge production for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" was especially good, and I am crushed that I accidentally deleted it from the camcorder.

Glory's Grade 3 dance did a routine to Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" as a part of the elementary school's "Dancin' Through the Decades"; given that Grade 3s had the 70s, I was pretty happy with that choice.

I also got to see Fenya's concert band perform for the first time, and given that they started out this year (in their teacher's words) 'not knowing which end of their instruments was which', I think they sounded pretty good.  This is a piece called "Prehistoric Suite" by Paul Jennings, which I recorded because a) it includes some neat chaotic bits at the beginning of the final movement and b) it's about DINOSAURS.

All this activity made for a very long day on Friday, especially for Fenya , who had a rehearsal with Cantilon immediately afterwards. Still, both girls were in high spirits at the end of the day.

I don't think it has sunk in to them yet just what a special place Victoria School is, and how lucky they are to be exposed to so many different kinds of art, not only from their instructors, but also from their classmates. Fenya is already having to pare down her options, and by high school will have to choose an area of specialization from drama, visual arts or music, but since lately she is talking about becoming a firefighter or mechanic, I'm just grateful that both girls will have been shown the tools of expression, regardless of how they earn their living.

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