Bronxville News

Third Graders Experience Cultural Arts Program With Symphony Space
Bronxville, NY

Bronxville Elementary School third graders connected with teaching artists from Symphony Space for a multidisciplinary cultural arts program from June 8-15. Through various workshops, demonstrations and interactive performances, they learned about Latin American storytelling, Mexican folk dances, Japanese music and folktales, classical Indian dances and African art and dance. 

“I learned different things about cultures around the world, and it made me want to learn more,” third grader Zoe said. 

During the “Latin America Storytelling” workshop with nationally acclaimed storyteller Bobby Gonzalez, the students gained an appreciation of Latin American life and engaged in discussions about the stories Gonzalez told. During the “Folk Dances of Mexico” workshop with dancer and educator Yloy Ybarra, the third graders learned steps in traditional Mexican dances and gained insight into the regional cultures of Mexico, the significance and symbolism of traditional costuming, choreography, dances’ narratives and relationship of the movement to the music.

As part of the “Japanese Music and Folktales” workshop with artistic director Marco Lienhard, the students gained drumming skills and learned about various traditional Japanese instruments and the history of the ancient festivals that inspired the music. During the “Bharatanatyam – Classical Dance, Music and Storytelling of India” workshop with actress, dancer and vocalist Devika Bhise, the students learned how movement can illuminate the stories, characters and rhythms of Bharatanatyam. They also experienced how to break down the complexity of counts within music and listened to stories about different figures from Hindu mythology that are brought to life through this dance form.

During the “African Dance and Music” workshop with dance teacher and choreographer Jerbean Gilkes, the students explored dance as a reflection of the African culture and worked collaboratively with each other to learn movement inspired by traditional African dance techniques. During the “African Art” workshop with artist, curator and educator Misha McGlown, the students explored how African art relates to the environment and discovered the significance of symbols and patterns in African art and their relationship with nature while making a mask of their own.