Arts For the Schools | Art experiences an individual thing for Truckee Tahoe community, students
October 7, 2014
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — What can one say about the first Arts For the Schools performance?
If you missed the Wonderheads, you missed an outstanding performance art experience. An announcement was made at the performance's beginning that the performers do not speak.
Hmmmm, you say, how can a stage performance have performers who do not speak?
The Wonderheads performers wear masks — big masks — that cover the whole head, front and back, with no moving parts. Hmmmmm, you say? How can a stage performance have performers in masks, with facial expressions that do not change, who do not speak?
EXPERIENCE OF ART
Here's how. Two performers were on stage, then three, and a soundtrack helped the story along, but one's imagination, emotions, feelings and interpretations made this an experience of art.
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Through body language, hand gestures, movements and music, the audience was drawn into the story. At times the audience sighed, oohed and aahed, sang and tapped their feet, clapped and shouted encouragements or warnings. It was as if everyone had a part in the performance. There was a happy ending, along with the feeling of a job well done.
This art elicits emotions, it begs one to become part of it. But then most art is like that, right?
There is an emotional response to most art, you love it, you hate it, you have an opinion. Whether viewing a sculpture, a painting or a hearing a piece of music, you have an opinion about art. Sometimes very vehement opinions. Art appreciation is such a personal thing. Performances like the Wonderheads bring a new world to local students through the Performing Arts Program, which serves 16 regional schools, preschools, private schools, charters and home schoolers.
The Wonderheads gave them a chance to think, to feel, to participate in something different and thought-provoking. It gave them a chance to have an opinion. Many studies have shown including arts, both visual and performing arts, in a child's education helps children learn. Involvement in the arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance. It's simple, art education benefits our youth.
The Arts For the Schools OnStage season premiere of the Wonderheads was a great performance experience for all ages. The next performance will be on Saturday, Oct. 25, featuring the Blue 13 Dance Company. Support Arts For the Schools by attending the next OnStage performance, which benefits local youth and helps continue to bring more art to our community.
Arts For the Schools is a bi-state nonprofit that provides art education to 16 schools in Placer and Nevada counties and Washoe County in Nevada. AFtS's vision is for art education to be a part of every child's life and for the value of art education to be embraced as an important learning experience within schools and community.
Paula Rachuy is a Board member for Arts For the Schools.
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