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Workshops and City Final Show

The Brave Kids Project can take place in two stages.

The culmination of the the first stage, which last around 2 weeks parallel in few cities, is a collaborative City Final Show created by children based on the artistic material representing their cultures and artistic talents. The second stage, which last around 1.5-2 weeks ends with preparation of a whole new performance: the Brave Kids Grand Finale based on City Final Shows. Creating a common performance is the practical or artistic aim of Brave Kids Project.

What is stage one?

The first stage of the Brave Kids Project ends in creating a collaborative City Final Shows by children. Children within their artistic groups are divided and assigned to different cities in Poland and sometimes other Partner’s cities. There are usually four groups in each city, with about 20-30 children in each group. Kids participate in artistic workshops facilitated by professional artistic instructors and based on a “kids teach kids” philosophy.

City Final Shows: show what you brought

Each group is asked to prepare a short, ten-minute, initial performance that represents their culture, country, community or kind of art that they practice. The songs, dances, and other elements they present become the raw material for children to teach and learn from one another. Through this dynamic process of exchange, kids create a collaborative City Final Show that is presented as the culmination of the first stage in each city.

It means that the main, base material for building the performance (first and second stage) are elements of the initial shows that groups have brought with them. These elements may be extremely different in type (dance, theater, circus, music) and quality. You will have to choose which elements are most interesting, which are easiest for everyone to learn, which you want to show as solo and which you will have to develop.

In other words we assume that the main content of the show are the skills, talents, elements of culture, and ideas that kids represent. Therefore we are trying more to find, and highlight these elements that kids bring more than to impose our ideas.

Workshops

In the Brave Kids Project we work with participants in workshops model. There is a lot of various exercises and games useful in working with kids and groups. Each of our instructors know them well and each of them worked out his individual set of best practices. There is no need to introduce all of them. These are easy to find in printed and online resources. But we would like to pay attention on different kinds of aspects especially important while working in multicultural groups.

Regarding Brave Kids Project Workshop Scheme I. Stage (few smaller groups in different cities) these are as follows:

  • meeting each other — done through different games, excerises and presentations,
  • making common contract orientated on our common aim, familiarization and integration (building a team) — again games, but also focusing on our common aim, explaining what’s ahead and motivating to work,
  • sharing the work tools — this part prepares kids for further teaching — on very simple examples, we present how to show, how to communicate without language and create particular elements of the performance,
  • exchange of skills (kids teach kids) — teaching each other the cultural artistic material,
  • designing scenes — by this we understand connecting different artistic elements and creating choreography, as well as putting it on paper in shape of a schematic drawing,
  • creating a performance — deciding (as much as possible with Kids) about the order of scenes,
  • practising and development,
  • performance.

First steps

First steps of Brave Kids working process is simply a meeting. We always try to create a friendly atmosphere while introducing ourselves, other participants and the purpose of the project:

  • we introduce ourselves,
  • we create a situation for everybody to introduce themselves (concerns only 1st stage of work),
  • we explain what we are doing here and what’s the purpose of the project (with help of the group leaders to translate),
  • we ask the participants what they think and how they feel (with help of group leaders to translate),
  • we encourage participants to ask the questions and try to answer it (with help of group leaders to translate),
  • introduce the common aim (making common performance) — we make sure everybody understand it and if it is really common! (with help of group leaders to translate).

The contact

Before you start to work with the group it's good to introduce and agree on some basic rules of that work. We do this by creating a “contract” at the beginning of workshops that describes how we want to work together. (Creating contract concerns both stages of work, but is usually created only during the 1st one). It is possible to work without contract — in the end it depends from you — if you decide it’s needed or not for your particular group.

Examples

Rules that usually appear concerning space and safety:

  • no shoes we walk barefoot,
  • no eating in the space — you can eat during break outside,
  • no drinking sweet drinks in the space — only water,
  • concerning work and mutual respect,
  • help each other — don't disturb,
  • support each other — don't mock others,
  • do not touch if it’s not yours without asking,
  • no phones,
  • no violence.

Tips

For leading the workshop

As an artistic instructor:

Ask participants how they imagine common work and what rules they would like to introduce. How do they want to feel while they are working? How do they want to interact with and be treated by other participants?

While watching initial performances take notes thinking of:

  • which scenes you like the most (which scenes have the highest artistic value),
  • which scenes are easy and which are difficult,
  • what are the potential types of scenes (big scene, small scene, solo, supporting action, etc.),
  • which group has underdeveloped material.

Later on, as much as possible discuss your opinions with participants.

For making the structure of a performance:

  • think about how to start the performance and how to finish it. The start will establish the idea of your performance, the ending will become a punchline (puenta?) of your show,

  • balance the structure — try to mix  high energy scenes with  more calm scenes, and  big scenes with smaller scenes,

  • balance montage — try to avoid “holes” in the action, let the scenes happen immediately one after another — you can use transitions for this purpose.

Flip chart is a very useful tool when the performance is build. You can use it to create the storyboard of the show by drawing the different scenes and transitions and show them to the kids. Drawing different elements of the performance is crucial tool both for arranging the scenes and communication — schematic pictures are easy to understand for all participants, no matter the language we speak.

How to make the contract:

Common aimContract should be created in reference to the common aim — COMMON PERFORMANCE.

Positive approachavoid referring to punishment or sanctions, because these two threats are not underlying the rules. Words like can and may and desirable replace the Musts and Oughts. They provide a basis for reminding people about their agreements.

'Short theatrical scenes' — you can introduce a subject to create short theatrical scenes. Divide participants in smaller groups with kids from different countries. Give them few minutes to prepare short scene about the subject. Then present it to each other.

Write and draw — we write down on the flip chart all the 'rules' we've agreed on with the participants. If everybody can read and write you can ask each group to write it down in their language. We sometimes make drawings representing each rule

Signature — if we are sure everybody understood and agreed on all rules we ask participants to sign it (we sign it, too). We sign it with writing signature but sometimes also ask participants to print their hands with colourful paint, putting a finger print is also an idea.

Exceptions — if you set the rule 'no smart phones' you must explain why there is an exception: us — instructors will keep them — as we should have it in case of emergency, to play music and to put the stopper on, etc.


What if someone breaks “rules?” from a contract, f. ex is being violent

We have different approaches: sometimes we pretend we don’t see it — if that looks like fun and culturally rooted way of relieving extra energy. Sometimes we need help from group leaders: behaviour is constant problem, we need to understand what is going on if the kid just need extra attention or has some personality problems or there is a conflict etc. we need translation for serious talks:

  • find out why — don't blame kids —  (when you see someone breaking a rule from your contract, try first of all find out where is that behaviour coming from. There’s usually a good reason for a certain behaviour),

  • refer to the contract,

  • refer to the aim.

Ask yourself...

  1. What’s your aim when leading workshops for kids and youth?
  2. Why do you need a contract with participants? Can you hold to its rules?
  3. Have you ever tried mixing different cultural and artistic material into one element? In what way could it be difficult for you? In what way it’s interesting?

Contact us

Address

ul. Purkyniego 1
50-155 Wrocław, Poland
NIP 899-23-31-660
KRS 000108979

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