The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) launches its pilot high school workshop, “The Dance Project,” on Dec. 4. Administered through TDF's education department, “Dance Project” aims to make the art of movement “serve as a bridge between 12 deaf students from The Lexington School for the Deaf and the hearing students from Bryant High School” in Queens.
Five dance workshops comprise the project, which is taught by teaching artists from the Alvin Ailey II Company. In the program, students attend performances of the Alvin Ailey program featuring Blues Suite, Cry, Double Exposure and Revelations.
Coinciding with school curriculums, the workshops contain experiential exercises designed to give students “a new understanding of dance as a common language that bridges cultures and deaf and hearing barriers.”
Workshops continue at both high schools for the next two weeks, during which time the students will be asked to prepare a “final performance work” of their own which they will present on Dec. 14.
In a prepared statement, TDF education director Marianna Houston said, "The Dance Project will serve not only to introduce the skills and tools of dance, but to give these deaf and hearing students the challenge of solving a dance problem together using the language of movement." TDF programs are outlined in detail at www.tdf.org
—By Murdoch McBride