Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Circus for Arts in the Schools


We just saw a benefit circus, a community-driven effort to support arts education in Alameda schools, and it was amazing! Performer and Paden Parent Jeff Raz did the hard work of making it happen. Our Friend Lisa Bush-Finn danced beautifully in it, and acts from all over were part of it. We were treated to a performance of the gold-medal winning act Vertical Tango, too!

Arts education is getting a really short shrift in our district right now. Caitlan was fortunate enough to be able to learn to play the cello when she went to middle school, but program after program has been sliced. I can testify from experience that the students who had an arts class in their schedule tended to be much better students than those without.

We're concerned, and so some of us volunteer as art docents, and some of us put on performances like this one. Jeff is a wonderful catalyst and a great performer. I've watched him teach a roomful of people to balance peacock feathers on their noses.

The Vertical Tango is stunning, and aptly titled. With faces carrying less strain than people dancing a horizontal tango, they spiralled up and down the pole, relying on each other, sliding and twirling and inspiring the "awe"dience.

Performers from Prescott Elementary School danced on stilts and performed "Hambone" beats for us. This pic is from their website.

The entire thing was just magical, from the beat-box clowns to the dancers to our very own Paden principal and musician Judy Goodwin, to the skateboarding dog stealing its master's hat (and act)-- to the mother/daughter dance duo-- ah, it was just wonderful. Glad I went.

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