Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
21 February, 2019

The Dragon Project

Dragon 01
The Dragon Project In the second week of the Spring term, we welcomed four Brazilian artists and a UK sculptress to BCB Screen Shot 20190227 at 143717

In the second week of the Spring term, we welcomed four Brazilian artists and a UK sculptress to BCB

Victor Garofano and Bruno Oliveira work with the N. Eastern Brazilian art form of Cordel, and produce xilogravura (woodblock prints). Lana Sultani, a Brazilian theatre director and Rafael Mariposa a puppeteer, delivered sessions in object theatre. Sue Walpole, a sculptress who makes giant processional images and has worked for the last ten years for a UK company called Handmade Parade, made a huge Dragon puppet that will feature in this year’s secondary production of Shrek. These artists worked alongside BCB staff from the Portuguese and Science departments to deliver a fantastic arts and science project. 


The project was offered to Year 5’s and 6’s and the whole of Secondary KS3, as well as Art and Drama iGCSE students.

Primary children used the Cordel printing techniques to decorate the scales of the Dragon, taking Amazonian seeds as the inspiration for their print designs.

Secondary KS3 students came off timetable for three mornings and rotated around 6 x 2 hour sessions:

  1. Theatre
  2. Puppetry
  3. Cordel xilogravura
  4. Cordel literature
  5. Science
  6. Building the Dragon and making lanterns.

The theatre and puppetry sessions focused on object theatre with reference to Ariano Suassuna, who was a famous Brazilian theatre director/playwright, who created the Armorial movement that mixed popular culture such as the Cordel art form with more classical art forms. Students used object theatre and body percussion to create their own versions of a scene from one of Suassuna’s plays and presented these to each other in an assembly.

They also created some excellent poetry using the Cordel form and decorated their poems with woodblock print designs.

Students learned the principles used in the Dragon construction by making lanterns and had the opportunity to work with Sue on the making of the Dragon puppet.

In Science, students carried out experiments with flame production and learned about species adaptation in relation to the Dragon.

Art iGCSE students experimented with Batik on silk, construction of the Dragon head and Drama iGCSE students participated and performed in the puppetry presentations.

The inspiration for the project came from Drama teacher, Elizabeth Dever whose aim was to give BCB students an opportunity to learn more about the culture of Brazil, practice Brazilian art forms as well as those from Europe and to create a situation where students could be encouraged to think outside the box and develop their creativity, both in the Arts and Sciences.

The project was well received by pupils and staff who were enthusiastic about trying something new and excited by the challenges presented in each of the workshops. Our wider school community also benefitted as parents participated over the weekend with the construction of the Dragon, trying out batik silk painting and sewing the scales on to the Dragon.

All in all, it has been a wonderful project that provided something of interest for all involved.