Donna Costello's two day visit supported us in the implementation of the Juilliard Creative Classroom and the Dance Curriculum that is currently being carried out school-wide.
Donna worked with our students across both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, where the students were introduced to a series of movement based tasks and through improvisation they created their own choreography. Year 2 recognised different patterns in the dance and the students translated them into short movement sequences. They also watched Rennie Harris’ Continuum for further inspiration.
Year 3 focused on choreographer John Heginbotham and his piece First. Drawing on the use of groupings and their effectiveness within choreography, students performed in different groups and developed both audience and performer perspective. Year 6 learnt about Laban Movement Analysis with a focus on the efforts that categorise dance movement. The students drew connections from their own improvisation and Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest. We are very pleased that the students are gaining a choreographic toolkit which they will use when creating their own group choreography.
As part of her visit, Donna also offered a parent workshop, which gave our parents insight into what Dover Court dance lessons look like as part of the curriculum. Parents worked with Shen Wei’s choreography Re (III), following set pathways whilst being connected with a partner and understanding how dance can be created from the simple everyday action of walking.
Donna's visit was also a wonderful opportunity for our Performing Arts and PE staff to attend a Professional Development Workshop, focusing on the Juilliard Approach when teaching and how sporty movement can be turned into a group dance!
We would like to extend our thanks to all staff, students and parents in the lead up to and during Donna’s visit to Dover Court. It was fulfilling and enriching experience for all involved and we look forward to the progression of dance at the school.
Dance Specialist and PE Teacher