Sonia St-Michel’s performance and creation workshops with LaSalle Elementary Senior grade 5 students, and dance presentations to the entire school were in keeping with the goals of linking school content with the local community and the cultural aspects of Lasalle’s school population. Senior Art Teacher Marie-France Fitzgerald emphasized the importance that the Visual Arts Curriculum align with Lasalle Senior School’s focus of Trauma Inspired Practices and Pedagogy (T.I.P.P.S).
This year Lasalle Senior explored aspects of East Indian aesthetics and influences, and collaborated with Classical Indian dancer Sonia St-Michel with hands-on creation of sand mandalas (Rangoli) as well as dance as part of the interactive art program. Sonia is a classical Indian dancer trained in Ottawa and India, who creates works nourished by interdisciplinary influences to tell stories about journeys and identity. Students, who were engaged and attentive throughout, learned about the aesthetics of East Indian dance, using rhythms and percussive sounds, and the use of Hastas (hand gestures) to represent place, character and emotion.
Both the dance workshop processes with Sonia St-Michel and the mandala creations were shared and exhibited for the entire school and local community at Lasalle Senior’s annual Art-Expo and Southeast Asian festival and parade!
LaSalle Elementary Senior School’s ArtistsInspire Grant experience was made possible by an ELAN Quebec/LEARN partnership for students from Quebec’s English-speaking communities to participate in arts and culture experiences, thanks in part to funding from Heritage Canada through the Government of Canada.
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