The performance group seems to be thinking a lot about stages and where they can perform. I have heard T ask me, “Can I sing on that bear block?” In the studio, they used lights to decorate a “stage” where they were singing and playing instruments. Going along with this thought process, our studio teacher and I brought the group of performers to an art sculpture in a park. The sculpture is elevated, with stairs on one side and a ramp wrapping around the other side. I was curious to see what they would do, and where they would choose to play.
First, we made a pit stop in our Movement Studio to collect instruments to bring with us. They each chose a guitar, and we grabbed drums, shakers, and tubes as well. We talked about where we were going, and brainstormed some songs we could sing once we got here. “Maybe na na na na.” “Yellow Submarine!”
It took awhile for them to situate themselves, and they stay scattered throughout the area for quite some time. They moved from instrument to instrument, from song to song, each trying out different spots rather independently. C and O particularly seemed to enjoy being in the crevices of the sculpture.
Eventually, C discovered the benches. She sat down and started to sing Yellow Submarine. Her friends quickly joined, until they were all sitting on the bench singing. A few people moved to the steps, and before long, they were all there as well.
Eventually, they made it to the bottom of the stairs. They sat on the bricks and O said, “This is silly, we’re playing on the ground.” C laughed and said, ‘This silly.” They all lined up and belted out a few lines of Yellow Submarine. An onlooker walked by, smiling in their direction.
The performing seemed to really get going once they established a spot to do it – the bench. The “spot” itself eventually fell away, until it seemed like it didn’t matter so much where they performed, but rather, that they were all together performing. I wonder how this will affect how they think of stages and their thoughts on where musicians can perform. I wonder how else to challenge their thinking that it matters less where you perform, and more who is engaging with the performance – particularly in a city so rich with street performance.