Mentor Artist Eliot Fintushel is in his eleventh year working with San Ramon’s second-graders!
In session 1 among the San Ramon School second graders (and some humongous third-graders this year) we did push-ups on the thin air. We even did pinky push ups (Eat your heart out, Schwarzenegger!) and no-handed pushups! Then, in character masks, we became other people entirely and played a peek-a-boo game.
Djenane Sainte-Juste, assisted by members of her Afoutayi Company, taught music, dance and storytelling across four grades at Short School, with a unifying theme of the unique cultural traditions of Haiti. The program began with a performance by Afoutayi and culminated with student performances at each grade level.
This was students’ second year working with Djenane. They reviewed dance and percussion from last year, and used these as a scaffold for more advanced dance and rhythms. Each grade learned the music and dance of a different Haitian folk dance. In their final performance, every student wore a colorful, authentic costume, most made by Djenane’s mother Florencia Pierre (affectionately known to the students as Fofo).
This was a farewell performance for Djenane, who has already moved to Minneapolis, MN. We miss Djenane and Fofo and Hassan already!