There were plenty of oohs and ahhs in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center last week as an astounding troupe of women in leotards performed feats combining dance, acrobatics and gymnastics. The group is called LAVA, and they were performing for students from area schools for MASS MoCA’s Art Assembly program. They brought with them from New York City tons of flashy costumes, a trapeze, a sense of humor, and a love of science many of LAVA’s choreographed routines draw inspiration from movement in nature, and though it may have been subtle, references to movement of clouds or volcanic lava were incorporated throughout. LAVA also used clips from science films to transition from one choreographed piece to another.
Some of these ideas are further explored in the Activity Guide provided by the MASS MoCA Education Department to teachers bringing their classes to the performance. The guide makes connections to State Frameworks, and highlights how teachers can use this live performance to reinforce lessons in their classroom. It also offers relevant activities to carry out with children for this performance, we offered several games and activities about the physics of dance. (Click here to see the LAVA Activity Guide.)
Next up in our Art Assembly series is a Mexican folk ensemble playing Son Jarocho music style from the region of Veracruz, Mexico. Using a wide range of traditional string and percussion instruments from jaranas (small guitars) to tambourines, the band will demonstrate basic patterns and rhythms typical of Son Jarocho songs. The band will also perform traditional songs played at fandangos, community celebrations accompanied by Son Jarocho music. You can hear some of their music and read more about them here.
Radio Jarocho is performing on June 6th, at 9:30am (grades pre-K – 3) and 12:30pm (grades 4 – 8). If you’re a parent or a teacher interested in organizing a class visit to the Art Assembly featuring Radio Jarocho, email email@example.com.