PROGRAM CONTEXT AND DESCRIPTION OF NEEDS
Today’s society is a multicultural network of different lifestyles, values and cultural expressions, which makes bringing all its pieces together to project the harmonious image of the richness and benefits that diversity provides a complex task. This program is committed to empowering social partners, to learning from those who have different backgrounds and cultures in order to evolve from a monocultural perspective to a multicultural one that makes it possible to integrate and enjoy the diversity of cultural expressions.
Using this reality as a departure point, the Antonio Gades Foundation develops a strategy of educational intervention that responds to its founding goals. This program is based on Spanish dance and flamenco art (Intangible Cultural Heritage), an example of dialog, union and practice of inclusive cultural participation that results from the blend of cultures. It then converts these foundations into an educational tool that adapts teaching and redirect teaching practice in order to develop skills for understanding, valuing, respecting, integrating, preserving and promoting diversity.
The Antonio Gades Foundation’s educational program directly benefits children, adolescents and teachers/educators in general, although it also seeks the involvement of families and community. In order to carry out program activities, we work directly with various types of schools (primary, secondary and institutes), teacher training centers, institutions specialized in dance training (schools and conservatories), universities that offer dance degrees and cultural and government institutions.
- To teach as a way to promote the construction of new models of social relationships that make it possible to express, appropriate, share, enjoy and preserve cultural diversity
- To share the concepts cultural heritage and diversity with beneficiaries in a friendly, creative way, as well as to encourage their capacity to promote social development;
- To teach respect for the values of interculturality and the conservation of cultural heritage, based on the importance of teamwork, ethics, effort and determination in the life and work of Antonio Gades;
- To develop the capacity of expression and to encourage the application of the lessons learned to real life;
- To provide teachers with tools that enable them to develop skills and teach new generations that appropriating and sharing the diversity of cultural expressions is an advantage for society and a major opportunity for development.
The Antonio Gades Foundation’s Educational Program is inspired by CREATING ORIGINAL OPERA, taught at the Washington National Opera. The program was launched in 2008 when the Foundation implemented the first initiatives. It has been developed by several specialists at the request of Eugenia Eiriz (Director of the Antonio Gades Foundation). Silvia Marín, in her dual role as teacher/artist, has designed and teaches the «Flamenco en el Aula (Flamenco in the Classroom)» workshops for students and teachers, in addition to the educational tour in museums called «Flamenco con mucho arte (Flamenco and Art)». Eugenia Eiriz has been the force behind the original idea and the script for the «Movimientos La danza de la punta al tacón (Movements. Dance: From Heel to Toe)» educational show, choreographed and directed by Mayte Chico (member of the Antonio Gades Company dance corps) and performed by the Antonio Gades Company. Stella Arauzo, dancer and artistic director of the Antonio Gades Company –an important group of active dancers skilled at sharing Gades’ legacy with new generations– is involved with Dance Week and Repertoire Workshops.
The activities have been fine-tuned over years of work based on the successive evaluations to which they have been submitted. These evaluations have involved both the direct beneficiaries and the collaborating partners and institutions. On the other hand, the program has a working relationship with several universities and institutions specialized in teaching dance at a professional level, and these institutions have evaluated the activities with a high level of specialization.
The educational program has gained both strength and organization. Along with the ACCÉCIT, in 2015 the program was recognized by the jury of the «La Caixa» Awards for innovation and social transformation.
The program initiatives have been designed to complement one another. Rather than simply providing knowledge in a specific area, all initiatives are interconnected and work in synergy. The program is not designed to be followed in a linear fashion, and beneficiaries can participate in every activity in any order they wish.
The program offers seven basic initiatives, and the particularities of the audience and students are taken into consideration before the start of each activity. While each initiative has a basic structure, it can be reconfigured according to the students’ grade level and sociocultural characteristics. To this end, the professionals involved in the initiative will meet with the selected institution, managing the joint involvement in each initiative and improving the results.
Initiative 1: Flamenco en el Aula (Flamenco in the Classroom). Training workshop for teachers and educators in general.
This workshop provides teachers with a teaching tool to encourage students through a fun environment that favors the introduction of new knowledge and stimulates learning. Teachers will learn the basics of this art and use it as a vehicle for teaching. Through flamenco music, dance, song lyrics, accessories, etc., they will establish connections with different school subjects (math, language, geography, history, visual arts, new technologies, etc.). Flamenco, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, is a universal art born from the fusion and dialog between cultures, an outstanding example of integration that naturally lends itself as an example of tolerance and union for classrooms in the 21st-century.
Initiative 2: Flamenco en el Aula (Flamenco in the Classroom), learning through flamenco. Workshop for students held at the school.
This initiative aims to integrate lessons about flamenco into the school during school hours, using this art as a learning tool by relating basic concepts of flamenco with different school subjects (math, language, geography, history, visual arts, new technologies, etc.). The initiative has an interdisciplinary structure and is based on the same educational criterion as the previous activity, except the work is done directly with students. The workshop instructors (under the dual role of teacher/artist) facilitate a new perspective on skill development and learning of different subjects using elements of flamenco art.
Initiative 3: “Movimientos. La danza de la punta al tacón (Movements. Dance: From Heel to Toe)”. Educational show based on Spanish dance and flamenco.
This is an educational show designed to teach audiences the different techniques that make up the panorama of dance, with special emphasis on the world of Spanish dance and flamenco. Participants will see how feelings are expressed with the body through the universal language of music. The show is complemented by an interaction at the end of the show between the audience and the artists, an opportunity for participants to ask questions and learn simple dance steps. The show can be performed independently, however, as part of this training program the initiative can be complemented with an activity (pre- or post-show) in which a teacher and students study the show’s teaching guide. The Antonio Gades Foundation will provide this material.
Initiative 4: “Flamenco con mucho arte (Flamenco and Art)”. Educational tour of museums.
This is an extracurricular activity that takes place in museums (the museum may vary). Students will discover visual art pieces and artists linked to flamenco through an intentionally designed journey through works selected from the permanent collections. Through painting they students practice dance, the Flamenco rhythms and the lyrics to Flamenco cantés (songs). This is a fun, educational activity where children are surprised to identify details they’re already familiar with in the selected art: shawls, castanets, flamenco dancers, fans and also typical scenes and stories. The children will be immersed in this wonderful universe art.
Initiative 5: “Semana de la danza Antonio Gades (Antonio Gades Dance Week)”. Educational seminar for conservatories and dance schools.
This initiative is carried out at centers specialized in dance (schools and conservatories). The seminar objective is fundamentally educational, creating a «Gadesesque» environment at school that features the artist’s style, work, vision of dance and sense of ethics. The week includes a range of activities (conferences, projections and workshops) where all teachers and students will be able to participate in one way or another over the week.
Initiative 6: “Taller de repertorio Gades”. Specialized activity for students and dance professionals.
This workshop is highly specialized. The professors who teach the workshop work exclusively with Antonio Gades’ productions (Carmen, Fuenteovejuna, Bodas de sangre and Fuego). Designed for students and professionals from the world of dance, this workshop aims to introduce practical knowledge about the work of Antonio Gades to new generations and thus share and promote this part of Spanish dance heritage.