Wednesday, 30 April 2008
...They need challenges matching their increasing skills and skills to match the increasing challenges they face,
Dance is a basic survival tool which will help them stand strong and enable them to make choices and decisions, will help them in their search for the sense of life...
...It is a means to be heard; it promotes fairness, acceptance of difference, both basic for a healthy society..."
After dinner at the guesthouse, we meet again for the more theoretic part: Maldoom´s conception of his work, DVD samples of his projects, questions and answers about the essence of his philosophy and pedagogy:
"....Since my projects mostly include children from different backgrounds, there is a tendency to think that what I am doing is social work. It isn´t. There are some social side effects to dance. But the only thing that counts for me is: ART...
...Whenever I enter a room for a new project, I immediately consider the children as potential artists.I have an unshakable belief in their extraordinary potential.There is no such thing as "I cannot dance". In my whole career I have NEVER met anybody who could NOT dance......I like working with "unperfect bodies"......
...There is a tendency to put people into categories. The aim of my project is to abolish those categories. In dance, you do not know who is who. Everybody speaks the same language: dance is a language in touch with yourself, with others and with the environment...
The children´s problem is the view they have of themselves (being failures). Their value of themselves, of art and culture is limited by the attitude of adults towards them. Children need respect...
...The moment you enter the room they will know if they can trust you..."
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Heute Morgen erkundete ich meine bisher nur vom Hörensagen bekannte Partnerstadt (die französische Porzellanstadt Sèvres) und entdeckte ein wahres Schmuckstück: ehemalige Welfenresidenz, Wolfenbüttel besteht heute noch aus etwa 600 liebevoll restaurierten Fachwerkhäusern, die um das representative Schloss und die weltberühmte Herzog August Bibliothek versammelt sind.
Kurz vor 16.00 Uhr füllt sich die prächtig umgebaute alte Mühle, die jetzt als Gästehaus der Bundesakademie dient.
Nach kurzer Erläuterung des Verlaufs und Ziels des Seminars durch Royston Maldoom marschiert unsere aus 32 meist jungen Teilnehmern bestehende Gruppe los in Richtung Turnhalle neben dem Schloss, wo der praktische Teil des Seminars sich in den nächsten zwei Tagen abspielen wird.
Maldooms Ziel lautet: den Teilnehmern, die aus den verschiedensten Bereichen kommen und zum grossen Teil mit Kindergruppen arbeiten, seine Theorie zu vermitteln und ihnen anhand von Praktischen Übungen seine Arbeitsweise zu zeigen.
Rasches Umziehen und schon fällt Roystons Zauberwort, ein Leitmotiv, das uns in den Proben immer wieder zur Sache zurückrufen wird, und das den Anfang des "warm up" - übrigens stets in englischer Sprache-ankündigt:
... don´t touch your hair...
... head up...
...look at me...
... don´t talk...
He then gives us some tricks how to ensure discipline and concentration:
"keep chums apart, assign them to a place which will remain theirs throughout the project. Go to the last row, where the restless ones tend to hide, then ask everybody to turn around so that the back row becomes the front one and start rehearsing from there."
Monday, 28 April 2008
Ankunft bei der Bundesakademie Wolfenbüttel, wo "Rhythm to dance", ein zweitägiges Seminar unter der Leitung des britischen Choreographen Royston Maldoom, ab Morgen Nachmittag stattfinden soll.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
ROYSTON MALDOOM AND JOSEF EDER, two renowned choreographers from England and Germany, are coming to Bucharest to realize a dance project with some hundred Romanian teenagers from different backgrounds, schools and institutions.
After five weeks of intensive rehearsals, five days a week, five hours a day, some one hundred youngsters, aged between 11 and 22 years, who for the most part have not danced before and have no experience whatsoever with classical music, will be ready to stand on the stage and perform Strawinsky´s Firebird professionally. Shouldn´t it be so, it would be the first time in 30 years that Maldoom does not get out of "his" kids what he expects from them -and what he knows they CAN, if they want to!
On the night of the performance, the kids will doubtless feel rewarded for their efforts by their audience. But far from meaning the end of the project, that night will, so we hope, mean a new start for many of them: the experience acquired in the process of elaborating the piece will hopefully have given them a new vision of themselves and help them stand firmer on their feet in the future; the self confidence they will have gained will encourage them to look for new challenges and enable them to face these challenges.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
The charitable association "Jungen Rumänen eine Chance!" (Give young Romanians a chance!) goes back to that first visit at Concordia shortly before Christmas 2003 and will (once it is definitely registered as such, that is, hopefully next week!) owe its creation to every single child belonging to the "Sfintul Ignatiu family", one of Concordia homes. The warm atmosphere created by the educators impressed me each time I visited Sfintul Ignatiu and all these smiling little faces regularly attracted me like a magnet all along my three year stay in Romania.
Our common activities reached from drawing classes, visits to museums, theater, concerts or the opera, treasure hunts through Bucharest, jogging or picknicks in the park, swimming or cooking together.
The enthusiasm of these children, of Romanians in general and in particular of a few Romanians who became close friends, were the motors of our activities. Indeed, not only some foreign friends, but also quite a number of Romanians joined me spontaneously and offered their skills and free time to this cause -a particularly precious gift considering how hard life in Bucharest is: some of them offered free psychological support, homework tutoring, story reading, theater playing or choir singing, or even their vacation time to join us for a summer camp!
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Social and Educational Projects
2004-2008 Concordia Organization for Children in Need Bucharest, Romania
Worked intensively with a group of 15 of Concordia´s 400 former street children, including founding and organizing a choir, „Sursum Corda", which performed at various public and social functions; a theatre group which participated in Sibiu’s International Theatre Festival in 2006 and 2007; a summer camp and cultural and sports activities (inter alia: drawing, swimming, cooking, museum and concert outings).
2005 Choir at the Tirgsor Women´s Penitentiary Bucharest, Romania
Established a choir at the penitentiary with the aim of fostering detainees´ reintegration into society. Performances include a joint concert with the Diplomatic choir in Biserica Luterana, Bucharest.
In the meantime, the choir regularly performs in churchs and institutions of the region under the conduct of Mihai Nae, an amazing pedagogue and devoted conductor. In May 2011, the association "Jungen Rumänen eine Chance!" acquired a set of chimes for the choir which was handed over to them by Monique Gruber who also attended the first repetition. A very moving experience....The girls are now learning to read music and are presently giving Christmas concerts in near by communities with the chimes.
2000-2003 Hungarian Institute for the Blind Budapest, Hungary
Organized music events with blind youth in cooperation with an amateur chamber orchestra.
1997-1999 Centre for Autistic Children Belgrade, Serbia
Worked one-on-one with autistic children using the Montessori method, developing specific skills, fostering concentration and favouring interactive communication.
Aug. 1990 Summer camp for children from Tchernobyl Bonn, Germany
1988-1992 Scouts de France Bonn, Germany
Led scout groups (age 11 to 18), organized theme-oriented summer camps, including a year-long Circus project with 70 children and public performances.
Conferences and Symposia
May 2006 "Current Developments in the Care and Education of Persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorder" Conference
Initiated and organized an international conference together U.K. charity, „Children in distress”, to raise public awareness, establish networks among professionals for exchange and support via workshops, training and lectures (follow-up conferences held in 2007 and 2008) for 300 participants including doctors, public health officials, therapists and families.
Mar. 1999 "Women and Violence in War" Belgrade, Serbia
Organized a symposium on the occasion of Women´s Day with 250 women from the Serbian civil society and speakers from all republics of former Yugoslavia.
Dec. 1998 "Human Rights Charter 1948-1998: The Relevance of Human Rights Today"
Initiated series of events (i.a. exhibiton by refugee art students, publication of brochures with children´s paintings) to highlight the importance of human rights for war-torn Yugoslavia.
2003-2006 Deutscher KulturKreis Bukarest Bucharest, Romania
Founded the German Cultural Circle (DKKB) and initiated a Franco-German Advent Bazaar to raise funds for social projects in Romania (yearly up to 30.000 €) to benefit social organizations supporting children and elderly persons in need and finance Tirgsor choir.
June 1998 International cuisine event and lottery Belgrade, Serbia
Raised 15.000 DM to purchase a bus for providing daily transportation from villages around Belgrade to day care centre for children with autism.