CAC-FUNDED 2003 LUCKMAN
LOS ANGELES Â Six third and fourth grade classes from two Los Angeles Unified School District elementary schools will perform at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., Saturday, May 31 at 2:30 p.m. in the culminating event of the Luckman 2003 Dance Residency Demonstration Project. The Los Angeles Unified School District students, from Westminster Avenue School in Venice and Robert F. Kennedy School in L.A., will have the unique opportunity of performing for an audience in a professional theatre. The children have been participating in the California Arts Council-funded dance instruction program weekly at their respective schools since January under the direction of dance specialist Shannon Levy-Heath.
ÂOur Hometown, the EarthÂ was chosen as this yearÂs concert theme to expose the children to continents, countries, ethnicities and customs that they may not have been familiar with. Choreography will include dances highlighting Antarctica, North America and Native Americans, South America, Africa, Europe and Russia, Asia and Chinese mythology, and Australia.
According to director-choreographer Shannon Levy-Heath, new to the program in 2003, the goals for this yearÂs residency were to expose the children to the elements of dance and choreography Â shape, space, time and energy Â and to relate them to other subjects studied in school like math, visual art and social studies. Toward that end she had the students begin with a basic warm-up sequence, then used improvisations to acquaint them with dance and Âto open paths of creativity.Â A dance specialist with B.A. and M.A. degrees in Theatre Arts with a Dance Emphasis, Levy-HeathÂs training and performance background spans ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and dance for the musical theatre, with professional performance and choreography in each genre. Her teaching career of 11 years at California State University, Los Angeles, and 3 years at College of the Canyons has included a touring program into elementary, middle and high schools as well as a recent dance residency with Saugus USDÂs Arts-In-Motion Program.
The California Arts Council, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Luckman Fine Arts Complex aspire to make arts in education basic to all public school students. The Demonstration Project addresses Arts in Education in K-12 public schools. In partnership with LAUSD, the Luckman Dance Residency provides dance instruction in elementary schools. Project coordinator is Wendy Baker, Luckman associate executive director. One of the few such Arts in Education Demonstration Projects funded for the second year in a row by the CAC, the Luckman program was established by Luckman Executive Director Clifford D. Harper in 2000, and was first awarded a grant by the CAC in 2001. Its continued existence next year is doubtful in light of State of California budget cuts affecting the arts.
The performance of ÂOur Hometown, the EarthÂ is free, and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations must be made in advance by calling the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.
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