Decolonizing Voice – Whose Voice Is It?
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in 2015 and the Calls for Justice in 2019, underscored the need for today’s students to learn about Indigenous issues, knowledge and history. All leaders in education need to be aware of appropriation challenges facing educators and how to do this work in a positive way — both inside the classroom and in performance. What is required is a positive, productive pedagogy to access Indigenous stories and topics without the appropriation of voice or culture. The Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE), in consultation with members of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario (FNMIEAO), has created a resource with a list of strategies to assist educators in navigating this difficult landscape. This webinar will work through suggestions in this resource using practical demonstrations of drama-based activities free from appropriation of voice and adaptable to multiple disciplines and grades.
Troy Maracle is the Indigenous Education Lead Teacher for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. He is a Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte, and an active member of his community. He has presented at several conferences and symposiums throughout Ontario and consulted and helped shape materials used across the province and country. He is the annual coordinator of the Ignite the Fire Student Symposium in Belleville, Ontario, uniting students and teachers from across the region with elders, knowledge keepers, artists and activists, in order to spark their journey through reconciliation. Troy was a key consultant on the CODE “In a Good Way” document.
Matthew Sheahan is the current president of CODE and the Instructional Lead Teacher of Indigenous Studies at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute in Picton, Ontario. A veteran secondary drama teacher of sixteen years, he specializes in applied theatre and theatre for social action. As a member of the CODE Management Board, he collaborated on the “In a Good Way” document and the CODE Call to Action. As a classroom teacher he has collaborated with students on several collective creations geared toward social justice and raising awareness. In 2019, he attended the Children and Youth in performance conference at Young People’s Theatre with his cast of A Call to Action, exploring truth and reconciliation from a non-Indigenous perspective.
Devising as a Tool for Interdisciplinary Integration
This workshop looks to tangibly offer next steps to these three questions: How do you develop a strong integration platform that showcases performance principles? How do you get authentic collaboration with other subjects/teachers/sectors of your school? How do you assess this kind of work in a meaningful manner, while still promoting the value of integrative thinking?
Like a production that succeeds based on the creative investment of many stakeholders, so too does cross-classroom integration work, but no where are the results more authentic than in Drama. This workshop breaks down integrative drama practice into the delicate cultural action that it can become.
Brendon Allen is playwright, theatre practitioner and educator. His most recent projects were with Outside the March, The Festival Players, The Kick & Push Festival and The Stratford Festival. He is Coordinator of the CIS Drama Festival and in the Provincial Lead for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) for Ontario. Most recently he presented at the Children, Youth and Performance Conference, hosted by YPT and York University. He is on the Editorial Board of CODE's brand new "Provocations" journal. Brendon was a contributor to CODE's "Grounded in Space and Place" curriculum project this summer. He has worked as an educator in both public and independent schools for 15+ years. Brendon completed a Masters at the Drama Centre focused on the power of Verbatim Theatre as a community devising tool. He completed his Master's in Education through the High Tech High School for Graduate Studies (San Diego) focused on grounding PBL in interdisciplinary studies with the Arts at its core. Brendon has been on Education Advisories for the Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage and Theatre Smash. He is a proud papa.
Dance in the Virtual World: Compositional Tools and Techniques for Creative-Based Movement Work
Workshop Description: Teaching Dance virtually may seem like a wild idea, especially when students are not comfortable turning their cameras on in class. This is exactly what Sheri thought when her virtual school schedule was all Dance. However, once the initial shock wore off, the creativity and excitement started to flow!
In this workshop, Sheri will share some of the experiences, tools, and tips she developed this year while teaching Dance in the Toronto District School Board’s Virtual Secondary School. Her classes focus mainly on the individual creative process using a variety of compositional tools and techniques to create movement. She will actively lead participants through a few compositional experiences, share the structure of her daily virtual classes, and talk about creative assignment ideas that have been successful in this virtual world. These techniques can also be used in the non-virtual world, in Drama classes, and also can be adapted for intermediate grades. Come prepared to create and move!
Sheri Talosi hails from Fonthill—a tiny town in the Niagara Region—and has been involved in the Canadian dance world for over thirty years. She came out of her first dance class at age three and told her mom that she was going to be a dance teacher when she grew up.
Sheri shares her passion for the arts as a secondary teacher in the Toronto District School Board teaching creative-based Dance and Drama courses, and sometimes Math. As an ambassador for the arts, she thrives on the creation and delivery of dance and drama education programs. She has facilitated Professional Learning Communities for dance and drama educators, written for curriculum projects through both CODE and the TDSB, and has been a part of the Pulse Dance Conference Executive Committee since 2015. Prior to her BEd, Sheri completed her MA, focusing on Dance Education and Feminist Pedagogy, and a BFA in Dance, both from York University.
Workshop Description: Using his expertise as the creator/co-creator of over 30 dance films, Allen Kaeja offers a unique opportunity for students to learn how to choreograph, direct, and edit their own short dance films. Students will develop creative and critical thinking skills as they explore the technical, practical, and artistic challenges involved in producing dance for the screen.
No experience in either dance or film is necessary, just an intense curiosity and willingness to take on all aspects of the course, from movement artist and director to camera operator.
Allen Kaeja is an internationally recognized and award-winning Choreographer and DanceFilm Director. The child of a refugee and Holocaust survivor, Allen has created 47 Holocaust inspired stage and film works. Overall, he’s created over 180 stage works and choreographed 30 films. Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Karen Kaeja, Allen’s stage and film works have been featured in commercials, films and festivals around the world. He has received numerous national and international commissions, teaches Kaeja Elevations and Dance Film master classes worldwide.
Allen and Karen recently completed performing/teaching in Japan, Singapore, China, Israel, across Canada, Mexico, USA and the UK. Allen was very excited creating with Director Keira Loughran, choreographing Wendy and Peter Pan until COVID closed the Stratford Festival. They have recently received the Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award and are FINALISTS for the Toronto Arts Foundations-2020 Celebration of Cultural Life Award. Allen and Karen are creating for their upcoming 33rd anniversary in 2022.