Contemporary and Historical Performances

Striking Viking Story Pirates

A diverse selection of talented artists entertain through a wide range of classic and modern-day performances.
Aerial Acrobatic Entertainment Merril and Emmet, (almost) famous actors from Hollywood, have traveled all the way to NYC to become famous circus superstars! As Merril and Emmet guide the audience through a night of brilliant performances by acrobats, jugglers, contortionists, unicyclists and other polished acts, they sneak in their hilarious attempts at a variety of different performances, from an opera to a daring escape act, each segment with its own moral or message! Do they have what it takes? Join Merril and Emmet Under the Big Top to witness their debut performance as circus superstars! Astrograss Astrograss is at the forefront of New York's lively acoustic music and bluegrass scene. The band's self-titled debut album, released in 2005, showcases its unique sound: earthy, bluegrass-inspired yet decidedly un-twangy. Astrograss is equally passionate in its vocal harmonies and surging improvisations. In concert, Astrograss wows audiences with an eclectic yet solidly rooted mix of original material, choice covers ranging from Jimmy Webb to Guns n' Roses, and foot-stompin', "yee-haw"-inspiring fiddle hoedowns. Astrograss has performed in prestigious New York venues such as Joe's Pub, BAM Harvey Theatre, BB King's Blues Club, Symphony Space, The Mercury Lounge, The Living Room and the Rodeo Bar, in addition to regular appearances at city sponsered events, such as Madison Sq. Park, Washington Market Park, River to River Festival and others. Calabash Dance Theater Ayanna Frederick and artists present a performance of African/Caribbean songs, dances, and drumming along with original compositions to educate and entertain students while encouraging them to dance and sing along. Traditional components of the culture are integrated with positive messages of community and self-worth. Celeste Howard-Ray Celeste Howard-Ray and company perform and demonstrate the music, dance, and instruments of Renaissance era Celtic countries. Students learn about this historic period and participate by singing the songs, dancing jig and reel, and learning about the Bowed Psaltery, a popular instrument of the time. The Dixie Rascals Dynamic musicians trace the origins of tap-your-feet, clap-your-hands, grin-on-your-face Dixieland music. They perform in period costume on traditional Dixieland instruments (trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, tuba, and drums) and focus on the role of each instrument in the ensemble. Emphasis is given to the importance of listening to each other in music and life. Special attention is devoted to the place of the music in ?life events? such as weddings, funerals, and a celebration of the human spirit. Fintan O?Neill Quintet Students discover the joy of music-making with the Fintan O?Neill Quintet. This wonderful jazz group gives a fun interactive musical experience in which the students take part through a series of games and clapping. It?s entertaining, high energy, and the students learn not just about jazz music but also about working as a team and being creative. As Fintan O?Neill says, ?You have got to have fun while learning. That?s the key to retention and being successful.? Feraba African Rhythm Tap This highly energetic and entertaining company educates and enlightens. Feraba encourages global tolerance and understanding by rejoicing in the commonalities of people regardless of race or background. Feraba encourages audiences to be open and tolerant so that new and beautiful things can happen. Their show, The Magic Woman, geared toward younger audiences, entrances and captivates with an imaginative and interactive story emphasizing the unique contributions of several different cultures. It explores the universality of rhythm/music/dance as a language shared by all. Their show, The Roots of Tap, traces the unique history of tap dancing, which dates back almost 400 years. The story encompasses early African slave dances as they fused with the rhythms and dances from Irish and English immigrants who settled in America in the 1800s ? 1900s. Dances featured on the program include the Ring Shout, Bill Bojangles Robinson?s routines, Eddie Brown?s BS Chorus, and traditional West African Dances. Also incorporated are contemporary pieces created by Irene Koloseus revealing how rhythm tap can be reintegrated with its roots in African dance to create new and exciting works pushing the boundaries of the art form. Flamenco: Inside Out Flamenco: Inside Out is an international flamenco ensemble of seasoned dancers and musicians dedicated to presenting high quality performances with a fresh contemporary interpretation of this traditional Spanish art form. Flamenco: Inside Out performers are experienced arts educators, bringing arts to schools throughout the country and tri-state area. Apart from being culturally rich, visually stimulating, and musically entrancing, flamenco provides a context for teaching geography, history, Spanish language and literature, as well as skills like listening, communication, and team work. Folk Tales from Around the World Get ready for an enchanting journey, as storyteller Tammy Hall weaves folk tales from across the globe and shares stories in the oral tradition that educate the listener on the art of storytelling and the lands from which the stories came. Folktales of Asia and Africa written and performed by Jane Catherine Shaw Egg beaters hop into cloth napkins to become Japanese sisters in kimonos, a flour sifter becomes an old man and the cookie cutter is his pet rabbit. These are just a few of the notable characters you?ll meet in Folktales of Asia and Africa, an exciting found object puppetry show written and performed by Jane Catherine Shaw. While she is baking bread, the hostess discovers that she has guests. As they all wait for the dough to rise, she tells them the Zimbabwean story The Dragon with Five Heads, the Japanese tale The Lantern and The Fan and the Burmese tale The Old Man and the Moon, in which an unusual doughnut maker becomes the moon goddess! The Hey-Ya Brothers Take the Stage 45mins of solid fun for grades Pre-K to 5. It is an uproarious slapstick variety show combining circus skills, magic, and music to create big time laughter. In the tradition of comedy greats like The Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, or Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, classic vaudeville comedy comes to life as the Hey-Ya Brothers present their acts of skill and silliness- where the most simple of tasks turns into outlandish laughs. The New York Times calls the Hey-Ya Brothers ?Hilarious? and The NY Post says the show is ?Nonstop Laughter.? Let the Hey-Ya Brothers show your school how to find humor in everyday situations and not sweat the small stuff. Marc Levitt Storyteller Marc Levitt performs stories written from what he knows best. In Stories from a NY Childhood, Marc shares childhood memoirs, touching topics relevant to students such as sibling rivalry, getting lost, and first dates. These vignettes are colored with the sights, sounds, and scents of small candy stores, automats, and stickball. Through the story of Bullies, Gossips, Diversity and Moral Choices Marc delves into many of the social/psychological issues facing students such as bullying, teasing, forgiveness, and boy/girl relationships in both humorous and thought provoking ways. These stories set up moral dilemmas where solutions are not necessarily obvious, encouraging conversation and debate. Tales from October Moon honors and acknowledges the unseen and mysterious, and provide an opportunity for students to explore their fears in a safe and humorous way. All performances encourage budding authors to write from what they know and to use their imagination to create playful and evocative stories. Linda Russell Using guitar, dulcimers, penny whistles, and limberjacks, Linda Russell illuminates our country?s heritage with dance tunes, ballads, broadsides, and historical anecdotes from the 18th and 19th centuries. Special programs include Christmas in Early America, Patchwork: Voices of 19th Century Women, Songs of Westward Expansion and A Musical History of New York City. Loop 2.4.3?Percussion Ensemble?A Unique World of Sound Loop 2.4.3 is an exciting and energetic duo pushing percussion music in new directions. They perform all original music on a wide range of instruments: drums, marimba, water-phone, Chinese gongs, temple blocks, prayer bowls, steel drum, and many more. The sounds they create are exciting for all, broadening their audiences? scope of listening, combining aggressive high energy drumming with soaring melodies. Shakespeare Sings An unforgettable introduction to Shakespeare for students of all ages, through music! The concert is slammin' fun -- or deeply thoughtful and emotional. Students discover Shakespeare as understandable and modern, no matter what their prior experience. Depending on availability the quartet features cast members from Broadway shows such as Lion King, Jersey Boys, Shrek!, Next To Normal, The Color Purple, etc. The Society of the Educational Arts (SEA) SEA, New York?s premier Latino arts in education organization, offers bilingual puppet shows for young audiences. Offerings include bilingual versions of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. SEA boasts an experienced staff of bilingual teaching artists in all of the arts disciplines (drama, visual arts, music, dance, puppetry), all of whom are currently working in the field of the arts discipline that they teach. Striking Viking Story Pirates (SVSP) The Story Pirates Play/Write assembly program showcases creative writing by students from New York?s five boroughs in a sketch comedy musical performed by professional actors. This award-winning show is funny enough to make the teachers laugh along with the students, while at the same time reinforcing core values of the New York State Learning Standards in the Arts and English Language Arts. When students leave the auditorium their minds are racing with their own creative ideas for story writing. SVSP encourages kids to become more thoughtful and passionate writers and speakers, in and out of school. WonderSpark Puppets WonderSpark Puppets breathes new life into classic stories, with amazing puppet shows that will have you singing, shouting, and playing along! Puppeteers Chad Williams and Z. Briggs infuse fun and whimsy into engaging characters that captivate kids and adults alike. Current production: Little Red Riding Hood (ages 5 and up). Little Red is sent into the big woods to deliver a basket of goodies to her sick Grandmother, but is followed by a hungry wolf who wants the basket for himself. Will Little Red be able to outsmart the wolf and save her Grandmother? The Young HoofersŪ Named one of Dance Magazine?s Top 25 to Watch, The Young Hoofers, under the direction of Traci Mann, offer exuberant yet precise unisons and virtuosi solos. Performances include: Conversations in Rhythm, in which The Young Hoofers tap dance to the rhythms of marches, swing, Latin, bebop, and reggae. The use of bucket drums and a percussionist make an impact on any audience. Tribute to Tap Giants pays tribute to the legends of tap dance including The Original Hoofers?, Maurice and Gregory Hines, Bill Bojangles Robinson and many others. Zuly in the Last Place on Earth Zuly is musical theater with a message for kids of all ages. Zuly teaches that through imagination and compassion we can learn to stop violence. Seven performers bring this story of a junkyard at war to stage. On one side are mangy mutts who have suffered years of abuse: on the other, strong Dobermans who have taken most of the land. Zuly is believed to be a magic fighter who will save the land for his fellow mutts. In fact, when he faces his opponent, he feels compassion and bursts into song. Zuly must learn of another way to stop the violence. Finally, he teaches the other dogs to use their imagination to understand each other?s differences and helps them learn to dream again. The life lessons expressed through this lively musical performance can be extended into student workshops. The workshops will use the musical as a springboard to talk about conflict resolution, self-esteem and accepting differences in others.