Magna/CATA Case Study year 1

Photo: Marcin Szymczak

Balbir Singh Dance Company in collaboration with Children & the Arts (CATA) and MAGNA Science Adventure Centre worked with four Rotherham based primary schools over the 17/18 academic year. All children worked towards their Discover Arts Award and created group dance pieces inspired by MAGNA and its science exhibitions.

The four schools visited MAGNA in November 2017 to watch a sharing of work performed by contemporary, Kathak and Odissi dancers, live musicians and a BMX champion. All schools were invited to explore the cultural venue and gather sources of inspiration for their future performance pieces.

Workshops began in February 2018 where students, alongside their BSDC artist, investigated MAGNA and its exhibitions and the best way in which they could interpret their findings through movement and storytelling. All groups worked intensely with their professional artist to develop a concept, formulate movement and critically analyse their final creation. Throughout the process, students learned how to sufficiently prepare their body for exercise, increased their movement vocabulary and harnessed their creativity.

Teachers of all four schools were involved with the creative process and supported their students by offering concept ideas, holding out-of-session rehearsals and attending CPD sessions.

Further to the physical aspects of the dance workshops, children created individual portfolios to document their findings and reflections of the practical workshops. The Arts Award is a range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form. Children gained their introductory “Discover” Arts Award as a successful result of their written portfolios. Children were invited to interview a professional BSDC Kathak dancer who visited them at their school.

BSDC’s collaboration with MAGNA and CATA culminated in a final sharing at MAGNA for family and friends inspired by dance, music, art, science and historic exploration. All worked created was influenced by the sights, sounds and exhibitions at MAGNA.

Schools were inspired to seek new ways of integrating movement and creative learning into their lesson plans and the children were creatively charged and proud of their achievements.

“The children have gained confidence in performing and are less judgmental and more supportive”