Hong Kong Artists Challenge MSSD Students to Move with Concentration, Grace, and Focus
QuestFest Artists-in-Residence from the Arts with the Disabled Association Hold Workshops at MSSD
Hong Kong artists from the Arts with the Disabled Association (ADA) have been conducting workshops at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) as part of QuestFest, a festival of visual theatre taking place March 1-14 at locations in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
The artists begin each workshop with a series of slow, elegant warm-up stretches. The students practice visual focus through such exercises as catching the attention of a member of his or her group standing in a circle and throwing an imaginary ball to that person. Another exercise involves creating scenes in which two people each strike a dramatic pose, then a third person steps in and copies one of the poses. The person whose pose was copied then strikes a new pose and so forth. At each workshop, students learn a series of movements taken from traditional Chinese opera. They master one move and then add another and another, similar to creating a movie one frame at a time.
The ADA artists, who are also working in the mornings with Kendall Demonstration Elementary School students, are performing as part of QuestFest. Their show, Journey to the West, blends the traditions of Chinese opera with Western dance.