Saturday, April 23, 2016

On a Journey with Academia International

Last evening the end of the school year program was presented by Academia International here in San Miguel.  To say it was quite a production would be an understatement.  The program was one and one half hours long of dancing, singing and great choreography.  The participants were not only the students but
the teachers as well.

As I sat in the second row, I reminisced about all the school programs that have been seen by me over the
last forty-five years.  This show, last night, stood apart in many ways.

Typically the programs I've seen in the USA were dance programs or  singing programs with kids lined up as singers.  This production last night rivaled a talent contest or mini-theater production.  In fact, it was held at
the Theatre Peralta where the likes of many well known musicians, singers and theater productions take place.

My reason for being there was that Matilda, my granddaughter,  was in the program dressed in a beautiful Egyptian costume. Quite elaborate.  Not only did she have on the costume but they had also put fake eyelashes on the girls and a makeup artist worked all day according to Mati to glamourize them.  Whew.

The program began with the teachers dressed as flight attendants on a world wide trip.  The backdrop on the stage was a Monopoly board with spaces marked with various foreign countries and cities.  Since the school is an international school there are many children from many other countries.  Something, that to me is a wonderful opportunity for each student in the school.

 Here are the teachers singing and dancing.  Sorry that the photos came out blurry but obviously the camera was not set on the correct setting.
It occurred to me that in all the myriad of programs that I ever saw in the USA, never, not once, did I see teachers on the stage dancing and having so much fun.
 I'm not sure where or what the first group of kids represented as there were three pigs, a pixie and a kid dressed like a British barrister.  As little as they were, their singing and dancing was really cute.
 Next were the proverbial cowboys and cowgirls with guns.  One little girl's skirt, with guns in her pockets kept sliding down and I grinned watching her try to figure out what to do to dance, sing and keep her skirt from falling down.  She managed NOT to lose her skirt.
 Matilda was in awe of this little girl who was the queen of the Egyptian girls.  Mati told me she had a REAL gold crown whereas their crowns were just painted gold.  Aren't you amazed at the complexity of these costumes?  In the public schools here in San Miguel, the mothers make the costumes for the parades and programs but I don't think these were made by parents.
Mati in her starring role as the head of the girls in purple.  Sitting on the second row, I could see her counting to know when to change positions or lead the girls somewhere else.  At eight years old, she is already a sweet, beautiful leader of her friends.
 During the show, they would announce foreign countries that we were going to visit.  The above photo  was Palestine  The photo below was Ukraine.  There was a little boy, not in costume like the others,  who danced a Ukrainian dance forever.  I could not believe he could dance that strenuously and for that long.  It was quite extraordinary.
 Then, "the journey" moved to China.  The dancing was kinda like robotic and Sebastian, sitting in the audience next to me decided he could do that too and tried to do it on the floor beside the seats.  Never a dull moment with kids around.
 Well, drat, the China photo just got moved to the end somehow and the photo above is a Michael Jackson "look alike" who came out with smoke machine roaring and they all danced to Thriller.  What that has to do
with an international journey, I have no idea.  But, the kids enjoyed it immensely.  They danced to three Michael Jackson songs.  One was with zombies that scared the wits out of the little kids sitting in the audience.
As I said, it was quite a production.  Kudos to the choreographer, the teachers and everyone else who worked with these children on this program.  It is my final hope that through all that learning that they also
learned about each country that was part of the program.

What a fun evening.   What an eye-opening experience it was to see how talented kids from first grade to grade twelve can be.  Viva Mexico!                                        


Billie Mercer said...

Barbara, what a thrill to see these children. While our Houston kids were still in grade school we managed to go to lots of their programs but nothing like this. Matilda looked beautiful.

Babs said...

Billie, as I sat watching this production, especially the teachers dancing, I KNOW that I have never seen anything like that in the USA and doubt that I ever would, even with the changing times!

I definitely knew I was "not in Kansas anymore".

marilyn said...

The most elaborate I've seen. How much fun to have the teachers take part. It was a joy to look at the photos & read your narration. Matilda looked so pretty. I needed something happy to look at & this fulfilled the need!

Lena J

Babs said...

Thanks Lena - I'm glad the post brought you happiness.
I love school programs. To see the children all giggling
together and having fun is always a treat.