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Vazzy: Dance, French Canadian Music and Song Project

Discipline: Dance, Interdisciplinary, Music, Storytelling
Homebase: Vancouver
Languages: English, French

Always accompanied by live music, Vazzy's high-energy hands-on workshops engage and inspire students of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The two artists' contagious enthusiasm and ability to connect with young people create an exciting environment where students experience dancing, play music, sing and learn about French Canadian culture language of expression. The activities explored build on students' individual expression, personnel awareness and self-confidence while developing many new artistic, social, language and physical skills. Themes explored include traditional and social dances from French Canada (K-12); foot percussion and spoon playing (4-12); traditional rhymes, songs, rounds and simple dances (K-3); traditional French Canadian songs (K-12). The residency can end with an assembly/performance by students, produced and accompanied by Vazzy. Adapted to all programs from K-12, including FSL. We leave support material with the school: MP3 files with music, French and English dance calls and dance instructions, MP3 audio files and lyrics to songs and rhymes. Workshops and Residency Guide available from the ArtStarts Artist on Tour Directory. Vazzy's extensive experience performing traditional French Canadian music and songs to general audiences has taken them from coast to coast. The two exceptional artists and educators have presented their school performance and their workshops and residencies in schools all over BC, in Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Suzanne grew-up in an Acadian community in Northern New-Brunswick and Bryn in Ontario and in the UK. The bilingual BC based duo will travel to all school districts in BC. Contact us with inquiries or to plan a project: vazzymusik@hotmail.com.


Testimonials

During the week-long residency, children enjoyed the dance and movement activities and had fun learning many traditional French Canadian songs and dances as well as rhythms with spoons and feet. Suzanne and Bryn had many activities planned with a wide variety of music and were able to change to different activities according to students' needs and aspirations. They brought many instruments and materials with them and were very organized. Suzanne's French was very clear and easy to understand for our students. She spoke slowly and pronounced her words carefully. She consulted with our staff about how much children would understand in French and planned according to students' abilities. Our staff and music teacher learned a lot from working with Vazzy. Patti Holm, Principal, École South Sahali Elementary
Vazzy designed and implemented workshops for each of the 17 classes in our dual-track school. The workshops were beneficial as they were tied to the French Canadian culture and to the curriculum at the Elementary level. An excellent fit for all English, French and French Immersion Programs. I highly recommend Vazzy... I found their work with our students exceptional. Erika Moser, Principal, Deep Cove School
Thank you so much for providing our FSL program students with such a great opportunity. Our staff was amazed at how quickly the students learned the words to the songs. Vivien Farr, Principal, Saint-Joseph Elementary

Project Examples

Folk/Social Dance Residency Project


Tied to the curriculum's Folk and Contemporary Dance component, these residencies can be in English language only, French language or using a mixture of both languages. We teach French Canadian community dances with moves and figures also found in many other traditions of folk, ethnic and contemporary dancing (Irish, Scottish, European, Square, Barn, Contra. etc). In addition, we include social dances such as waltz and polkas to the program. We leave dance CDs with music and dance calls (French and English) as well as dance instruction documents with the school so everyone can keep dancing after our visit. From one day to multiple days, with 4-7 workshops per day.

One or Two Day Residency


The goal of a short residency is to introduce a smaller number of students to French Canadian culture and language in a fun and dynamic way, creating excitement and a buzz around learning the language, vocabulary and acquiring new skills. We generally see each participating group/class once, introducing dance, spoon playing, foot percussion and lively songs, rounds or rhymes. We can fit 4-7 workshops in a day (Elementary 7 / Secondary 4-5). We usually match the duration of the workshops to the school's timetable.

Multi-Day Residency Project


The goal of a longer residency is for students to have a broader experience with French Canadian culture and increase their French language skills. We see each division/class several times during a multi-day residency project. After consultation with the school, we plan the workshops (4-7 per day) matching the French language ability of each group/class. Each class can pre-select a workshop theme on which to focus during the residency. As we like to mix the content of the workshops: if a class chooses foot-percussion and spoon playing as a theme, we will also add song and dance. If it is the school wishes, at the end of a multi-day residency, we can finish with an assembly/performance by the students.

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