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September 05, 2014

Road Diaries: Answers and Advice from ArtStarts Touring Artists

Today we're excited to launch the first edition of Road Diaries, a new series featuring voices of the talented artists who are part of ArtStarts' Artists on Tour Directory. These professional artists travel schools across the province, bringing meaningful creative experiences to young people in urban, rural and remote communities.

Each year, ArtStarts coordinates over 1,800 artistic performances in schools and communities across BC. With so many performances taking place, we can't be everywhere at once (though we wish we could!). So we're asking touring artists to share their stories, thoughts, insights, and advice with us here on the ArtStarts blog. Let's get started!


Christian Swenson is a performing artist  known for his pioneering work in what he calls "Human Jazz", a global fusion of dance/drama/music for body and voice.

What is your most memorable interaction with a student?

This last winter the photographer at ArtStarts on Saturdays caught this momentary interaction amongst some savage T-Rex. The little girl in red and I "are one".

What's the best snack to bring on the road?

After a sweaty one-day residency, Fritos and V-8 juice...


Qiu Xia He is a member of Silk Road Music, a multi-instrumental group that links Chinese music to other cultures from around the world.

What is your most memorable interaction with a student?

Not everything is for sale! I remember an exchange with a First Nations girl in the North. "My grandpa has a drum like yours, I like the sound!" she said. “Ya, can I buy one from him?" I asked. "No, we don't sale things, we trade."

What's the best snack to bring on the road?

Fresh fruits that are ready to eat. Mandarin oranges, sliced apples, grapes, etc.


Andrea Bayne is a principal dancer with Ballet Victoria, Vancouver Island's premier professional ballet company.

What is your most memorable interaction with a student?

A few years ago Ballet Victoria was on the road performing in schools across BC. We went to this one tiny school in a little town called Tahsis. Not only had the children in this school never been exposed to any form of dance, it seemed as though this was the case for the whole community. We got to the school and the entire village had showed up to watch. After the performance we taught the kids to skip, gallop and even got them to try a few lifts! There was one young boy (age 8) who was so obviously in love with movement and was also a very naturally coordinated little mover. You could see the excitement in his eyes as he skipped across the gym floor on time with the music. After returning home to Victoria, Ballet Victoria got a letter from the principal of the school in Tahsis thanking the company for bringing the art of dance to their school. He also said that the little boy we had taken interest in was so inspired by the athletic dancers he saw in the company that the principal himself agreed to take him to dance lessons once a week out of town. These little stories are the reason this makes my job worthwhile!

What's the best snack to bring on the road?

I always bring cans of tuna for a quick boost of protein and granola bars for a non-perishable snack!


Discover these and other talented performing artists in the Artists on Tour Directory.

 

Road Diaries: Answers and Advice from ArtStarts Touring Artists is a series that features voices of the talented artists who are part of ArtStarts' Artists on Tour Directory. These professional artists travel schools across the province, bringing meaningful creative experiences to young people in urban, rural and remote communities. Read more Road Diaries.

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