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February 04, 2014

Twisting Things Up with Christian Swenson, The Morphoman!

It was a very memorable start to the 2014 season of ArtStarts on Saturdays at the ArtStarts Gallery in Vancouver and ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster!

Amidst the foggy weather, families gathered to twist it up and participate in vivid workshops featuring performer Christian Swenson. The room was bustling with children who were ready to participate in improvisation, transformation, and experience full body expression by movement!

To get things started, Christian enchanted audience members with a special throat-singing performance. Using a unique style of singing, Christian imitated a didgeridoo sound which had participants captivated. Audience members were then invited to participate in a "go-stop-fall" game while the room was filled with giggles.

Next, participants engaged in a full body exercise where they twisted and turned their bodies into imagined pieces of furniture and robots! Blending movement, storytelling, and improvisation, audience members were encouraged to really "twist it up." Bodies impersonated peacocks, schools of dolphins and bears!

Christian further challenged members to memorize their body positions, and to engage in "body conversations" with a partner, building confidence though various forms of body movement and expression of self.

To close the workshop, Christian invited his audience to take part in word improvisations and vivid storytelling. Children mimicked and animated while learning some powerful skills to build confidence and engage in conversations with others through the use of expressive body language.

We asked Christian for his take on the weekend, and here's what he had to say:

"When I saw the wide eyes of the babe-in-arms looking straight at me, as I performed some Central Asian throat-singing I smiled deeply inside. This small, informal show/workshop is a most special opportunity to connect with young people and their parents. Here there were many strangers be-friending each other, sitting in each others' laps, dancing over, under and around each other, pretending we're dinosaurs snarling and gnashing our teeth at our insta-friends with our smiling hearts… Thank you ArtStarts!"

The workshops were exciting and inspiring for all ages! Thank you for getting us into the groove, Christian!

Check out lots more photos on Facebook from ArtStarts on Saturdays and from ArtStarts at River Market.

We hope to see you at our next events: RupLoops: A Musical Orbit is an interactive, live looping show, using vocal percussion, rhythmic rhymes and an arsenal of eclectic instruments. Join us at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver on Saturday, February 22 and at ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster on Sunday, February 23. Read more details here.

Thank you to Boeing for their generous support of the ArtStarts on Saturdays series.

Thank you to Westminster Savings and River Market for their generous support of the ArtStarts at River Market series.


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