STORYTiME VOL 2016 REPORT | MARCELINO FROST DACOSTA
STARGATE STUDIO | Youth drop-in workshop for Summit Rock
A group of the studios most committed students were taught the “Summit Rock” specialty workshop. They were encouraged to not only follow instructions and mimic routine, but to also be creatively free and express their own interpretation. The students transformed from very ridged and shy, to open in movement and expression. Their skill level and development increased dramatically while also verbally reflecting on their learning experience. I was very impressed to see such incredible focus, discipline and attention to detail they all had. Their skills were strong, but I really enjoyed seeing their personalities when they become more comfortable and open.
COMMUNITY CENTRE | youth session & Summit rock for B-Boy community
STORYTiME & I facilitated a dynamic youth class with children 5-8 years of age, we played with everyday themes, transforming them to movement in-order to increase their cognitive function and open their imaginations! We encouraged breathing, listening and observing techniques, all masked in games of rhythm and mixed language (Japanese & English) the participants tired themselves out with fun and learnt very much. Their reaction to me speaking English was quite amusing and enjoyable as well. I was happy they felt so physically and mentally free in the music and rhythm. So good for their growth.
Summit Rock for the B-Boy community – I shared a series of in-depth Canadian B-Boy approaches and methods from 18 years of experience. The result was dancers who were creatively refining their own material with new possibilities and re-delivering their aesthetic material professionally. The older students were very inspired and enjoyed themselves very much. I found a common trait among many of the dancers and it was that their perspective on music was very similar but fairly linear. My goal was to open their minds to other dimensions in the music and expressing their personal traits through the art. Their great feedback and participation showed that the goal was successful
KARIYA KITA HIGH SCHOOL & KIFA | Twin city exchange reunion
Reuniting with Sensei Ito-san, Makiko-san (KIFA) and the Kariyakita high school students was a great pleasure! We all built a great rapport and relationship during their Mississauga exchange. It was such a great experience having them teach me Japanese games and openly express how their trip to Mississauga and working with STORYTiME has inspired them to pursue their education, work and personal artistic goals for the future! I was very honoured and thankful.
During “English Night” I performed a variation of my TEDX talk live and direct for an audience of 30 Japanese & foreign older adults. They were very attentive and fully engaged the whole time. What impressed me the most however, was the depth of their questions and very apparent comprehension of context & purpose of my talk. I felt very honoured to advocate my culture, craft and philosophy, then have it successfully absorbed, appreciated and reciprocated! Thank you!
TOWN PLANNING CITY MEETING
STORYTiME & I gathered in Kariya City to meet with a small group of participants who represented a wide field the local community: City Council members, community development coordinators, teachers, NPO corporation representative, welfare caregivers and Chamber of Commerce staff. We proposed a few engaging questions that would allow each participant to discuss community barriers and examples of past initiatives and interventions, which have been successful. I was highly interested and in awe of the stories that were shared. I believe that I learnt so much about the climate of Japanese social issues in the school system, toward mental and physical health, services and perspectives around persons with disabilities, as well as municipal challenges around public service and civil responsibility and social justice concerns. It was an initial conversation around “youth empowering and their own voice”, the start of prospective and powerful collaborations in community development for the future.
MEETING MISSISSAUGA’S MAYOR & CANADIAN TRADE COMISSIONERS
I attended a very rare meeting with Mayor Bonnie Crombie from Mississauga at a formal Tea ceremony in Kariya City. Since it was the first time Mayor Crombie has visited Japan, I felt very honoured as a fellow citizen of Mississauga to be in her presence and mutually welcome her to Japan. We spoke about the STORYTiME initiative, expressed our organizational vision, goals and past year of accomplishments. I also had the opportunity to meet the Canadian Trade Commissioners based out of Nagoya, who work for the Federal Government. Everyone seemed both intrigued and pleased to hear of the organic and successful connection of “STORYTiME”. A very are opportunity and historic moment for both municipalities.
STORYTiME Vol 2. AT BIRDLAND BAR
A very explosive afternoon with great live & recorded music, positive atmosphere, good people and high-level dancing! All the participants attended with support and focus around the intention of STORYTiME and it’s vision of – having youth utilize their interest and power in developing themselves and their community through positive expression; respecting tradition and being progressive for the future, while valuing their own personal stories and contribution to society. I had so much fun and was very challenged as a dance judge with such a unique event format! I had to battle each competitor one by one in order to choose the 8 finalists. I’ve never done anything like that in my 18 year dance career. In the end, STORYTiME and the judges voted that there would be no competition winner! Instead we expressed that the true nature of our gathering and dance was to celebrate and encourage talent and leadership; that “if you had fun, you won!” Everyone at the event was very happy and felt a sense of relief and motivation.
I would like to close this report by saying “ありがとうございます！THANK YOU very much to STORYTiME for their vision & very hard work in creating groundbreaking opportunities for change! And also to you, our sponsors and supporters for having insight and confidence in these beautiful experiences, which can and will open new doors to better the local Kariya City community.
Marcelino “Frost Flow” DaCosta