Here are the wonderful children of Room 27 performing “Exploding Planet” – their self-created dance, inspired by outer space. Please check out the video that we made. I couldn’t be more proud of them!
This fabulous song is “L’Esperanza” by the Belgian duo Airscape. The Year 5 teachers had planned for a space theme to merge with inquiry learning, and I knew from the outset that I wanted a trance track – Airscape fit the bill perfectly.
I introduced L’Esperanza to the children before they knew that they would be dancing to it, so they would become used to the patterns and tempo. The choreography was developed in a series of dance workshops. We talked about how things move through space, how stars and planets form and explode, and how celestial objects orbit a larger star or planet. At first the kids free-danced, getting into the feeling of the song and discovering what their bodies could do, then they started making patterns. In pairs and small groups, they came up with ‘moves’ that worked with the music and the idea of space. They shared their ideas and tried things that might work together, and I threaded it all into a final routine.
When you watch the video you will see the dance ‘peak’ at the end, as the kids portray a star exploding. At the core are solid molecules [white spots, with umbrellas]; turning and surrounding them are rings of energy [green stripes]; next, you see an atmosphere of gas [on the floor, blue & white]; and spinning around them all are comets and meteors [pink & orange]. When the music peaks, the layers blow apart in a final supernova.
The poi were a relatively late addition (I wanted to get the kids’ feet and bodies moving before we added the extra dimension of poi) and intended to be only a small part of the performance. However, the kids were TOTALLY into swinging and dancing, and the role of the poi got bigger. That trance theme just kept growing!
Each of our three classes (including one double class of 57 kids) had their own dance and my colleagues put together some shared routines for all the classes, including performances to Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now‘ and ‘Children‘ by Robert Miles. They also sang Space Odyssey by David Bowie.
The whole production turned out better than we could have imagined and I am so, so proud of my wee gang. It’s a privilege and an honour to learn and work alongside these children.