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SCHOOL RESIDENCIES

Elephanta offers Multicultural Storytelling for preschool and elementary schools in Los Angeles.

Children ages 3-10 will enjoy the colors, sounds, and images of stories from around the world.

In this class, children will learn dance, music, theater and world culture through the medium of storytelling.

While most classes isolate the performing arts - such as when children take a music class from one teacher and a dance class from another - this multicultural storytelling class brings together a full range of performing arts in connection with cultural studies. Parents will be pleased to know that their children are receiving such a diverse cultural arts education in this class.

 

what is multicultural storytelling?

Multicultural Storytelling is unique. The movements, rhythms and music of the land where the story comes from are woven throughout the story. This lends the story dimension, power and vibrancy. Through Multicultural Storytelling, children resonate with the heartbeat of the culture and its people.

The class allows children to actively participate in the stories as they are reenacted several times, through different media, such as puppets, masks and stylized theater. The repetition of the story, music and rhythms gives the experience depth and meaning, and allows children to fully identify with the character archetypes that are presented.

Children will learn chants, songs, rhythms and movements while engaging in the story. They also enjoy dressing up in traditional costumes representing the characters being enacted.

 

benefits

Children develop an appreciation for world traditions, broadening their understanding of the people around them. They discover the nuances of each culture as well as the universal elements that unite us. In addition, children develop their sense of music and rhythm as well as an understanding of their body in its movement through space. Children also develop strength and flexibility, focus and creativity, and experience the joy of self-expression.

 

class details

Each class is 45 minutes and is offered once a week. A typical class may include the following activities.

  • Story of the week presented through puppets, stylized theater, masks or dramatized storytelling
  • Children participate in the story through songs, chants and rhythms
  • Children participate in the story through movements, gestures and dance
  • Children dress up in costumes related to the story
  • Children dramatize the story, acting out characters
  • Group discussion about underlying meaning of story (for older children)

 

scheduling and pricing

Schools in Los Angeles can schedule Elephanta's Multicultural Storytelling as follows:

Class Tuition:

A monthly rate of $340 for 4 classes ($85/class).

A yearly rate of $2275 - includes 35 classes (one day a week) over a 10 month school year ($65/class). Schools that begin mid-year will receive a prorated rate.

Other possible schedules can be arranged according to a school's needs. Schools a short distance from LA can also inquire about scheduling and rates.

Materials Fee:

An additional materials fee ($5 per student per year) will be charged to cover the cost of providing students with their own CDs and song sheets to take home.

Demo Class:

Schools can schedule one discounted demo class for $50.

 

reviews from schools

“A wonderful multi-cultural performance!” “The dancer interacted with the audience. Students were spellbound….” teachers, Durhamville Elementary

“What a unique experience for our students! They were captivated by her energy and expressive style.”        teacher, Oneida Castle

“The dancer was beautiful and her native costume was elegant.”“This presentation addressed world culture, customs and understanding of diversity.” “It reinforced our world studies in geography, social, and political structure.”                                                      teachers, Sherrill Elementary

“”My students don’t have the opportunity to see much outside of their community. With projects like this they get to learn about other cultures.”                                                           Diana Romero, teacher

“I’m writing to thank you...My son was entranced.”      Clea Jones, parent

 

 

student reviews

“When you did your workshop I had fun doing the dance you taught us about. The hand signals went really well in your dances and workshop stories.”                                  Brandon, elementary student

“I liked the part when the boy was frightened by the five headed snake.”                                                         Paul, elementary student

“It was amazing how you acted out all the characters. Also the costumes. Wow! I have never seen anything so beautiful. I hope you can teach us another dance someday.”                Casey, elementary student

“I loved your dancing…I loved the dress and the music.”                                                                                      Jordan, elementary student

“I loved it all. It really taught new types of dance. One of the things I liked was the facial expressions….I also liked the costume. I have never seen anything like it before.”                            Ashley, elementary student

“Thank you for coming to our school and thank you for teaching us what some of your movements are. Thank you! Come soon!”                                                                                              Christopher, elementary student

“Thank you for telling us that story. It was great! And it was interesting. That boy was brave too!                            Michael, elementary student

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more about Elephanta

Elephanta Center for World Culture was established by artist and educator, Radha Carman, in order to give young children a deeper connection to stories and traditions from around the world. Radha is a graduate of the World Arts and Cultures Department at UCLA. As a part of this program, Radha has studied the traditional dance, music and theater styles from many countries, including traditions from Hawaii, Eastern Europe, India and Indonesia. With an emphasis in world theater, she has worked to bring the tradition of storytelling and cultural arts together to create a holisticradhacasual presentation. By combining the many facets of traditional arts in an engaging storytelling format, world cultures become understandable and meaningful to the participants.

Radha has brought cultural stories to children in schools for many years, first working through Performing Tree in the 1990s and later giving workshops and classes throughout the United States and Mexico.

California Arts Council awarded Radha a grant in 2001 to teach in different communities in Southern California. In 1997, and every year from 2002-06, Radha received grants from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department to give long-term residencies at schools and communities in Los Angeles. As a culmination of the 1997 grant, students performed the theater work, Nala and Damayanti. The 2002 grant culminated in a theater production, A Parade of Ants, combining elements of stylized and realistic theater.

Radha continues to work as a preschool and elementary school educator, as an artist and performer.

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