A group of students from The Juilliard School in New York visited Guatemala this May, where they put on a week-long workshop in dance, drama, and music for students at our Santa Catarina partner school. The group’s mission was to inspire and empower the students to perform confidently. They also hoped the students would gain skills in team work and a sense of self-reliance and pride in performing for their classmates.
The group worked with students in grades 4-6 from Monday through Thursday, three hours each day, putting together a performance piece that they presented to the rest of the school on Friday. Each day of the workshop, students split their time between music, dance, and drama.
Highlights of the performance included an instrumental piece using egg shakers, drumsticks, and tambourines, an interpretive dance expressing students’ feelings through movement, and a dramatic presentation of the legend of Tecun Uman explaining the origins of the quetzal’s red breast.
Annalise Thompson, a recent graduate from Juilliard and leader of the group, said she believes it is important for Juilliard students to take their gift outside the concert hall and present it in its most simple and basic form. In doing so, she feels they can have a great impact. She said she believes the kind of experience they are offering Santa Catarina students is important for children because “they become more creative when solving problems. They learn that they can pursue their dreams and create new horizons for themselves.”
Many thanks to the Juilliard students for sharing your gifts with students in Santa Catarina. You have made a lasting impact on these students! See below for more photos of the workshops and performance.