Sunday, November 17, 2013

Children's Day Celebration at St Matthews

14 November is India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawharlal Nehru's birthday. Schools across the country celebrate this day as Children's Day with students presenting multi-cultural shows as a part of the day's celebrations. Gloria Phillip's, Principal St. Matthews Senior Secondary School, kindly invited us to the occasion. St. Mathew's does not have dance as a formal part of their curriculum. However I witnessed a deep enthusiasm for dance and music in the students and teachers alike.

The photos below are of dances choreographed by the students. Bollywood's music and dance styles and graceful, festive costuming factored into virtually all the choreographies. There was a lovely celebratory atmosphere.

A Punjabi Bhangra dance number
Hip hop


In the end the entire school was invited to dance  .....

12th grade students inviting all to dance

.... and soon everyone was dancing. It was St Matthew School's spontaneous grand finale for their Children's day program!
St Matthew's School students coming alive!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Government Primary and Middle School at Badi Village

BMCT is grateful that Ms. Joytsna Jhala, Principal of the Government Primary & Middle School at Badi Village outside Udaipur city welcomes our 2014 World Dance Residency program led by the Vanaver Caravan for her students.

Ms. Jyotsna Jhala Principal
Our Japanese colleague Mr. Takeshi Okumura who donated funds to build a childrens's library for the village next to the school introduced me to Jyotsna a few years ago. Takeshi who partnered us in several cultural exchange programs between Kyoto & Udaipur city throughout the 1990s was very keen that we extend our art based programs to the children in Badi. 
Takeshi Okumura & David Kubiak

The School

Children's Library, Badi

We are delighted to have an opportunity to work with these children. The majority of them are from tribal families with forestry, fishery and agrarian background. 

The photos below of the children are from a typical day at the school. 

4th grade students 

5th graders instructing third grade students
5th grade students responding to my inquiry

6th graders at their teacher's desk

Student art on the corridor walls

Including the Principal there are 3 full time teachers at the school. Jyotsna welcomes community input in the education process. As a result the children are comfortable and open with new comers and guests. They seem relaxed with their teachers and self motivated. The class room walls and corridors are full of educational charts and colorful student drawings. It seems art and craft is intrinsic to their life. Jyotsna informed us that dance and theater is also an integral part of their children's cultural background. It is my haunch that we will learn equally much from these children rooted in their nature based traditions.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Musical possibilities in Udaipur for International Cultural Exchange

From ancient times music & dance naturally interweave to express about people's life, beliefs, surroundings, joys & sorrows. Vanaver Caravan keeps alive global dance and music traditions and inspired by these traditions choreograph their own dances and compose their own music. VC performances in the US are accompanied by live music. 

BMCT believes that with VC's 2014 teaching tour to Udaipur, Bill Vanaver, Co-founder Director and lead musician and composer for the Vanaver Caravan could start a fruitful exchange with Udaipur city's virtuoso musicians for fresh music compositions to new dance choreographies. Here are a few of those brilliant Udaipur musicians that keep the city's cultural life alive.

Bhargav Mistry
Samarth Janve

Musicians from Sayari Roots of Gypsy

Pandit Ram Krishan Bose


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Women's Self-Defense Workshop - January 6~14, 2014

Martial Arts for Girls & Women

BMCT is happy to announce Shakti Academy's first martial arts workshop. VC's Joel Hanna is not only a brilliant dancer & choreographer, he's also a black-belt Kung-fu master who both teaches this ancient discipline and incorporates it in his art. His Udaipur workshop will be tailored for women's self-defense, consist of eight classes, and cost Rs1,500 for the whole course.

Joel in Motion

Joel Hanna's Kungfu practice/perforamance in New York.

Please contact: Rita Dixit-Kubiak for further inquiries 8696373193

Friday, November 8, 2013

VC Teachers Assisting the BMCT Shakti Academy Project - 2014 & 2012

These web-based news articles and youtube links are here to introduce our viewers to the amazing Vanaver Caravan teachers and artists we have the pleasure to work with in BMCT's school courses, community programs and our Shakti Academy Project.

Livia & Bill Vanaver, co-founder/directors Vanaver Caravan.
About Livia and Bill Vanaver

Write up on Livia and Bill Vanaver
Bill Vanaver & co playing "Flight to the Moon" from Earthbeat
Bill Vanaver & co playing "peace pin" for a swing dance number
Livia's rendition of late dancer-choreographeer Ruth St. Denis's dance "the Peacock"

Miranda Ten Broeke
VC India Program Coordinator

Marina Lopez 

VC India Program Co-Coordinator

Miranda, Marina & Livia talk about the Shakti Academy project to raise funds for their passage to India:

Joel Hanna
VC dancer teacher Kung-fu master & choreographer

Interview with Joel Hanna


Gustavo Caldas
VC dancer, teacher, Capoeira master & choreographer

Gustavo performing on stage for EarthBeat 

Ramona Staffeld
VC dancer teacher & choreographer

Ramona in Beantown camp 2010

 On Ramona                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Monday, November 4, 2013

Flier for World Dance Residency in Udaipur Schools

In the last week we have pitched the Vanaver Caravan World Dance Residency at two more schools in Udaipur, namely, The Study Senior Secondary School at Badi & The Junior Study School at Ambaugarh. At The Study we presented the program to students from the 3 to the 8 grade. The Junior Study is a primary school and we pitched the program to their 3rd and 4th graders.

We were delighted at the enthusiasm the students had towards learning dance and also about other cultures. They had a great deal of openness and a whole lot of questions and insights on the importance of dance and understanding foreign cultures.

The flyer below is a sample pitch that we are handing out at schools that will participate in the dance workshops. This particular flyer was made for The Study School.

Global Dance Workshops for Women

Workshops for women who love movement and dance!

Courses for Dancers & Choreographers

BMCT announces the January 2014 Global Dance Course led by the Vanaver Caravan dancer teachers.

January 2014 Vanaver Caravan Community Classes in Udaipur

Livia Vanaver founder director of  The Vanaver Caravan dance troupe has kindly agreed that she and other Vanaver teachers will lead a series of dance, choreography and martial art workshops from the 5th to the 14 of January 2014 for the Udaipur community. Each set of workshop includes 8 one hour sessions which will culminate in a public performance. Each set of workshop is RS 1500 per person payable to Big Medicine Charitable Trust. Udaipur. The students will learn a mix of dance warm ups, train in specific dances and participate in fresh dance choreographies. The VC master teachers trained in north American and world dance traditions, with many of them having additional knowledge of various martial art traditions, have a repertoire of over 100 dances (

Several vibrant choreographies seen in their two current shows, 'Earth Beat' and 'Pastures of Plenty' come from their extensive knowledge of  music, dance, body movements rhythm & beat. We are delighted that the VC are now ready to share this "in body knowledge" and understanding of world cultures through the performing arts with the community in heritage city Udaipur.

Our community classes include:
-International dance workshops for dancer choreographers
-International dance workshop for women
-A women's self defense workshops in Chinese Kung-fu martial art techniques lead by black belt Kung-fu master and Tap dancer, Joel Hanna

Please contact: Rita Dixit-Kubiak for further inquiries 8696373193