Tomorrows´ yesterday

 

How can artists come along with educators, how can pedagogical initiatives and art practices become allies in promoting sensible sharing and critical thought?

How can Art produce powerful devices against tomorrow´s threats?

How can dance translate and promote new sensible platforms of experience?

 

Two landmarking educating strategies inspire this project, both merging to one common basis: learning as a practice for freedom.  On one side, the German theorist Friedrich Froebel, inventor of the kindergarten and its use of play as a fundamental learning tool. On the other, the renowned Brazilian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire, advocate of a critical pedagogy, where the learner is considered as a co-creator of knowledge. This is meant to be the beginning of a future group piece and a platform for producing and sharing sensible knowledge.

 

The kindergarten was an educational initiative emerged in Germany in 1837 which defended the education of young infants through creative, imaginative, and spontaneous play. Through doing things and playing games, the children´s environment and dynamics were introduced into the learning process. When emphasizing doing rather than the verbal communication of things, Froebel defended that mind grows through self-revelation, made possible with playful learning games as building blocks, yarn balls, divided cube, which he called Giftsand learning activities he called Occupations, as weaving, drawing, folding paper, word carving, among others. The Gifts would lead to discover, thus to insights, the Occupations to invention, thus to power.

 

For Paulo Freire, the education serves men and women to gain critical access to the world they live in, adopting and using the students´ own references and contexts as the basis of the alphabetizing process. Engaged with the alphabetization of impoverished grown-ups as a way of promoting human dignity for otherwise oppressed people, Freire defended the consciousness of reading a word, as reading the world. Freire´s revolutionary method became world-wide famous yet banned by the Brazilian 1964-1982 dictatorship. The method is nowadays again menaced of erasure by an intense defamation campaign orchestrated by the recently elected extreme-right Brazilian government.

 

This project aims to interconnect both pedagogical universes, using dance as a knowledge instance in order to investigate, perform and explore the possibilities inherent to the educational principles that have founded both pedagogies. I am interested in researching local practical expertise, present in daily life, with the aim of devising performative movement techniques for non-dancers and parallelly invite dancers and amateurs to experiment what would be a translation between these two realms and to explore the materiality at play in Froebel´s Gifts and Occupations.

 

In the process of creation 3 paths are thought to be followed: the first, the holding of open workshops for dancers, amateurs and teenagers in order to research and experience the materiality of Fröbel’s learning games its application and adaptation to movement research and the study of local contexts as a motor knowledge generator; the second is the study, discussion and experimentation of the theoretical and practical intertwining of the two pedagogical practices, by Fröbel and Freire, along with their possible translation into dance protocols; the third, the creation of a future group show, sensitive sharing platform and knowledge generation.

 

Group piece for 5 dancers // Première 1st semester 2021 // Portugal. For more information, please contact: gustavociriaco.producao@gmail.com

 

Photo by Filipa Farinha, Festival Verão Azul.

 

 

 

 

Creative lab. Festival Verão Azul, Loulé, Portugal. October 27th, 2019.