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Kinetika artists have been working with students and staff from Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer schools at the High House Production Park in Purfleet to plan a carnival. Five students and two teachers from six schools took part in workshops led by Kinetika and Kinetika Bloco to learn carnival skills.
All the schools have been invited to take part in Tilbury Carnival on Sat 20 July to share the end result, and will also perform it in school.
The schools have all chosen different themes that celebrate the diversity of Thurrock.
During the planning day, three workshops were run in carnival drumming, dance and design. Artists from Kinetika led the design workshop, and carnival performance group Kinetika Bloco led the drumming and dance workshops.
The students had a lot of fun learning samba reggae rhythms and created their own individual compositions on a range of different styles of carnival drums. When it came to dancing, they were taught some mass movement, repeated dances and had the opportunity to choreograph their own adaptation on these movement patterns to create shapes. They also learned to think about travelling choreography, necessary for a carnival procession.
Kinetika’s Artistic Director Ali Pretty and artist Ray Mahabir helped the students devise a story and characters for the carnival. Building upon initial carnival theme ideas and using recycling as the main source of inspiration and creation, the workshops explored ways to use recyclable items that would be thrown away otherwise, to create costumes.
Ali Pretty said “It was hugely inspiring to see how well these Thurrock students took to the idea of carnival, it will be great if we can regenerate what used to be a Thurrock tradition with a new wave of contemporary carnivals in years to come. Carnival is a brilliant way to bring diverse communities together into one celebration.”
Neil Moore from William Edwards School said:
“It was really special to work with the students at the carnival CPD. Opportunities like this are so rare and the day was packed with so much active learning for all of us. The SWECET cultural champions have never been so fired up about a project and we are excited about how the music, dance and art sessions will drive our plans forward. This is the first time we have involved students from the outset in a Trailblazer project so I get the feeling it will be the most creative experience yet.”