Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Romeo! Romeo! Por que eres tu Romeo?

Back to the relative security of La Pintana this morning, but some of the company look a little worse for wear having drowned their sorrows after last night's straight talk. There's little sympathy from the rest of us, however, especially when the blame is placed on the water in the ice cubes, rather than the drink itself. By the time we reach the School, however, everybody is back on form, ready to go and deliver two cracking sessions, building on the initial work done two days ago.

Despite the occasional problem it's amazing to see how much the St Mary's students have grown over the last three days and they joyfully attack the session with a confident sense of authority. Each section of the workshop is deftly handled and the handovers from one student to another achieved with clarity and confidence.


Their sense of the dynamic in the room is also improving and their antennas are becoming more attuned to the children who are struggling to have full involvement. I'm impressed by the number of one to one discussions that are going on in the fringes of the room. No child is left out and all are feeling valued.

There's also a sense of progression today. The exercises build on each other, each one in turn demanding a more creative response from the children and, of course, the results are terrific. Photo race is the clear favourite. At the drop of a hat the room is filled with astronauts, then roller coasters, then dragons, then ghosts, each image preceded by a signed bi-lingual collaboration and much laughter. I'm aware that the St Mary's students are road testing ideas for the challenges of the afternoon.

Finally the lesson comes to an end and the class sing us a song in English, which they've learnt to say thank you to us. It's a much needed boost.

Julie and I had planned to swap supervisions this afternoon, but the feeling is that another day of continuity is needed to make sure that we follow through on the ideas voiced in our evening evaluations and so, after lunch, once again I head off to Galvarino with the team.

It's day three and we're now beginning to get a sense of which of the children are going to be able to take part on Saturday. Faith, Chloe and Rachel have developed a strong relationship with two young lads, Kevin and Gilverto, and are rightly leaning on their enthusiasm to pull in other kids who would otherwise perhaps prefer to watch from the side lines. A slightly older girl Barbara is always in attendance, waiting for the opportunity to talk to us about the shops in London and the latest trainer fashions. We haven't enticed her to perform yet, but she's happy to take some directorial decisions.

Others come in and out, but you can feel the momentum has changed and trusts are forming. We put together the Chile v England story. Alexis Sanchez scoring the winner with an overhead kick for which Kevin impressively hold a ten second pose.

Next door young Bruno has directed a music video with Aliyah, Hannah, Sophie & Lizzie and together with Jonathan, Bilan and Tamas, a whole range of choreography and storytelling is being put together. It's a much happier minibus that returns to base.

We don't really have time to reflect on the day's progress as the Ministry of Culture have generously  invited us to the opulent Teatro Municipal to see the City ballet perform John Cranko's version of Romeo Y Juilieta. It's a production filled with exuberance and high camp, oranges fly across the stage during the fight scenes and long shimmering capes flutter off to exile, but it's irresistible all the same and there are beautiful performances from the lead dancers.



It's been a much better day and we dine late in a Tapas bar round the corner from the hostel, serving perfect Pisco Sours. The strike has been confirmed for the morning, meaning Julie's planned voice workshop has been cancelled. The Chilean students apparently took a vote on whether to approach the strike committee to seek special dispensation, given how far we've travelled to work with them, but, by a narrow majority, they decided to honour the strike. I think, having worked with them yesterday, this is clearly the right decision, and so for the first time since we arrived tomorrow will be a morning of rest.


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