by Issie Lloyd, Dance Development Worker
I have spent the last five months working with Plasnewydd Primary School for The Culture Box Project we are running alongside Millner Primary School in Darwin, Australia. The project was set up between Valley and Vale Community Arts and Darwin Community Arts (one of our international partnerships based in Australia). The aim of the project was to represent the other school’s culture by sending each other props and pictures as a stimulus to make a dance/drama piece from.
In our Culture Box there was an Australian Rules football, fishing rod, sunglasses and a variety of Australian animals (not real ones of course, cuddly toys!). Using these props, we put together a narrative and created a piece combining elements of dance and drama. Over the five month period, the children from Plasnewydd grew in confidence and ability, and by the end of the project they were happily creating their own movement material and independently reading their scripts.
This project has been lots of fun and the children have been a pleasure to work with! We recently received Millner Primary School’s completed project on DVD and their representation of Wales was brilliant! We are currently in the process of editing the footage together and will soon be sending our copy over to Australia. To finish off the project we will be showing the completed film and photo footage to all the parents and guardians of all those that participated from Plasnewydd Primary – a hard working group of children with a very supportive teacher (Sian Lewis-Sullivan).
‘I really enjoyed taking part in the play for the Culture Box. It was a lot of fun with our dance teacher, Izzie. I really enjoyed the scene when we had to be a forest. I also enjoyed it when we had to go outside and play as part of one of the scenes.’ (Lois Cocks)
‘We worked with Izzie every Wednesday. She helped us make a play about a boy called Aiden. We acted out the play, and Izzie filmed it. Now the film is going to be sent to a school in Darwin, Australia (Milner Primary School). I hope they like the acting and dancing we did.
The part I enjoyed the most was working with Izzie. Izzie helped us with the acting and the dance moves. I hope we get to work with Izzie again!!’ (Kym Zhang and Holly Pearson)
‘I enjoyed acting in the Culture Box play. I loved the crocodile scene, when we needed to circle the crocodile. My favourite part was being a frog, it was really fun! I wore a frog mask, green t-shirt and black leggings. Izzie, our dance teacher, was really fun. THANKS IZZIE!’ (Abbie Rees)
‘I liked the second term of our Culture Box project, when we put together a play. I was a narrator. I think one of my favourite activities was the warm ups. Izzie would say a number and you had to put that number of body parts on the floor.’ (Finlay Purnell)
‘We enjoyed dressing up for the play because we got to be animals and trees. We acted in the fishing scene. Aiden (the boy in the play) was fishing, and we had to act it out. He looked like he was fishing, and he had to catch us and put us in his back pack.’ (Joseph Walsh and Aaron Sayce)
‘My favourite part in the play was the dancing. I also enjoyed taking part in the freeze frames. Being the head master was cool, and the fishing scene was really funny. I liked the part when we were being the dragons; the dance moves were really funny.’ (Darien Budge and Cameron Bradshaw)
‘I enjoyed taking part in the play, the activity I enjoyed the most was when I had to act as one of the children. I was nervous when we were filming because it was the first time I had been filmed. Our favourite parts were when we had to circle Aiden and his friends and watch the crocodile snapping his jaws, and when Aiden and his friends were swimming through the river.’ (Isabelle Nicholas & Katie Green)
‘Every Wednesday we worked with Izzie. First we did a dance about Australian animals such as lizards, frogs, birds, crocodiles and spiders. Then we moved on to do a story based on two dragons fighting. Next, our teacher Izzie wrote a play about a boy called Aiden. We acted it out in school, and Izzie filmed it. Aiden was played by Harly Videan.
The part I enjoyed the most was the two dragons fighting. The moves were really fun and amazing.’ (Leon Reynolds and Cory Rees)
‘Wednesdays were brilliant because we had Izzie coming in to work with us. We enjoyed working with Izzie; getting to dress up and act. It was lots of fun! We liked pretending to be all the different animals, trees and bushes. Our favourite scene was the fishing scene because we had to pretend that we had a fishing rod in our hand and catch fish. Aiden was played by Harly; he was one of the main characters. Kym was a snake, Abbie played a frog and both Iestyn and Tegan played the crocodile. I liked seeing my friends dressing up!’ (Ellie Davies and Tegan Bunyard)