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Arts

1000 Nights and 41 Stars

Date Posted:  Monday, June 10, 2019

EB’s Musical Theater Enrichment Class presented their second production of the year, Mille et Une Nuits, known in English as 1001 Nights or Arabian Nights. On June 10th and June 11th, forty-one third, fourth and fifth graders made up the ensemble cast as they presented tales such as Scheherazade, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.

The tales of 1001 Nights have scintillated imaginations for many centuries. The stories that Scheherazade told came from various origins in the Middle East, and were first published in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. In 1704, Frenchman Antoine Galland published a version in French which included additional stories. Directors, Maggie Schoon and Anne Kuhry, wrote EB’s adaptation to create roles for all the interested students and customize a kid-friendly version.

The seventeen songs came from a variety of sources, including the musical Shéhérazade: Les Milles et Une Nuits of 2009, Les Milles et Une Nuits d’Ali Baba of 2000, Disney’s Aladdin of 1992, popular music and Les Enfantastiques. The cast was especially proud to present the song “Le Paradis Enfin,” written by current G5 students two years ago, during the visit of composer Jean No at EB.

Building Empathy and Civic Engagement

Doing musical theater is one of my best moments from EB”, said 5th grader and musical participant Yasmin. “I love doing it because it allows me to pursue my passions of singing, dancing and acting. I also really enjoyed making new friends especially friends from other grades.

Research shows that the arts are a vital component of a child’s education which not only open their hearts to the human experience but also build skills such as empathy and civic engagement. In addition, research in schools demonstrates that engaging children in the arts positively impacts their academic, social and emotional outcomes. “Lucas has learned so much about the value of hard work through this show. It is such a great opportunity for him to learn the challenge and the value of working with a large team to pull off a complex production”, said Brian Turner, father of one of the actors in the performance.

The students honed their acting, dancing and singing skills but also learned important lessons about building community and supporting others. Some G5 and middle school students also tried their hand at stage managing and theater tech. The production was done entirely in French which allowed students to improve their language skills.

Mille et Une Nuits had themes such as courage, justice, love and freedom for all. Audience members came away reflecting on those themes, entertained by the wonderful musical numbers and in awe of the dedication of the students involved. A magical carpet ride!

A Theater Collaboration between French Schools in Grade 3

Blog Type:  Arts Lower School
Date Posted:  Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Watching a play is one thing, but writing and performing one in front of an audience is another thing entirely. That was the challenge that our third graders were tasked. With their French teachers, Luc and Elodie, as their guides, the third graders embarked on a journey through theater, role play, vocabulary, and moral judgement.

 

 

This project was made possible thanks to Monsieur Robert and Gregory Galin. Monsieur Robert, a French actor, organized this theater piece that was performed on Friday, March 15 at the French School of San Francisco. Gregory Galin, a theater instructor and expert, rehearsed with our students once a month and provided them with tips to feel more confident on stage.

 

Finding the right character on stage

In early January, the students began their the project by writing a play. The theme was centered around sportsmanship, which meant creating a story with a moral lesson related to sports, while simultaneously trying to be funny! After six weeks of hard work, the students successfully managed to write five sketches for each of their two classes.

By the end of February, our actors-to-be began learning their scripts and getting into character. They discovered the importance of projecting their voice on stage, getting into the actor’s mindset and finding or creating theme-appropriate costumes.

 

Nerves and excitement!

On Tuesday, March 12th, the dress rehearsal took place in San Francisco. Though it was the students’ first encounter with this kind of performance, it was not entirely new to them because they had performed on the same stage once before when they were in second grade for the Choir of the Bay.

Then, on Friday, March 15th D-Day arrived! By 5:45 pm, all actors were present and ready. Some of our students were nervous, but were also excited to be on stage and to be able to perform in front of their parents and their other classmates.

Not only did the audience thoroughly enjoy the show, but our budding actors were overflowing with pride and joy. From collaboration to improvisation, from written comprehension to oral expression, from imagination to creation, our children were able to implement a multitude of diverse skills through this extraordinary theatrical project, from the classroom directly to the stage.

Bravo to all! This will be a night to remember.

Artists in Residence Teach Students About the Creative Process

Blog Type:  Arts Lower School
Date Posted:  Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Author Claire Clément explains her approach when writing a children's book.

 

All Lower School students enjoyed the week-long presence of two artists from France: author Claire Clément and illustrator Matthieu Maudet. In 4th and 5th grades, the two French artists guided students to write and illustrate their own stories. 


You can also listen to a radio interview of Matthieu Maudet by a 5th grade student conducted in March: 

Animateur : Aoife

Techniciens : Juniper et Penelope

Au programme:

  • La Brigade d'intervention poétique
  • Lecture de poème par les CP
  • Quelques gestes pour protéger la planète
  • Résultats sportifs
  • Critiques de films
  • Interview de Matthieu Maudet
  • Blagues

Spring Concerts in Grades 2 to 5

Blog Type:  Arts Lower School
Date Posted:  Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Students from grades 2 to 5 performed a wide array of songs from France, the US and Africa during their annual Spring Concert on April 5. The repertoire included Christophe Maé, Bob Dylan, Pierre Perret as well as traditional songs from Ivory Coast and Togo. Many of the songs included a group dance performance. The joy of singing is visible in all the children’s faces as you will see in those videos!

Grade 2

 

Grade 3

 

Grade 4

 

Grade 5

G6 Act “La télévision en folie”

Blog Type:  Arts Middle School
Date Posted:  Monday, April 8, 2019

6th graders performed different "teledramas" at their fictional K.I.D.S. T.V. station on March 14 on the stage, at Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley. The theme for the evening was "La télévision en folie" (“Television Gone Wild”) and they sure provided their audience with, if not tears, at least laughter!

 

 

Poetry Seeps Out of the Classroom

Blog Type:  Arts Lower School
Date Posted:  Monday, April 8, 2019

Le Printemps des Poètes is an annual celebration of poetry in France during the month of March. In school, students learn poems and march around campus to deliver them to others in what is called Brigade D’Intervention Poétique (also known as “BIP”, or Poetic Response Brigade).

For a couple of weeks in March, our 5th graders were regularly seen walking around in small groups, storming into classrooms or administrative offices, reciting, reading, singing or acting poems that they memorized!

Students were particularly excited about this project and took the time to research their poems with librarian Sylvie Le Meur. They also created special flags and posters to spread the word around the school.

The goal of this program was to show students that poetry doesn’t strictly need to be recited, in fact, it can take many forms. It is also a great opportunity for our students to practice their public speaking skills and strengthen the ties within the community.

This successful new initiative might spread to other grades next year!

"Music Brings us Together"

Blog Type:  Arts Preschool
Date Posted:  Friday, December 21, 2018

One of the highlights in Kindergarten at EB is music class with teacher (and EB parent) Mike Roberts. For the last few years, this accomplished guitarist and composer has been spending time regularly with all three K classes to help students discover that “music is fun, music makes us feel good, music brings us together!”

Most recently, the students have been rehearsing with Mike their songs for Family and Friends’ Day, a holiday celebration happening during the last week of school in December. The songs are “Bonjour!” and “Soyons amis” by Alain Le Lait, “Je suis Tatou” (from their Tatou curriculum), “Kye Kye Kule,” a traditional song from Ghana, and “Vive le Vent/Jingle Bells.” Watch them perform during the most recent Winter Show!

“I truly enjoy teaching young children and working with them over a full year, because we get to try things out and build on what we have learned”, says Mike. Indeed, through the process of rehearsing for their performance, the students have learned fundamental musical skills and concepts such as: listening, the basic science of sound, instrumental types (percussion/wind/string), warming up to sing, the solfege scale (do-re-mi, etc.), keeping a beat and counting, singing as a group and following a director, and many other aspects of music education.

Introducing music at the Kindergarten level makes sense: “At this age, they are learning social ties and how to be with people, and music helps them to come together. They can see that they can create something beautiful by singing and performing as a group, and that’s very powerful”, says Mike.

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