Lisa Sars is a Vancouver-based dance artist working with elementary aged students. A student of Anne Green Gilbert, her teaching methodology for dance is holistic, nurturing collaborative connections, responsive dancers and creative thinkers. She teaches the 15 foundational concepts of dance to inspire intelligent choreographies and improvisations. Artistically she looks at the creative process, sometimes with 200 + students, as being like a collage; the students' creations are the photographs, glued together just so, to create another layer of meaning and symbolism inspired by the project's big idea. Facilitating a culturally inclusive and gender neutral space for students brings forward an element of respect and understanding that radiates out into the class. A key ingredient is that Lisa gives students space to be themselves, there is no right or wrong, the sky's the limit with what we can make up through purposeful play and imagination.
Lisa is a multi-faceted artist that is able to incorporate dance, choreography, and story theatre through inquiry and play-based explorations. We enjoyed Lisa's time at our school in the capacity of an ArtStarts artist. I highly recommend her to be hired for other ArtStarts projects. Monika Sanft, Principal, Nootka Elementary
After three months of practicing the children were ready to participate in the dance and perform it to not only the entire student body but then again to their parents. The final production was wonderful! Her vision came true and was a masterpiece. A work of art! Teri Taylor, Teacher, Bayview Elementary
For the Glow of it! features the use of UV lights to create whimsical illusions on stage - all choreographed, improvised, and performed by the students, with artistic support. Each student's voice is in included in the mix. From the initial brainstorm sessions to the rehearse + perform sessions on the stage, students work with the artist once a week for a total of 3 months. This project is quite visually stunning.
The Mindfulness Projects takes the self-regulation skills the students are learning at school, and puts them into a different perspective through creative dance. Each class identifies their specific outlook on mindfulness and transforms it into dance through a variety of choreographic processes guided by the artist. Gathered together, the dances are offered to back to the wider community to enhance parents, students, teachers and staff's understanding of self regulation skills. It is quite an insightful process to be a part of.
The Snow Queen is a creative dance project inspired by the story of Hans Christian Anderson. Providing students with a hands-on experience, it focuses on collaboration through playful improvisation and choreography. Students create choreographies in small groups using verbs and adjectives inspired by key symbols of the story. Depending on the grade level either the students select and combine these dances forming a larger picture, or the artist does. The end result is a beautiful contemporary interpretation of a timeless story.