Vazzy's practice is rooted in the musical, artistic and cultural traditions of Canada and French-Canada; blending community dancing, songs, music, rhythms, rhymes, storytelling and drama. Since 2005, the two artists share their passion with K-12 students through entertaining musical performances, engaging workshops and residency projects exploring our historical and contemporary culture through inclusive, fun, creative, and time-tested traditional art forms; celebratory and joyful collective experiences bringing the best out of young people. Bryn and Suzanne have inspired thousands of students, leading over 40 multi-day residencies, many ending with empowering assembly performances by the students. Their enthusiasm and their original arrangements of traditional cultural art practices provide a fun-filled opportunity for students to acquire new skills and develop attitudes and values leading to lifelong interests and pursuits. Planned with the educators, each residency project meets the aspiration of individual classrooms, entire schools or programs. French, English or bilingual instruction is matched to the student's abilities. The artists leave audio files and support material with the school and teachers for future use. Curricular connections: dance, music, performing arts, social studies, physical education, language arts, history, geography, science, mathematics, anatomy, health.
I ended-up being the star. I was really funny! Grade 3 student, École des Glaciers
Our 5-day residency project with 9 French-Immersion and CORE classes went extremely well, all students were thoroughly engaged. Each class had a different song and dance. Two of the classes had presentations that were really funny, depicting French folk tales, complete with costumes and props. Having live music on cue was wonderful for coordinating the dance steps and practicing seamlessly. The project culminated with a presentation for the whole school and parents that lasted 1.5 hours. Suzanne was amazing; I don't know how she does it! The most rewarding part of the project was seeing how much the students learned in such a short time. They experienced a French culture that was fun and funny. I was very happy to have organized this event. Christine Marin, Vice-principal, École Mitchell Elementary School
It was great to see the enthusiasm with which the participants and the artists connected, the fantastic variety presented to the students and the audience during the performance at the end of the residency. Classes continue to chat about their experiences. We are incorporating at least two of the songs and dances into our spring concert. Some comments: "I can't believe how much the students retained over just three workshops," Teacher. "We had so much fun!" Students. Lynn Fleck, Principal, St-Joseph Elementary
Accompanied with live fiddle music, our high energy and at times hilarious dance workshops get your students dancing and loving it! From square and barn type dances, to contras, circle, polkas and waltz, people have enjoyed community dancing for centuries. Dances are entertaining yet challenging, with room for self-expression and new ideas in their presentation and execution. Dance develops coordination, collaboration, movement memory and explores the relationships between sequences, patterns, shapes, space, time and dynamics. A fun healthy lifestyle and community oriented activity. Our dance calls are gender neutral.
Depending on the school's objectives, during this mixed-art residency, students explore community dances, rounds, songs, rhymes, spoon playing and foot percussion. We can see each division once, or multiple times for a greater acquisition of artistic and/or French language skills. All divisions learn a dance and a song (or round, rhyme). Students from grade 4-12 can also explore the basics of spoon playing and foot percussion, acquiring skills they can use to accompany any style of music. Students also learn how to transform spoons from their kitchen into musical instruments.
This residency is similar to the mixed arts residency, with the addition of storytelling, drama-folk tale skits with costumes, and preparing for a performance. Some students contribute artwork for stage-décor. Before the performance, we must see each division for a minimum of 3 workshops to refine both interpretation and presentation. Each division usually performs a dance and a song, or a musical drama skit, with one group performing a spoon playing and foot percussion act. The residency culminates with students performing. Vazzy looks after all performance details. Schools often invite parents to this entertaining assembly performance.