Pro-Jump Roper Turns Sport to Art

Professional jump-roper and Cirque Du Soleil coch Rene Bibaud is amazing… to put it plainly. This woman can do things with a jump rope you didn’t know were possible. We’re lucky to have her here in our fair city, and even luckier to share her with all the incredible families who will attend the Seattle Children’s Festival. Find her at the Fisher Pavilion at 4:00 p.m. (all ages!) and in our Discovery Zone throughout the day, but first, learn a bit more about her below!

 

SCF: Why jump-roping? What got you into it?

 

RB: When I was 10 years old, a jump rope team came to my school and did a performance. I LOVED it.  My PE teacher started a jump rope team, called the Hot Dogs.  I didn’t make the team the first year, but after some hard work, and willingness to keep at it, I got chosen.  I’ve been a “Hot Dog” ever since.  I toured nationally with the team, won several world championships and then was fortunate enough to be recruited by Cirque Du Soleil.  I toured professionally with a show called “Quidam” Performing with Cirque was a highlight and experience of a lifetime, but when I returned home, I decided to turn my focus to youth motivation and fitness. That’s when I started Ropeworks. Now I teach kids the joy of rope jumping for fun and fitness. And I love it. Jumping rope is an incredible lifetime fitness activity. Inexpensive, portable and perfect. I love teaching kids the tools to embrace this awesome activity.

 

SCF: How can parents and teachers promote exercise in children?

 

RB: Helping kids make a positive connection with any form of physical activity is key.  Putting pressure and focus on skill acquisition or setting expectations way beyond their skill set can create tension and disappointment. Rather, focus on goal setting, best effort and avoiding comparisons.  Let your kids know that when they make mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process.  And finally, emphasize what I call “frequent small successes” This process helps kids recognize that small steps toward a big goal can be rewarding.  So, when a child does one thing right (ie – spins the rope over their head without catching their body) help them recognize that success, celebrate and then move to the next small step. Finally, parents are the ultimate role model. When you are active, your kids are active. When you mess up and can laugh at yourself, your children will learn to do the same. They are always watching our coping skills. There are numerous online resources that can get you and your kids excited about any type of physical activity. www.learntojumprope.com is my site dedicated to helping kids, parents and teachers jump rope skills. Check it out!

 

SCF:  What is the mission behind your company, Ropeworks?

 

 

RB: To share the joy of rope jumping for fun and fitness, through goal setting, best effort and learning to celebrate our differences.

 

SCF: What message to do you want to send to kids through jump roping?

 

RB: Practice and patience.

 

SCF: What can parents expect for their kids with Ropeworks at Seattle Children’s Festival

 

RB: Kids will see me perform, but then get the chance to be involved through audience participation in double dutch and single rope jump rope tricks.  I hope kids will embrace rope jumping as a lifetime fitness activity and understand the importance of the character points made earlier.

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Music Together Brings Fun for the Young Set

Expect a forecast of sunshine at Seattle Children’s Festival! We are so excited for your little one(s) to experience the Sunshine Music Together workshop and get a taste of what it offers. Bring the whole family and join in on the fun at 1:00 p.m., in Loft 4.  Check out our interview with Sunshine director Summer Rognlie Trisler to find out more about the Music Together program and what activities to look forward to at the Festival.

 

SCF: Explain what the Music Together program is and the philosophy behind it?ST: Music Together i

s an innovative music and movement program for children aged birth to five years and their parents or caregivers, that is bas

ed on the belief that all children are inherently musical.  Music Together pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement. At Music Together we believe that music ability is as basic to life as walking or talking, and that it is every child’s birthright to participate with pleasure and confidence in the music of our culture. We introduce children to the joys of making music instead of passively receiving it from CD’s and television. And because very young children instinctively respond to and imitate their loved ones, the active participation of parents and caregivers – regardless of their musical ability – is an essential part of the rich musical environment we create. Music Together parents discover what a powerful role model they are for their child, just by having fun with the music themselves! And by providing cd’s and songbooks to take home, we hope to inspire music-making in your everyday family life.

SCF: What can parents do on their own to inspire music education and movement activities for their children?

ST: Nothing is more important for a child’s musical growth than seeing their loved ones modeling music making with enjoyment! They don’t care if you sing in tune, they think you have the best voice in the world, but they do care that you model and participate! Around the house or wherever

you spend time with your children, try to incorporate music into your day-to-day activities. Create songs out of brushing your teeth, taking a bath, getting dressed, getting in the carseat – It’s so very simple for us to do, yet profound for your child’s music development. Families will often ask us what type of music they should be playing at home for their children, and we always tell them; “Play what you love. Remember that children learn by watching and imitating you, they are acquiring a disposition for music from you, so if you love rhythm and blues, share that with your child. If you love the Beatles, play the Beatles!” Parents need to give themselves permission to model how much fun music is.

 

SCF: What kind of activities will families be doing in the workshops at Seattle Children’s Festival?

ST: We’ll be encouraging families to unwind and join in with full participation as we lead fun, silly and playful music and movement activities together!  We’ll talk a little bit about what we’re learning and why we do what we do within the song activities.  Our hope is to send parents home with a deeper understanding of their child’s music development, and with some basic tools to help support  that development at home.

 

SCF: What is the most popular/favorite activity in the program?

ST: Singing and moving together in a mixed aged family community setting!  Where else do children get to see a room full of adults circle dancing with bells or crawling around on the floor playfully acting like cats and dogs singing.  Remember children learn through play at this age!  They respect adults who can communicate with them on their level!  We create a fun, informal, playful, developmentally appropriate, non performance oriented learning environment which is musically rich, yet immediately accessible to the child’s – and the adult’s! – participation.

 

SCF: What should parents expect for the kids from Sunshine Music Together at SCF?

ST:  To have a GREAT time participating with their parents in song and movement activities and to be inspired and motivated by the participation of the musical community around them!   We’re all there to model how much fun music making is!

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Inside Afro-Brazilian Martial Art-Dance Traditions in Seattle

With more than 23 years of Capoeira experience, instructor Silvio Aleixo Dos Reis was kind enough to take some time to chat with us and provide more info on the ancient art form. Check out International Capoeira Angola Foundation Seattle’s performance at Seattle Children’s Festival at 11:45 a.m in Loft 3.

SCF:  What exactly is Capoeira Angola? A sport, a game, or a dance?

SDR: Capoeia Angola is an Afro-Brazilian martial art-dance traditions carried by enslaved Africans brought to Brazil beginning in the sixteenth century. Capoeira developed in Brazil as a “dance fight” that combines wit, flexibility and strategy into a graceful and nimble art of both body and mind. Today, Capoeira Angola is an art form that uses the language of movement and music to enhance self-esteem and push our bodies in a healthy way.

SCF:  Why should people learn Capoeira as a form of exercise?

SDR: We teach Capoeira as a fun and engaging art form that promotes the development of coordination, balance, body strength and agility. Through the fundamental elements of cooperation, creativity and natural movements, each class focuses on achievement, leadership and community building.

SCF: Capoeira seems pretty physically demanding, how can young or older people safely get involved with it?

SDR: The different movements of Capoeira can be set up to be done for everybody from all ages. We teach in a way that we have specific movements that we can teach for young people and other movements that the older people can do in a fun and safe environment. In this way different groups can participate in the same class and feel well supported by the instructor and all class.

SCF: Any tips for people who are interested in learning Capoeira?

SDR: If people are interested in learning capoeira, it is very important to do not try to do by themselves. All the movements need specific orientation to do and in the beginning is good to have a instructor and a good school to start. Look for a professional capoeira school and help the capoeira community grow.

In this class people will enhance their musical, physical and social capacities through active and interactive participation.

People will learn:

- How to do basic movements to play the capoeira game

- How to play the percussion instruments like drums, tambourines and the musical bowl the berimbau

- Sing capoeira songs in Brazilian Portuguese

SCF: What can people who attended Seattle Children’s Festival expect from Capoeira?

SDR: For the performance we will be presenting the capoeira angola movements in a circle followed by the music and songs in Brazilian Portuguese. Ten musicians will be playing the instruments and two performers will be doing the movements in the middle of the circle. The performance is going to be an interactive act with the public when they will be invited to sing and play some of the musical instruments with us in a ” learning through practice” process. The capoeira rhythms are easy to learn and fun to dance to, and will be demonstrated during our performance.

Inside Afro-Brazilian Martial Art-Dance Traditions in Seattle

With more than 23 years of Capoeira experience, instructor Silvio Aleixo Dos Reis was kind enough to take some time to chat with us and provide more info on the ancient art form. Check out International Capoeira Angola Foundation Seattle’s performance at Seattle Children’s Festival at 11:45 a.m. in Loft 3 of the Armory.

SCF:  What exactly is Capoeira Angola? A sport, a game, or a dance?
SDR: Capoeia Angola is an Afro-Brazilian martial art-dance traditions carried by enslaved Africans brought to Brazil beginning in the sixteenth century. Capoeira developed in Brazil as a “dance fight” that combines wit, flexibility and strategy into a graceful and nimble art of both body and mind. Today, Capoeira Angola is an art form that uses the language of movement and music to enhance self-esteem and push our bodies in a healthy way.

 

SCF:  Why should people learn Capoeira as a form of exercise?

 

SDR: We teach Capoeira as a fun and engaging art form that promotes the development of coordination, balance, body strength and agility. Through the fundamental elements of cooperation, creativity and natural movements, each class focuses on achievement, leadership and community building.

SCF: Capoeira seems pretty physically demanding, how can young or older people safely get involved with it?

 

SDR: The different movements of Capoeira can be set up to be done for everybody from all ages. We teach in a way that we have specific movements that we can teach for young people and other movements that the older people can do in a fun and safe environment. In this way different groups can participate in the same class and feel well supported by the instructor and all class.

 

SCF: Any tips for people who are interested in learning Capoeira?

 

SDR: If people are interested in learning capoeira, it is very important to do not try to do by themselves. All the movements need specific orientation to do and in the beginning is good to have a instructor and a good school to start. Look for a professional capoeira school and help the capoeira community grow.

 

In this class people will enhance their musical, physical and social capacities through active and interactive participation.

People will learn:

- How to do basic movements to play the capoeira game

- How to play the percussion instruments like drums, tambourines and the musical bowl the berimbau

- Sing capoeira songs in Brazilian Portuguese

 

SCF: What can people who attended Seattle Children’s Festival expect from Capoeira?
SDR: For the performance we will be presenting the capoeira angola movements in a circle followed by the music and songs in Brazilian Portuguese. Ten musicians will be playing the instruments and two performers will be doing the movements in the middle of the circle. The performance is going to be an interactive act with the public when they will be invited to sing and play some of the musical instruments with us in a ” learning through practice” process. The capoeira rhythms are easy to learn and fun to dance to, and will be demonstrated during our performance.

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Recess Monkey Q&A

Drew Holloway, Jack Forman and Korum Bischoff join forces to create Recess Monkey – a nationally-acclaimed kindie music trio whose past album “The Final Funktier” was awarded 4 of 4 stars in PEOPLE magazine! This fall, they’ll release their latest album WIRED and one stop on their hectic tour schedule is the Seattle Children’s Festival. Performing at 4:30 p.m. at the Fisher Pavilion, you will not want to miss out on these guys. The whole family will go bananas for Recess Monkey!
Check out this fun Q&A with the band – then mark your calendars for the big day. See you there!
 
SCF: What are your favorite topics to sing about?
 
RM: We’re most interested in celebrating childhood- we love singing about friendships, adventures and finding things to laugh about. We think of ourselves as a multi-layered band with lyrics that will speak to all ages in a family. Our newest songs include odes to “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” time traveling with a Grandpa and compulsive photography.
 
SCF:  How important is it for kids to learn music in school? And how should teachers incorporate music in their lessons? 
 
RM: It’s a really rich subject that gives a lot of kids something to get excited about- and research tends to show that self-directed enthusiasm for a particular focus area is the single most important skill that kids can learn and benefit from. Not all kids are into music- some get the same engagement from art, sports, you name it- but there’s something about music’s unifying principle- it creates these moments that every member of the family can share. That’s a really important thing to us- helping families connect over something as fun as music.
 
SCF:  Besides your own, who are your favorite kindie bands or artists?
 
RM: We love Justin Roberts, the Chicago singer/songwriter; Caspar Babypants from here in Seattle (his songs are gems- every one of them); The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Not-Its, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and too many more to list. All of these people are making first-rate, extremely entertaining music for the whole family!
 
SCF:  What has been your favorite place to perform?
 
RM: We’ve played about 1000 shows over the last 9 years, so there’s a lot to choose from… but some of the standouts have included the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Austin City Limits, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Lollapalooza, Teatro ZinZanni here in Seattle and, of course, Northwest Folklife!
 
SCF:  What can parents and kids expect from Recess Monkey at Seattle Children’s Festival?
 
RM: High energy dance party with lots of singalong-ible moments and a “greatest hits” collection of songs from all 11 of our albums. We’ll play several songs from last year’s “Deep Sea Diver” and this year’s brand new album “Wired” – songs about being creative and DIY.
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Seattle Children’s Festival

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Photo by Christopher Nelson

The Seattle Children’s Festival will be a free one-day multi-cultural festival located on Seattle Center Grounds on October 12, 2014. By “Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood,” the Festival will bring together local communities that showcase and celebrate families of the Northwest. Families will also have the option of an Event Passport that takes them on an interactive journey through the festival.

We’ll be presenting performances and interactive workshops geared towards families and children of all ages including some of the mostwell loved children’s performers of the Northwest. Various international dance forms presented will include Indian Kathak Dance with Leela Kathak Dancers, West African Dance with Etienne Capko & Gansango, Hip-Hop break-dancing, Brazilian Capoeira with International Capoeira Angola Foundation and more!

Kids will also have the chance to learn and listen to various different music styles including Sunshine Music Together, Hand-Made Crankies, American stringband music, and Simba Marimba.

The Seattle Children’s Festival will also include jump roping with Ropeworks, interactive cooking demonstrations for kids from PCC as well as sustainable farming education with Seattle Farm Co-op, interactive historical exhibits, and various hands-on activities. They’ll have the chance to try out different arts and crafts activities including making their own puppets or toy boats.

Folklife 2014 - Friday

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Don’t forget their dancing shoes – upbeat pop bands from the Kindiependent community such as Caspar Babypants and Recess Monkey will be performing. Stay tuned for more details including our schedule!

Sponsored by:

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Photo by Dan Thornton

FOLKLIFE PRESENTS AT KIRKLAND SUMMERFEST

Northwest Folklife thrilled to be partnering with Kirkland Summerfest to program their Community Stage on Sunday, August 10th!

Celebrating their third season, Kirkland Summerfest will transform Kirkland’s Marina Park into a lively arts destination, a place where friends and neighbors can connect and share in a celebration of community spirit. We’re excited to have the opportunity to showcase Folklife performers in a new enviFolklife 2014 - Sundayronment!

 

Catch some of your favorite Folklife performers that Sunday, including:

11:00 – 11:50 AM: Capoeira Angola

12:10 – 1:00 PM: Grupo Folklorico Guadalajara

1:20 – 2:10 PM: Carrigaline

2:30 – 3:20 PM: Armstrong, Lawton, and Katz

3:40 – 4:30 PM: Joseph Giant

4:50 – 6:00 PM: PARTICIPATORY DANCE: Balkan Dance with Jana Rickel

Folklife 2014 - Sunday

Summertime Fun with Folklife!

The Northwest Folklife Festival comes around but once a year, but we’re here year round! Here’s a few events just around the corner!

Join us at Crossroads Mall
AsianShow

Join us Saturday, July 19th at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue for an evening of dancing through Asia. Learn hand movements from instructor Meloody Xie. This is a FREE event starting at 6:30PM – 8:30PM.

Folklife is thrilled to be p?format=400wartnering with the Kirkland Summerfest, August 8-10 to present some of your favorite Folklife performers on their Community Stage! Summerfest is Kirkland’s largest festival featuring three days of art and music on the waterfront and throughout downtown. Don’t miss 3 days of visual and performing arts, over 50 performances, spectator sports, family rides, and entertainment, over 150 vendors and food trucks on the streets of downtown. Stay tuned for our full line up and more details!

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Folklife was streaming live from many of our stages from the Festival all weekend! Miss a show? Click here to see if it’s there, and listen to many of the hundreds of recordings from this remarkable Festival!Fri_Multigenerations2The Northwest Folklife Festival comes around but once a year, but we’re here year round! Keep up with us on Facebook – we’ll be sharing fun events around town, Folklife news, do a few fun giveaways, and so much more. Plus, we want to hear about the cultural entertainment you love in the Pacific Northwest. Facebook is the perfect place to share.
SAVE THE DATE

scf_logo_Starburst_TransFolklife is hard at work planning our first Children’s Festival! The Seattle Children’s Festival will be a free one-day festival located on the Seattle Center Grounds on October 12, 2014. No admission charge, thanks to your donations and community support! By “Celebrating Our Big Neighborhood,” the Festival will bring together local communities that showcase and celebrate families of the Northwest. Programming will include music and dance performances and interactive workshops from around the world as well as a Hands-on Activity Area.

ALL PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER NELSON

Join Us This Weekend

Folklife 2014 - Saturday

Sunny Days at the Festival. Photo by Christopher Nelson

Folklife 2014 - Saturday

Bri’er Rabbit on Fisher Green. Photo by Christopher Nelson

Folklife 2014 - Saturday

Bollywood show. Photo by Christopher Nelson

Folklife 2014 - Saturday

Discovery Zone. Photo by Christopher Nelson

Get Ready! Folklife Starts This Friday!

The 43rd annual Northwest Folklife Festival is almost here!  As you get ready to come down to Seattle Center for four days of nonstop music, dance, workshops, food, crafts and more, here are some useful things to know:

There have been various programming and venue changes for the festival this year:

  • Trad Stage- This is a brand new stage! The Trad Stage will highlight some of the best traditional musicians of the Northwest, pulling some of the programming from past years’ much-loved Northwest Court Stage. You can expect to hear North American and European traditional music from a variety of genres including Irish, Québécois, Old-Time, and more.
  • Cornish Playhouse - Formerly the Intiman Theatre, this is a brand-new venue for Folklife and will be one of our main theatre-style stages highlighting music and dance showcases.
  • Discovery Zone - Explore the bigger-than-ever-before Discovery Zone, family-friendly hands-on activities area with performances, workshops, and activities that are fun for people of all ages. Located between The Armory & EMP Sky Church Stages.
  • International Fountain Pavilion – Located West of the Fountain Lawn Stage and directly East of the Alki Court, this will be Folklife’s home to the Visual Arts. Look for our Cultural Focus Art Exhibition as well as featured poster art designers.
  • Northwest Rooms – Music and Dance Workshops have moved from the Northwest Rooms and EMP Learning Labs to the Armory Lofts (3rd Floor of the Armory), as the NW Rooms are now home to our partner, KEXP.
  • Narrative Stage – Will now be held in the JBL Theatre inside of the EMP Museum.
  • All Ages | All Day – This programming moved to Monday (formerly on Sunday) and will be held in the EMP Museum’s Sky Church. The programming this year will highlight the vibrant Hip Hop community of the Northwest.
  • Armory Improvements - Two workshop spaces are now located on the 3rd floor, in the Seattle Center’s newly refurbished conference rooms.
  • Jamming Hot Spots – Check out the Festival map for Jamming Hot Spots – New areas designated for open jams.

Getting Here

You might notice some construction around Seattle Center—if you’re driving to the festival, please take note!   The Seattle Department of Transportation is working with Northwest Folklife and Seattle Center to ensure open and clearly marked access to the Seattle Center campus for the 2014 Northwest Folklife Festival. For complete, up-to-date information on current street conditions, click here.

There are many great options of how to get to the festival!  The Seattle Center Monorail can whisk you to the Center from downtown in 90 seconds. Fifteen Metro bus routes serve Seattle Center from around the region, and there is easy access by car from both Interstate 5 and Highway 99.  Plentiful parking is available.  Public transportation to and from the Northwest Folklife Festival can be planned by going here.

Festival Tips from the Folklife Crew:

  • Coming to the festival with your family? Designate a safety spot on Seattle Center grounds where you will meet in case of separation.  Folklife draws around 250,000 people each year and the Seattle Center can get very crowded.  Having a safety spot can help in these situations!  Also, if you or a member of your family is lost—find any of the Folklife staff or volunteers (look for a Folklife badge or vest) and they can help!
  • Drink water!  There are water fountains in most of the indoor venues at Folklife.  Bring a bottle and fill it up!  Also, look for the plethora of delicious drinks options available from our food vendors.
  • Looking for performer CDs?  All performers are encouraged to sell CDs next to their stage before and after their performance.  Look for them then or find them online through links on the Folklife Schedule.
  • Check out all of the performers, workshops and more coming to Folklife and start planning your weekend!  You can make your own personal festival schedule using our online schedule.  But remember to keep yourself open to discovering new things!  There are over 800 performing groups at Folklife this year, so you might find yourself waylaid by a new group you had never heard of!  Try something new—learn to play the didgeridoo or dance the tango.  The possibilities are endless… 

We’re very excited for Folklife this year and we hope that you are too!  Can’t wait to see you all at the Festival!

 

Centrum & Folklife: A Match Made in Heaven

This year, Northwest Folklife is thrilled to be partnering with Centrum to bring you blues workshops at the Folklife Festival this year!  Centrum is an arts organization located on Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington that is a gathering place for artists and creative thinkers from around the world, students of all ages and backgrounds, and audiences seeking extraordinary cultural enrichment.  For decades, Northwest Folklife and Centrum have worked with overlapping communities and served many of the same constituents through our programs. We’re very excited to be working together and bringing some of the magic of Centrum workshops to add to the magic of Folklife!

At the 2014 Northwest Folklife Festival, Centrum will be presenting a series of blues workshops in which musicians of all levels can come and learn from masters of acoustic blues.  The workshops this year will be: Lap Style Dobro with Orville Johnson, Piedmont Blues Guitar with Eric Freeman, and Blues Improvisation for Violin with Jon Parry. 

Centrum Presents:  Blues Workshops

Saturday, May 24th, Sunday, May 25th, Monday, May 26th – Armory Loft- East – 11:00-11:50am