Kids to Concerts: Flamenco India

On May 8-9, 2018 Musical Bridges Around the World held 5 performances in schools as part of our Kids to Concerts Educational Outreach Program and 1 performance in a senior center as part of Golden Age Retirement Community Outreach Program. Indian Guitarist Oliver Rajamani, flamenco dancer Tamara Adira and Indian dancer Preya Patel performed for students at the following Elementary schools: Price, Margil, Riverside, Fernandez & Douglas.

MBAW’s interactive and exciting program incorporated TEKS and STEM curriculum-teaching Indian culture and geography through music. About 3,200 children learned about rhythm & sound, history, ethnic instruments & language during the 40 minute program. Rajamani brought the history of the Romani people and Flamenco music and dance to San Antonio Schools.  Rajamani performed on the flamenco guitar, oud, percussion and voice accompanied by flamenco dancer Tamara Adira and Indian dancer Preya Patel. Together they will took students on a journey through the Romani trail that starts in India and ends in Spain through dance and music. 

Our first day took us to Title 1 inner city schools with a predominant Hispanic population. At our first visit, Price Elementary, the counselor notified MBAW’s Director of Educational Outreach, Caleb Gonzalez, that there was  only one student in the whole school of Indian decent and that she missed her country and that she feels no one understands her. Caleb notified the artist and dancers and they made it a point to recognize her and have her meet the artists and be part of the show. The student was so excited and felt that she was able to share her heritage with her classmates so that they could finally understand where she came from. It was a really nice tone setter for the rest of the school visits. At our second school, the San Antonio police department was there to celebrate Teacher Appreciation week and was cooking for the teachers. In a unique and unexpected twist, the artist called some teachers to come dance with the dancers for a song and some police officers came to dance with the teachers. This was special because the kids saw teachers and students dancing together as a display on unity celebrating life through the Musical Bridges contracted artists. It was very unique.
At the other schools, the artists performed the unique story of folklore dancing to a captivated student audience. The students participated and asked wonderful questions. Riverside and Fernandez Elementary schools utilized their gyms to bring the school together for their trip to India while Douglas used their very beautiful and unique theater. It was a nice way to end the tour for our artists, with the ability to perform on a wooden elevated stage. The students clapped for the assembly, asked very important questions, and teachers thanked us for coming. One of the teachers said, “I didnt know that story of folklore dancing; I always thought it was from Mexico.” Another teacher said, “the guitar player (Oliver) seemed to really know how to talk to kids, he has their attention.”

Musical Bridges would like to thank the Texas Commission on the Arts, Wellmed and San Antonio City Council Project Funds for generously sponsoring these concerts. For details on how to bring the Kids to Concerts or Golden Age programs to you, please call Caleb Gonzalez (210) 464-1534 or email [email protected]