During this challenging time of social distancing and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we here at BCF wish you good health, peace, and comfort. Even in the darkest of times, we have inside us the ability to shine our individual light. We encourage you to continue moving and dancing to lift ours and others’ spirits.
Please enjoy the following writing from Isadora Duncan, which she wrote to parents of her young students. Through children’s imagination and wonder, we can all seek and enjoy the beauty of natural movement…
Isadora Duncan speaks to parents (early 1920’s)
Youth and the Dance
The child is gloriously full of life. She leaps endlessly, filled with the intoxication of movement. She is a young animal, growing in the midst of a joyous exultation, drawing in with the intensity of all her being the forces for her future life.
The growing of the child, and all his movements, bear witness to a harmonious rhythm expressing all growing life. To “train” the child it is only necessary to understand that the surest road, and the most beautiful, is to surround his living with an atmosphere of graceful movement. From this early environment a deep love of beauty will naturally develop.
For an understanding of the dance, the activities of the child should be directed into the channels natural to the tastes and capacities of childhood. It is not necessary to ask him great effort: let him breathe joyously, give free reign to his natural animation, having care only for the harmonious growth of his body.
Above all do not force on her movements toward which her nature rebels, but only lead her spirit and her body into accord with the most noble movements and the most spiritual expressions of mankind. Then the body becomes a spirit whose gestures are its language, and the young soul opens out to light, beauty and everlasting love.
Let the child thrill to this quiet training, as to those artists whose human existence have ended but who have left an immortal music.
Let the child dance as a child: don’t impose on him the attitudes and the gestures of an epoch which had nothing in common with simple living and true humanity. Let his dances express the soul of the child, at first in the beauty and lack of self-consciousness that belong to babyhood, then in accord with youthfulness, then with adolescence.
Conserve to the adolescents their strength and their full-lived youth. Let their dance be the reflection of the eternal ideal of glorious youth – youth’s dreams and aspirations made living. Let their dance be born of joyousness and strength and courage. Let it breathe the holy spirit of sacrifice of the young soldier!
And when they become embodiments of the modern vestals, they will be transformed: women in love with love and with the joy of motherhood. At this moment their dance, completed and distinctive, will be the most beautiful of all.
April 2019 was a busy month for BCF! In addition to ongoing trainings in Sonoma, CA, Washington, D.C., and locally in Boston, Dicki, Rachel & Robert travelled to Enfield, CT to spread the magic of Rainbowdance. For the very first time in Enfield area school districts, the largest gathering of educators, mental health clinicians, school administrators, and community members came together to train in the Basic Attunement Model of Rainbowdance. Congratulations to the 37 newest Rainbowdance trainees!
We are excited to present our first newsletter! We hope you enjoy reading about all of Boston Children’s Foundation’s offerings, events, workshops, classes, and more! Each Newsletter, BCF will highlight a member of our community. This quarter we highlight Alicia Brewster, who has had great success using Rainbowdance with children in foster care.
BCF is proud to welcome new trainees to our Rainbowdance family. On November 30 & December 1, thirteen clinicians, graduate level students, and early childhood educators gathered together to learn the structure and theory behind Rainbowdance, BCF’s music, movement, and story-telling intervention. BCF was delighted to welcome trainees from local Boston areas as well as Montana and Taiwan!
This past year Dicki Johnson Macy has been implementing her dance curriculum, The Art & Technique of Isadora Duncan, with colleague Cynthia Word, Artistic Director of Word Dance Theater in Washington, D.C. This semester launches a brand new year of classes as teachers prepare to inspire new generations of Duncan dancers. We look forward to the continued collaboration between BCF and WDT, as Duncan programming for youth continues to flourish.
Please click here for information about Word Dance Theater’s Duncan Youth classes in Washington, D.C.
Dicki Johnson Macy’s dance troupe, the Guardians of Isadora, performed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum last month! Bookending a curator’s talk, the dancers embodied the figures on the Farnese Sarcophagus, bringing to life the maenads carved into the marble relic.
Dicki Johnson Macy is headed out to Washington D.C. this week to oversee the implementation of her Rainbowdance andIsadora Duncan Pedagogy for Children programs, both of which were launched earlier this year.
Dicki Johnson Macy a legacy holder in the Isadora Duncan curriculum, having studied with Anita Zahn as a child in New York , and later with Sylvia Gold in Boston, has carried forward this tradition of honor, grace and reciprocity over the past 30 years in her work with children. Cynthia Word learned of Johnson Macy’s curriculum for children while attending workshops for the Isadora Duncan International Symposium in 2013, 2015, 2017, Cynthia, Executive Director of Word Dance Theatre, an organization that brings the work of Isadora to student dancers as well as to the theatre world through multi media events, was in need of a program for children. As the Duncan repertory for children has been limited to those, such as Dicki, who studied with Duncan protégées as children, the curriculum has not been widely available. In Boston Jen Mueller and Rachel Assaf are current teachers in training with Johnson Macy. Now Cynthia’s teaching artists, Rebecca Lalllande and Sylvana Christopher are training and being supervised in the curricula for 5-7 year old and 8-11 year old students.
Ingrid Zimmer, Executive Director of “Inner City Inner Child” a 25 year old non profit agency that brings art programs to inner city children, learned of Johnson Macy’s early intervention program, Rainbowdance, at the same symposium. She approached Johnson Macy to train her teaching artists in the intervention as well in an adapted program designed for Infants. The program in now being launched through Educare, where Dicki conducted demonstration classes for the administrative and education staff. All were moved by the manner in which children engaged in the program and have hired ICIC to conduct a twenty week cycle in their infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms. We are all proud of a successful year and look forward to our continued alliances with our new D.C. partners.
Our photographer Kelsie McGinity (Rainbowdance intern, 2016-2017) took some wonderful photos at our fundraiser on January 26, 2018. We are so excited to share them with you! Our first fundraiser in 20 years was a big success, and we are deeply grateful to everyone who attended. It was a pleasure sharing our work with you. Thanks to your donations, we are now able to provide the following pro bono services to our local communities here in Massachusetts:
– A special Rainbowdance Training for academic professionals working in at-risk communities
– 32 group sessions of our Rainbowdance Program for at-risk youth
– 24 individual expressive arts therapy sessions for youth who have been affected by trauma
– A year’s worth of Duncan Dance scholarship funds for a low-income family
We are also grateful that we can set aside additional funds to provide trauma intervention services should an emergency arise in our community. Thank you to all of you who are supporting us in these efforts! Here is a small sample of photos from our event. Keep your eyes open for more to follow on this website as well as our Facebook page!