Three Graces Workshop (one 1.5 hour event)

Program objectives:

The Three Graces program integrates music and dance with visual art into an engaging and interactive program.  The Three Graces is an interactive artistic collaboration forging unique, interdisciplinary partnerships involving music, dance and art, each essential for the development and strengthening of sensory and motor skills, as well as for cognitive skills such as observation and memory. Together, these art forms are a powerhouse trio for thoughtful inspiration, and can provide an emotionally provoking experience.


Kat Zambon (2013) clearly described the objectives of our program: "Art accesses some of the most advanced processes of human intuitive analysis and expressivity, and a key form of aesthetic appreciation is through embodied cognition, the ability to project oneself as an agent in the depicted scene”. 1   We feel that by incorporating dance and music into an arts program, we can more fully engage brain and emotions in projecting oneself as an agent into a scene, whether the scene is depicted in music, dance, or artwork.  Our objective is to offer a program that enhances human intuitive analysis and expressivity. 

 1 Kat Zambon.  2013. “How Engaging With Art Affects the Human Brain”.  The American Association for the Advancement of Science (online publication).  November 13, 2013.

 Our program engages the brain in multiple ways, hitting four of the seven intelligences:

1.    Spatial

 Mastery: The ability to perceive and represent the visual-spatial world accurately (illustrator, artist, guide, photographer)
Interpersonal: The ability to arrange color, line, shape, form, and space to meet the needs of others (interior decorator, painter, clothing designer, weaver, builder)
Understanding: The ability to interpret and graphically represent visual or spatial ideas (architect, iconographer, computer graphics designer, art critic)
Self-expressive: The ability to transform visual or spatial ideas into imaginative and expressive creations (artist, inventor, model builder, cinematographer)

 2.    Bodily-Kinesthetic

Mastery: The ability to use the body and tools to take effective action or to construct or repair Understanding: The ability to plan strategically or to critique the actions of the body Self-expressive: The ability to appreciate the aesthetics of the body and to use those values to create new forms of expression

 3.    Musical

Interpersonal: The ability to respond emotionally to music and to work together to use music to meet the needs of others
Understanding: The ability to interpret musical forms and ideas
Self-expressive: The ability to create imaginative and expressive performances and compositions

 4.    Intrapersonal

·        Self-expressive: The ability to reflect on one's inner moods, intuitions, and temperament and to use them to create or express a personal vision

Evaluation or feedback mechanism to assess success of program objectives: We feel that our goals will be reached via the interactive nature of this program.  The participants will leave having heard a story about Degas and his muse Maria, the little dancer, danced with a ballerina, and can apply the dance, music and drawing to this story. They will leave with their drawing of the ballerina.

Description of program:

A professional artist, a professional cellist, and a ballet dancer have developed this program to explore art utilizing several senses, giving participants an opportunity to experience this connection of arts interactively.  We offer a 1.5 hour program specifically targeting grades 1-3, the 6-8 year old age group (and their parents), although it is instructional and entertaining for all ages.  This interactive workshop will be focused on Degas and the Little Dancer, a delightful children’s book written by Laurence Anholt, with the cellist playing a selection of classical works, the ballet dancer dancing to the cello music, and the artist painting the dancer. The book will be read aloud; and time and instruction are given to the participants to draw the dancer, as well as dance with the music and dancer.


Program details: The 1.5 hour workshop is scheduled as follows:


Introduction to the theme: (20 min)

An instructor will read “Degas and the Little Dancer” aloud. This frames the program by giving a perspective of Degas the artist, a young girl’s dream of becoming a ballerina, and how her dream is immortalized in the Degas sculpture.  The artist will be painting the ballerina on canvas during this period.


Interactive Music and Dance: (20 min)

Following the reading, the artists are introduced, and they briefly explain their art.  The cellist plays a selection (Bachs Cello Suites #1, for example), as the ballerina dances to the music.  The workshop becomes interactive physically as the dancer shows the children her tutu and pointe shoes, explains the development and reasoning for both, and then demonstrates balletic movement encouraging the audience to try different balletic movements.  The artist will be painting the ballerina on canvas during this period while the cellist plays in the background.

 Break: (10 min)

 Interactive Art: (30 min)

Drawing supplies will be distributed. The ballet dancer will be posed as a model and the artist will explain to the audience how to draw the dancer by considering various shapes. 

 Interactive Music and Dance: (10 min)

The workshop culminates in a final performance with the cellist and ballet dancer, encouraging the children and participants to dance along.  Questions are encouraged and answered throughout.

 Proposed range of dates for workshop: Monday or Tuesday during the February school vacation week.

 Intended maximum group size: We have successfully run this program for a group consisting of 28 children and 6 adults.  We are bringing 3 instructors and one adult (to read the story and assist with the workshop) the four instructors and one assistant; we can accommodate and provide instruction to a maximum of 35 children in this age group and their parents.


Facility/Setup: This program includes ballet dancing by the ballerina as well as incorporates the participants into the dancing. We will require use of the larger event room (with the stage) within  facility. Chairs to accommodate the participants should be placed around the perimeter of the room in a semi-circle facing stage of front) leaving the center free for dancing and drawing.


Budget: $750

 References:  We conducted this program at the Winship Elementary School in Brighton MA on October 14, 2016. Boston Public Librart March 18, 2017 and Harvard Ed Portal.    A reference will be provided upon request.


Instructors Credentials:
Marlena Bocian Hewitt is a professional artist living in Boston. Marlena has degrees in Business, Visual Arts and Architecture from Europe and the USA. She is a painter and an art instructor. She uses her artistic skills to promote science, women in science and dance. She has experience teaching drawing, painting and collage workshops to all ages, from preschool to the senior community. She has presented her workshops at schools, libraries, organizations, and community centers.  Examples of her workshops can be found on the following YouTube links:

 Marlena started to work on ballet painting after completing a body of work representing rotating symmetries. This mixed media project inspired her to study the human form in movement. She has created ballet paintings that can be viewed in the USA and in Europe, at many dance schools and dance companies: Martha Graham Dance Company in NYC, Koltun Ballet Boston, and the Warsaw Ballet, to name a few. 

 Elena Korableva is a professional cellist, performing her own compositions for solo cello that are based on Tatar Folk Songs. She also performs music of different periods and styles from Baroque to contemporary music. She offers private cello instruction to children and adults.

Elena received her Master's Degree at Michigan State University College of Music with renowned Suren Bagratuni where she was also his Teaching Assistant. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor’s degree in Music on full tuition scholarship; her primary teachers were Andrew Mark, Mihail Jojatu and Sato Knudsen cellists from Boston Symphony Orchestra. She also received Performance Diploma from F. Chopin Moscow College of Instrumental Performance. During her time in Moscow she appeared as a soloist in the concerts with Chamber Orchestra "Cantus Firmus" and participated in College Orchestra Concerts in such venues as Big Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Hall, and International House of Music. As a member of string quartet, Elena won two prestigious competitions in Russia "New Names of Russia" and Chamber Music Festival "Beethoven's Days in Moscow" after which her quartet toured in Germany and Austria.  In 2005 she attended Summer Music Festival in Cambridge, MA where she won Third Prize in the International String Competition. She won First Prize in the State Cello Competition in Kazan (Russia) where she began her studies at Specialized Music School for gifted children under Kazan State Conservatory with Irina Lapteva. In December 2011 Elena won the Virtu Foundation Instrument Scholarship and received French cello by R. Lanne.

Recently Elena performed with Michael Buble at Verizon Arena (Manchester NH), and every year performs with Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Verizon Arena (Manchester, NH) and XL Center in Hartford, CT.  Elena has spent one year as a Symphony Nova fellow performing various concerts in Boston. She is a member of New Vortex, with violist Adelya Shagidullina (Philadelphia) and Duo Amber, with pianist Laura Villafranca (Boston) and often performs with pianist Sivan Etege (Boston) and the Amarantos Quarter based in Portland Maine.  Elena often performs concerts with Chamber Music Foundation of New England (CMFoNE). 

 Sojourn Gudorf Johnston started dancing in Vermont at the age of 6 training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and modern. She participated in Albany Berkshire Ballet’s Nutcracker for seven years in a variety of roles including Clara. She was a member of a competitive dance team, traveling throughout the northeast for competitions, winning regional and national awards, merit scholarships and recognition.

 In 2014, Sojourn moved to Boston to train with the renowned Koltun Ballet Boston. Sojourn placed 3rd in the Classical Ballet division at Youth America Grand Prix Boston (an international ballet competition) and YAGP top 12 in the Contemporary division, and she was a finalist at the YAGP Paris/European competition; and placed in the top 12 for YAGP Boston Classical Ballet division. She received merit scholarships to Boston Ballet’s and Joffrey Ballet’s summer programs. She has attended summer ballet programs in Paris, New York City, Boston, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Maine.  In January 2016, she was invited by the producers of So You Think You Can Dance Next Generation to audition in LA, California.  Sojourn has assisted with and taught ballet and dance movement classes for ages 3-10 for the past four years.



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