Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey Sixth Dance Session, 24 April – By the Sea, By the Sea

Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey
Sixth Dance Session, 24 April – By the Sea, By the Sea
Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland

This was a very special Friday!

We took to the outdoors this week, going to White Rock beach along the Vico Road. We had a very special guest, “Turtle” from the OWLS Nature Charity.  Today’s activity is an aspect we call “Nature Moves”, where experiential environmental learning is combined with the exploration of dance inspired by Nature.  “Turtle” led us in some fun and instructive activities.

“Turtle” taught us about the movement of certain birds; waders, who feed at the edge of the sea, and move into and away from the water’s edge as the receding tide deposits nutritional morsels, which they can access with long probing beaks.  But the constancy of the waves and the cycles of the tides mean they have limited time to feed.  Meanwhile, an overhead predator, like a peregrine falcon, may have the waders in its sights.  Being the fastest bird on the planet has its advantages, but swerving isn’t one of them.  So when he attacks, the way to escape is…weave and dodge, because the peregrine can only go straight!  See how the student “waders” and “peregrine” played the game. Video link >>

“Turtle” also spoke about layering of rocks and set out a challenge to see who could stack the most rocks within 5 minutes.  Twelve was the winning tower; everyone had a great time building.

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In groups of 5 the boys all made sculptures based on “Sea Creatures”, using only materials they could find on the beach… the images speak for themselves of their beautiful artwork and teamwork.

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Finding things using our sense of touch, rather than our eyes proved an intriguing exercise.  In pairs, one person chose an object for their partner to feel, (blindfolded so they could not see what it was).  Then with the blindfold off, they tried to find something that felt the same.  Everything was tried, from bits of plastic detritus to the innards of sea snails.  Ugh.

Before leaving we took a couple minutes to listen to the sounds on the shoreline.  With eyes closed the sounds of the surf are far more distinct and diverse.

Lastly, making use of the big rock that names the beach, we asked the boys to find shapes that would be like as if they were sea weed attached to the rock, or a piece of something tossed up on the rock by a wave, draping and shaping their bodies into the curves and deep crevices of the rock.

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While we didn’t bring home any rocks, plants or shells that we found, I’m sure there were many impressions and memories gathered… Thanks “Turtle” for a great outing at the seashore.  And thanks, Ms. O’Carroll and the teachers and parents who joined us.

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