Animal Homes by The Yellow Dance Spot at ArtPlay

Melbourne contributor Kate @kateflatman and her little poppets used their wild imagination last week at ArtPlay's Animal Homes workshop by The Yellow Dance Spot team inspired by the book Sticks and Stones, Animal Homes by Tai Snaith. Such an inspiring workshop, thanks Kate for the review and ArtPlay for the pics! xo Catherine

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ArtPlay brings together artists and children – from babies to 12 year olds - to create multimedia, visual arts, music and performance experiences.  They offer an ever-changing program of creative art workshops, performances and exhibitions.  The artists, workshop content and participants reflect Melbourne’s diversity.  

We have been visiting ArtPlay since the poppets were just over a year old. We absolutely love their Inside Out and Backyard programs and have thoroughly enjoyed the artist-lead workshops that we have attended.

This week we were extremely excited to be attending another workshop at ArtPlay, this time featuring guest artist, The Yellow Dance Spot.  Based on the principle that every child is capable, creative and curious, The Yellow Dance Spot is passionate about allowing children to celebrate their wonder and ensure they are encouraged to explore their world from their own unique and precious perspective - that of a child.

 Photo credit: The Yellow Dance Spot

Photo credit: The Yellow Dance Spot

With shoes and socks off and all personal items left securely in the foyer, dance school director Inbar Niv welcomed us to the workshop and ran through the activities planned for the session. This included a quick introduction to the book that had inspired the workshop: Sticks and Stones, Animal Homes by Tai Snaith.  Produced by Melbourne artist and author Tai Snaith, Sticks and Stones, Animal Homes is a beautiful, educational picture book that journeys around the world to visit unusual animals and the unique homes they have created.

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We began the workshop with a physical warmup with stretching, animal-inspired movements and lots of giggles! The poppets preferred to stand back and watch the warm up but thoroughly enjoyed listening to Inbar’s special storytime. 

“All around the world, on land and at sea, from deep underwater, to high up a tree, creatures make cubbies and burrows and domes – all sorts of amazing, incredible homes”.  

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We then moved on to the physical component of the workshop and began to imagine ourselves in a variety of animal homes using movement, dance and music. From moving around slowly on the floor as a Myanmar river turtle with pillows on our backs for shells, to weaving long rolls of felt around the room to create cool homes high up in the trees for Baya Weaver birds, it was recreating the unique homes of the Bowerbird and Bark spider that certainly had the group using their imagination.

 Photo credit: ArtPlay

Photo credit: ArtPlay

Mr. Bowerbird’s Bower was brought to life by the adults standing side by side in a circle formation with our arms stretched up high for the roof. Our little chicks then hunted around the room for colourful objects (a collection of recycled materials) to decorate the bower – which is how the male Bowerbirds attract the ladies! Hehehehe

  Photo credit: ArtPlay

Photo credit: ArtPlay

Using soft elastic rope we built a big web for the Bark spider, weaving in and around the adults bodies there was no way for us to escape!  The little ones enjoyed climbing over and crawling under the web as well as using it as a balancing beam. Arlo and Macy particularly loved grabbing pieces and running in opposite directions, tug of war at its finest.

  Photo credit: ArtPlay

Photo credit: ArtPlay

What the bartender (Daddy) and I loved most about this ArtPlay workshop was that The Yellow Dance Spot had created a space for parents/carers to interact and play with their little ones in a creative way, all while moving to music that everyone could enjoy.

 Photo credit: ArtPlay

Photo credit: ArtPlay

If you haven’t yet discovered this wonderful place, we highly recommend that you jump online and view the September – December 2016 program, there’s always plenty to do and see at ArtPlay. Check their website for more info.

> For more ideas, head to our daily spots list.