For more than 20 years, Attack Theatre has conducted in-school performances, workshops and residencies focused on kinesthetic learning strategies at primary and secondary schools, universities, and community and senior centers. These programs are rooted in reflection, investigation, and imagination.
"Attack Theatre was very engaging and powerful, the kids are still talking about the balance and catching someone who is much larger than they are. My kids are in awe of the performers and the performance."
Teacher, Duquesne Middle and High School, January 2007
Connecting with Students
Since its founding, Attack Theatre has reached approximately 5,000 students annually through in-school performances and arts education residencies. Attack Theatre's in-school residences work to integrate arts into the school systems of Southwestern Pennsylvania while still allowing the schools to keep their current curriculums. Residency participants develop and refine a lens through which to view and practice more modern subjects through the timeless art of dance. Students who participate in Attack Theatre's programs are more likely to better understand the educational concepts that the progams aim to teach; gain creativity, critical thinking, and collaboratiave abilities; and better retain and comprehend concepts that are taught through a fun, integrative, embodied learning approach.
Connecting with Teachers
Attack Theatre values the powerful relationship between the classroom teacher and the teaching artist. The company annually works with teachers of a wide-range of subjects, engaging them in professional development workshops to integrate the arts into the classroom. These workshops further enhance the effectiveness of arts education residencies and the long-lasting impact of classroom teachers armed with a renewed awareness and skills of the arts. It is the company's hope that students begin to see their teachers as active learners and participants in the creative process, and that teachers experience the transformational power of the arts alongside their students. With these new techniques, Attack Theatre hopes that partipating teachers will adapt their pedagogy to include embodied learning and other creative teaching methods as ways to present their curriculum and lesson plans to their students.
"Our students do not have much enrichment outside the walls of our school, so this [lec/dem] was especially important for them."
Teacher, Helen S. Faison Arts Academy, June 2006
Attack Theatre presents the interactive and engaging blueprint for embodied learning through dance in K-12 schools. Performed by company dancers, these dynamic performances use selected works from Attack Theatre past and present, and offer young audiences a glimpse into the making of dance. All performances are carefully tailored for age appropriateness and are always followed by a post-show question and answer session.
R.A.M. (Random Accumulated Memories) - Originally commissioned by Gateway to the Arts and Three Rivers Arts Festival, R.A.M. (Random Accumulated Memories) is a contemporary dance performance featuring original music, video, and technology that has been enjoyed in theaters, gyms, and cafetoriums since 2010. Visual imagery, highly athletic contemporary dance, and non-verbal gesture tell the story of Ram who struggles to find the balance of living his life versus documenting his life. A relatable struggle that today's students contend with on a daily basis. Photographs of the audience from the lobby and live-feed video playback shown onstage delight audiences, yet consume Ram. While he tries to digitally capture the moment, his friends work to capture Ram's attention. In this 35 minute performance, Attack Theatre creates a physically dynamic dance environment that is appropriate for audiences of all ages.
Leap Into Action - This energetic performance will inspire students to leap into action as athletic dancers create exciting lifts and leaps while using exiting props such as ladders, tables, and steel rings in their movements to demonstrate the concepts of balance, weight, and momentum.
(This program available through Gateway to the Arts)
Holiday Unwrapped - Attack Theatre’s Holiday Unwrapped is an interactive dance performance adapted from classical and contemporary holiday fare that invites students to experience the holidays with a fresh perspective. In Holiday Unwrapped, the frenetic season becomes a fantastical journey where socks become ice skates, empty packages become turntables, and the dinner table has a life of its own; set to the sounds of classical, jazz and klezmer music.
"Working with Attack Theatre has truly changed my outlook on dance as an art form. They have given me an opportunity to see both the process and the dedication that goes into each performance. Dance is much more than pirouettes and pointe shoes."
Student, North Allegheny High School, August 2006
Each year, Attack Theatre teaching artists conduct a plethora of residencies of varying lengths in Southwestern Pennsylvania schools, enhancing the curriculum through integrating movement and utilizing kinetic modalities of learning. The company cultivates an attitude toward education that integrates the artistic process with community building. As innovators in the integration of movement into the curriculum, Attack Theatre has created successful residency models with educators and organizations throughout the Pittsburgh region. They are currently the dance company in residence in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Music. In partnership with the PA Council on the Arts - Arts in Education Roster (AIE), Gateway to the Arts and the Arts Education Collaborative, Attack Theatre reaches thousands of students and teachers from public, private, rural and urban schools every year. Every year, Attack Theatre's educational residencies increase in number and develop in their understanding of what each individual school and curriculum needs and how embodied learning can address those needs while integrating art into classroom routine.
Attack Theatre's residencies work to demystify dance and the process of creation. We attack each project with clarity, expression and energy. Residency participants develop a lens through which to view dance performance, and classes focus on heightening the individuals' natural movement abilities. All Attack Theatre outreach programs focus on activating and empowering participants to view dance, movement, and music as a natural and essential part of living and learning.
Sample Outreach Residencies Include:
Movement as a Complement to the Classroom: A one-day teacher workshop integrating movement into the daily curriculum.
Elementary and Secondary level residencies: Curriculum enhancement through movement; aesthetic education classes for pre-performance viewing.
Modern dance master classes for college and professional level students: Partnering, technique (release based), Musicians and Dancers Improvising and Creating Together, one to three week residencies with or without creating choreography.
Special Populations include: Seniors, Hearing Impaired (intermediate through college age students) and Parents and Children.
Lecture-Demonstrations: The company has created specialized programs for Kindergarten to Senior communities. Our traditional lecture-demonstrations focus on participation and dance concepts explored with example and humor.
Stories in Motion: A dance, storytelling and improvisation based performance for all ages.