San Francisco Opera’s Dream of the Red Chamber

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San Francisco Opera’s Dream of the Red Chamber is a story of cosmic creation, of marriage choice, and of family decline, both financial and moral. It is a meditation on the nature of reality and illusion, of the interconnectedness of the dream state and the waking world. Thus the Monk begins the opera with the greeting, “Welcome to my dream.” 

More at: https://sfopera.com/1617-season/201617-season/dream-of-the-red-chamber/

The Flower becomes Dai Yu, a brilliant, but sickly young woman 

The Stone become Bao Yu, Lady Wang’s spoiled son, the sole heir of the Jia Clan. 

Dao Chai – The beauty from the wealthy Xue Clan

At a discussion hosted by the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco, Dream of the Red Chamber production designer Tim Yip shared how his designs were created in response to Bright Sheng’s poetic music. Also inspired by novelist Cao Xueqin’s talent as a kite master and author of books on kite artistry, Yip’s costumes are inspired by kites, people moving through space as broad fields of expressive color.

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“I do not use detailed designs on the fabric itself, as in real silk brocade,” Instead, my costume designs are more abstract, allowing you to sense the body within—or perhaps the aura of character’s spirit.” Characters are distinguished by different colors. For Dai Yu, green reflects her living quarters in the garden, surrounded by bamboo. The embossed gold patterns on Bao Chai’s robe remind you that she comes from a rich family.” 

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Dreamweavers: An all-star creative team transports an epic Chinese novel to the operatic stage. Writer Ken Smith interviews composer Bright Sheng, co-librettist David Henry Hwang, and director Stan Lai. https://sfopera.com/1617-season/201617-season/dream-of-the-red-chamber/dreamweavers/

Chinese versus European opera 

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Along with the European operatic tradition, the opera Dream of the Red Chamber is also inspired by other traditional theatrical versions of the story, such as those of Peking (or Beijing) opera, Kunqu, or Shaoxing opera, particularly in terms of choreography, costumes, and set design. 

How do these Chinese operatic genres compare with European opera? There is no easy answer, but production designer Tim Yip makes one important distinction, especially regarding sets. “Symbolism is a big part of Chinese traditional aesthetics. all you need are a few shapes and the audience can fill the rest of the scenery with their imagination,” says Yip. “Traditional Chinese opera contains formulas and guidelines in expressing emotions and actions; Western opera is based on creating quicker paced dramatic arcs. [For this production of Dream of the Red Chamber], rhythm is conveyed in the set and costumes, enhancing specific plot developments as emotions flare and then subside.”

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San Francisco Opera recently announced that Sheng & Hwang’s Dream of the Red Chamber will tour to the People’s Republic of China in September 2017, traveling to  three Chinese cities in six performances.

Delving Deeper into “Dream of the Red Chamber” by Stephen Roddy: http://sfopera.com/discover-opera/201617-season/dream-of-the-red-chamber/delvingdeeper/

Take the Blake Mini Library #MannequinChallenge

The Mannequin Challenge is a new trend in internet video where a group of people enact a single moment in time, remaining frozen in place while a camera pans around them and music plays.

This video tapping into the popular social media meme was created by the staff members of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Led by the 14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the participants can be seen using a variety of reading material — magazines, books and phones and digital tablets — in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

“Books can be mirrors, and they can be windows.”

Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to serve as the Librarian of Congress, holds that her passion for reading came from her favorite childhood book, “Bright April,” a 1946 children’s story book written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli, who later won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children’s literature. The Nation’s Librarian knows that children need to see themselves reflected in the books that they read. “Books can be mirrors, and they can be windows,” says Hayden.

Rooftop Students Take the Blake Mini Library #MannequinChallenge

bml-a-whole-new-worldThe Library of Congress Mannequin Challenge and Emerging Traditions traces the historical antecedents of the Mannequin Challenge back to the advent of photography and the tableaux craze of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Library of Congress blog entry on the social media trend also notes that “A common theme seems to be an expression of group identity, of clubs, classes, groups of friends, athletic teams, organizations, musical groups, and others: “this is who we are” summed up in a short, shareable video.”

Rooftop fourth graders had a whole lot of fun creating their own Mannequin Challenge videos. These young librarians-in-training want to open up a whole new world of reading for all children to enjoy free access to books — 24/7.

Won’t you take the Blake Mini Library #MannequinChallenge too?

Ned Kahn’s Negev Wheel @ CJM

Rooftop Alternative School extends and enriches the learning opportunities in the classroom by connecting our students to the rich cultural life of the City. “Art Is @ The Center,” Rooftop’s art study theme for 2016-2017 reflects on Rooftop’s location at the geographic center of San Francisco. While the school began the year’s art study with a exploration of mindfulness through the form of the mandala, Kahn’s Negev Wheel invites viewers to take art and mindfulness for a spin through sculpture. To quote Janine Okmin, Associate Director of Education at Contemporary Jewish Museum, “In this gallery, art is literally at the center…” Using sand from the Negev Desert, “blown by the wind for centuries,” Negev Wheel invites a closer look at the invisible forces of rotation and gravity that are constantly at work in nature.

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“In his work Negev Wheel, Bay Area artist Ned Kahn explores these metaphors by reenacting the historical drama of tumbling desert sand, contained inside a circular spinning wheel. If a grain of sand is the vulnerable individual, a mountain of sand can have tremendous aggregate power. Thus in the context of The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Kahn’s work raises essential Jewish questions about building a reality of meaning, community, and generation.”

— http://www.thecjm.org/on-view/currently/negev-wheel-ned-kahn/about

Download: CJM “Negev Wheel” PD Workshop Agenda cjm-pd-agenda-for-negev-wheel

CJM PD Agenda for Negev Wheel

A closer look at the movement of the sand mixture in the interactive sculpture that visitors set into motion. Kahn experimented with three variables to create Negev Wheel: tilt (of the wheel), speed (of the spinning), and viscosity (fluidity of the sand).

Contemporary Jewish Museum “Negev Wheel” Exhibition Resource: http://www.thecjm.org/storage/documents/education/2016/Ned_Kahn_Teacher_Resource.pdf

This resource uses quotes, artist interviews, discussion questions, and suggested activities to examine Ned Kahn: Negev Wheel through five thematic lenses: natural forces; tinkering, engineering, and the artistic process; mindfulness; Jewish content; and art as metaphor. This guide is useful for classroom teachers or anyone interested in a deeper exploration of Ned Kahn: Negev Wheel.

In Conversation With Ned Kahn from The Contemporary Jewish Museum on Vimeo.

 

Ned Kahn (b. 1960, Connecticut) is an environmental artist and sculptor who creates installation works that explore, mimic, and play with forces and phenomena found in nature. Kahn’s artworks, at the intersection of art and science, invite audiences to immerse themselves into natural elements such as tornadoes, fog, clouds, and wind currents—or turbulences, as he calls them. A Bay Area resident for over twenty years, his hybrid work, as a synthesis of nature, art, and technology, makes the invisible forces of nature suddenly visible to the viewers’ eyes. http://nedkahn.com/

 

Watch video artist Benjy Young’s video poem about the entire process of making the artwork; from the inspiration and research of the artist to the finished design of the “Negev Wheel” installed at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Todd Barricklow and his Ned Kahn Studios crew along with Justin Limoges and the Museum’s crew assemble the artwork so Ned can coax the exact perpetual avalanche of Negev sand for his show.

Ned Kahn: Negev Wheel from Benjy Young on Vimeo.

A Clean Swell Schoolyard Cleanup

2016 California Coastal Cleanup Day

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State’s largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2015, more than 68,000 volunteers removed nearly 1,143,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s beaches, lakes, and waterways. Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California’s fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!

Students have a way to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day even if they can not get out to a beach or local waterway. Schools can organize a Schoolyard Cleanup on the Friday prior to the weekend event and join in the efforts to protect our coast and ocean, no matter where their schools are located!
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Rooftop Alternaive PreK-8 School is located at the geographic center of San Francisco.

Schoolyard Cleanup at Rooftop’s Burnett Campus

It was a week of connecting the dots, as Rooftop School celebrated Dot Day on Tuesday, September 14 and wrapped up the week with an effort of caring for The Pale Blue Dot.” 

On Friday, September 16, 2016, the students at Rooftop’s Burnett Campus participated in a Schoolyard Cleanup. The students worked in teams to collect data about the trash that they found on the playground and documented their findings with digital cameras and video. Ms. Woo and Ms. Kennedy’s fourth graders collectively gathered 5.05.011 lbs. of trash from the schoolyard. Next, the students will assess the challenges and propose their own solutions for how they might help their school site to stay clean.

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Just like water, trash can move through a watershed, down streets, through storm drains, creeks and rivers, and eventually out to a lake or the ocean. Preventing and removing litter in school yards and neighborhoods is stopping marine debris before it happens is a very important action that students can take to protect our coast and ocean and the creatures that depend on a healthy ecosystem to survive.

Learn more about participating in California Coastal Cleanup Day at http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/schoolyard/

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MAKE YOUR MARK! International Dot Day @ Rooftop School

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September 15th marks the anniversary of the publication of best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’ The Dot, a “story book for all ages.”

Author Peter Reynolds told School Library Journal. “I pinch myself, thinking that four decades ago I was being told to stop drawing in my classes and pay attention, and here we are in 2016 with a school sanctioned day to celebrate creativity.”

The Dot more than anything celebrates the power of creative teaching,” Reynolds explains. “Despite the test-centric world we live in, creative teachers know how to find those aha moments — much the same way that my 7th grade math teacher Mr. Matson ‘connected the dots’ between math and art, which changed my life.” To honor that moment, Reynolds dedicated The Dot to Mr. Matson.

Rooftop School is joining the The Dot Club fun & inviting you to read-alongdraw-along, and even sing-along!

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To get things started, Rooftop librarian Tamra Marshall will be reading THE DOT with all K-2 classes.

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#DOTDAY LIVESTREAM

On Tuesday, September 13 at 10am, we’re connecting the dots via Skype and Discovery Education in the Burnett MPR. #CelebrateWithDE 

Author Peter H. Reynolds travels to the place where Dot Day began with Dot Day founder Terry Shay, a teacher at North Tama School in Traer, Iowa. Reynolds, Shay, and the students of North Tama will come together to celebrate creativity, courage, and collaboration on the 7th Annual International Dot Day. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Events/monthly-themes/dot-day-2016.cfm 

#ArtIsAtTheCenter: DOT CENTRAL

Be sure to sign your work and share your dot art on International #DotDay – Thursday, September 15, 2016! Let’s fill “Dot Central” – aka the Burnett MPR – with some fresh art!

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THE PALE BLUE DOT & COASTAL CLEANUP DAY

Then, help us to take care of the most important dot of all — “The Pale Blue” Dot! In celebration of Coastal Cleanup Day 2016, Rooftop School will hold a Schoolyard Cleanup on Friday, September 16.

Pale Blue Dot from ORDER Productions on Vimeo.

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The trash gathered at school will be weighed and our information will be entered into the official International Coastal Cleanup Day database.

WHAT IS COASTAL CLEANUP DAY?

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State’s largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2015, more than 68,000 volunteers removed nearly 1,143,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s beaches, lakes, and waterways.

Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California’s fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 is Saturday, September 17, 2016