HA! School Performances

14 June 2016

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Both Joke and I come from families steeped in education. No wonder, even though i set out as a public performer, in time i started to visit schools with both workshops and interactive performances and have since enjoyed the freedom, the openness and madness provided by young spirits still in closer connection with there creative capacities. Typically, someone connected with a school would see me perform and suggest I visit their school or college. Being the creative animal what it is, a HA!Man event does not easily creep into the structures and strictures of the typical school environment, so as a rule we do not get much response from “dry” promotion. But once a school invites the HA!Man, it hardly ever regrets it. A whole assembly of kids might be somewhat uncontrollable for an hour after the event, but the upshot is newly discovered talents and personalities, a stimulation to teachers to try new approaches, direct inspirations for children to take up music or an art form and not in the least, an hour or so spent having real fun, with deep silences and roaring laughter and a sense of wonder of lies within us all. I salute all the principals and teachers since the late nineties that “took me in” on trust, knowing that certain needs just cannot be fulfilled by another programme, another course, or another main stream entertainer. It takes a bit of craziness to present children with the unknown as a starting point, and yet, it also brings them to what find themselves doing most naturally.

Examples of more prominent schools visited with either an assembly performance or a workshop, or a series of workshops culminating in a participatory performance (residency) in four continents are the following: Leysin American School (Switzerland), Niskayuna High School NY, Mykyl-Tykyl School (Netherlands), Michael Mount Waldorf School and St John's College (Johannesburg), Kingswood College (Grahamstown), English Village (Seoul), International School Hamburg, Sidwell Friends School (Washington DC), Ridgemont High School (Ottawa), National School of the Arts (Johannesburg), Kearsney College (Durban) and the Nelson Mandela International School (Berlin).