LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 18,000 fifth grade students from throughout Los Angeles County will immerse themselves in the performing arts at the 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Children's Festival (February 28, March 1 and March 2), culminating each day in a synchronized dance on The Music Center Plaza. Students will also attend a free performance by Ailey II, the celebrated second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in The Music Center's iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Following the performance, students will perform a dance inspired by the Rocka My Soul finale section of Alvin Ailey masterpiece Revelations. For many children, The Blue Ribbon Children's Festival marks their first opportunity to experience a live performing arts event.
As California's longest continuing free arts education initiative, The Blue Ribbon Children's Festival, begun in 1970, has introduced more than 845,000 L.A. students to the power and inspiration of the performing arts. More than 125 Blue Ribbon members volunteer over the three-day period to keep the Festival running smoothly.
Fifth-grade classes from 252 schools receive advance standards-based curriculum materials, background on the guest artists and classroom activities designed to prepare students for the performance they will be viewing. Inspired by Revelations, choreography is created especially for the students and distributed to teachers for advance instruction. Students also learn about audience etiquette, dance history and terminology.
This year, students explored the evolution of the spiritual, including its earliest roots in slavery and its inspiration of various art forms -- Jazz, Blues, modern rock, classical, the American musical and dance. Alvin Ailey grew up in the rural American South, and the musical influences of his early life there shaped many of his most memorable works.
Students receive a keepsake book, A Journey through The Music Center, made possible by a generous gift from Blue Ribbon member, Maxine Dunitz. Describing The Music Center's four theaters and various aspects of live performance, the book is updated and reprinted annually.
Created in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler, The Blue Ribbon is the premier women's support organization of The Music Center, raising more than $74 million to date for The Music Center, its education programs and its resident companies.
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SOURCE The Blue Ribbon of the Music Center