Because Momentum’s philosophy embraces direct, hands-on experiences for kids, each program can be followed by a movement workshop in which the company’s dancers will explore themes presented in the show with children in the audience. After watching the dancers perform, kids are divided into groups. Each group is headed by a company member who explores the movement possibilities of the theme with the kids. Programs end in a show and tell where each group shows what they discovered. (Maximum 40 students in a workshop.)
American Work Songs
A curriculum based program addressing American history, this program tells the story of work and labor in America through authentic songs sung by people to help them in their work. Accompanied live by storyteller and balladeer Judy Gail, the dancers perform to work songs of Native Americans addressing hunting and weaving, to songs from the early days of American development such as farming, the sea. A special section addresses the slave era and its unique music and movements. Other songs are from the industrial revolution including the railroads, coalmines and factories. Work as we know it today is addressed as well. Some songs such as John Henry and Take this Hammer will be familiar to students. Others will make the people, their lives, and working conditions come to life. (The Study Guide for this program is included as an attachment in this grant.
Best for grades 5-9. 1 singer/storyteller provides live accompaniment, 3 dancers. Available in 30 minute and one hour versions. *Educational study guide available.
Women of Valor
This program, performed with singer/storyteller Judy Gail, offers mini-portraits in dance and music of women who shaped our nation, telling their stories and giving insight into their lives and times. Topics include human rights, slavery, women’s suffrage, the labor movement and workers rights among others. Portraits include Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, Dolores Huerta, Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride and many more. These valiant and influential women come to life as the dancers tell their stories accompanied by meticulously researched music from their eras.
Best for grades 6-12.1 singer/storyteller provides live accompaniment, 3 dancers. Available in 30 minute and one hour versions. *Educational study guide available.
Peter and the Wolf
Momentum delights young audiences with a perennial children’s favorite! This classic folk tale with music by Russian composer Sergi Prokofiev is the most popular children’s work the company has ever offered! Kids join clever Peter and his friends the Bird and the Duck as they work together to outwit and capture the fierce Wolf. Other characters include grumpy Grandfather and the ridiculous Hunters. Each character is represented by a different instrument of the orchestra and a unique way of moving. Comedy, drama, suspense and excitement make this work a must-see experience.
Best for grades Pre-K –4. 8 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
The Magic Toy Shop
A little old Toymaker has a shop full of fabulous toys for children. When Greta’s mother brings her to the shop to select a birthday gift, she has great difficulty deciding. She finally selects the Toy Soldier and the Toymaker promises to deliver the gift to her house. Greta and her mother leave, but, remembering all of the wonderful toys, Greta sneaks back into the shop at night. There she sees the Toymaker magically bring the toys to life. Not only the Toy Soldier, but also two Scottish Dancers, a Clown doll, and a Ballerina doll perform exciting dances at the behest of the Toymaker. Then they all dance together in a lively finale. Just as dawn is breaking, Greta’s Mother runs into the shop to see the last of the magical festivities!
Best for grades Pre-K-4. 8 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length.
Alice in Wonderland Portraits
Young Alice falls down the rabbit hole and meets some unusual characters on her wild trip. She encounters a nervous White Rabbit, is mystified by a strange Caterpillar, takes part in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and is pursued by the vicious Red Queen who is aided by a Deck of Cards. Just as things get completely out of hand, she wakes up to find that it was only a dream. Each character portrait is complete with unique and individual movement and colorful costumes as delightful and imaginative staging brings this classic story to life.
Best for grades 1-5. 5 dancers. 1 narrator. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length.
The Emperor and the Nightingale - A Tale From China
A benevolent, but sickly Chinese Emperor is healed by the magical song of a simple gray Nightingale. The Emperor and the members of the court are amazed, and want to keep the Nightingale in a golden cage. But when the Emperor of Japan sends a golden, jewel encrusted, mechanical bird, the Emperor and the members of the court forget about the Nightingale, and she flies away. Eventually, the glittering mechanical bird breaks, and the Emperor falls ill again, but the kind Nightingale comes back to save the Emperor, who agrees that she can be free.
Best for grades 1-5. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length.
The Ugly Duckling
Everyone feels sometimes as though they don’t fit in. This is the case for the Ugly Duckling, who is awkward, the wrong color, the wrong size, and definitely not the model duckling in the family. In spite of these challenges, she perseveres through many adversities, only to find that she is not a duck at all – but a beautiful swan. Hans Christen Andersen’s folk take is just as relevant for kids today as it was 200 years ago! Momentum’s dancers waddle, preen, swim, and finally fly in this tale of finding oneself!
Best for grades Pre-K-4. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 25 minutes in length.
Carnival of the Animals
Momentum’s Dancers bring Camille Saint-Saens dazzling and clever score to life, creating movement vignettes for each of Saint-Saens animals: the prancing Lion, the lugubrious Tortoise, a pair of whimsical Elephants, a school of fish in an Aquarium, the shy Cuckoo, gliding and graceful (until they get on land) Swans, and a Grand Finale. Each segment features fabulous costumes by Marilyn Skow, unique dance movement, and lots of fun!
Best for Grades Pre-K-4. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 23 minutes in length.
Mark Twain’s Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Beloved American author Mark Twain’s hilarious classic short story comes to life through dance. Smiley, the gambler, bets his frog can out-jump any frog in Calaveras County; but the mysterious stranger has something up his sleeve! The story is told through Mark Twain’s prose, bluegrass and country music, colorful costumes and high-jumping dance movement. A must-see for students studying American literature!
Best for grades 5-9. 1 narrator, 4 dancers. Music on CD. *Educational study guide available.
Hansel and Gretel
Momentum uses excerpts from Humperdink’s famous opera music to create just the right scary feeling. The Wicked Witch lures children to her candy-covered gingerbread house with the evil intention of eating them! Brave and clever Gretel saves her brother from a terrible fate! The cast includes Father and Mother as well as the Angel that protects children and the Witch’s evil helper, the Crow.
Best for grades Pre-K –4. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
The Tiger and the Brahmin
This popular fable from India tells the story of a trusting Brahmin who finds his kindness to a Tiger betrayed when the Tiger wants to eat him! The Brahmin seeks help from the Elephant and the Water Buffalo, but the clever Jackal outwits the Tiger and saves the Brahmin. This production features authentic Bollywood dance as well as traditional mudras (hand gestures from Indian classical dance that tell the story) and beautiful colorful costumes from India!
Best for grades Pre-K – 4. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational Study Guide available.
features dance sequences inspired by poems for children about bugs selected from Barry Louis Polisar’s book Insect Soup. Kids meet the Dung Beetle, the Praying Mantis, the Cicada, the Flea, and more. Each insect has a unique, and crazy way of moving as it goes about the business of its daily life – eating, sleeping, walking, flying, and dancing! Insects dance to an original jazzy score and wear crazy colorful costumes by Marilyn Skow.
This exciting and colorful environmentally conscious work tells the story of marine life on Florida’s coral reefs and their beautiful, but fragile environment. Meet Madame Manatee and Senora Stingray as they lead the underwater inhabitants (peppermint stripe shrimp, parrotfish, jellyfish, grouper and more) in cleaning up their neglected reef. This program is fun and empowering as the characters send a message of personal responsibility for conservation. Colorful, imaginative costumes and an original Caribbean style musical score make Fish Tales a must see!
Best for grades 1-5. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
This fun and action packed 30-minute performance teaches younger children their numbers 1-8 while simultaneously teaching the multiplication tables for the same numbers to older kids. Each number comes to life with an original song by local composer Devin Marsh and a dance by Momentum’s delightful, goofy, and high-energy dancers. Each song is in a different musical style (jazz, reggae, rock, Caribbean, classical, rap) and each dance has a special element such as puppets, scarves, stuffed animals, rhythm instruments and more! “Counting Songs” is the most fun you can have doing math!
Best for grades 3-6. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. * Educational study guide available.
Peer Gynt – A Story from Norway
Peer Gynt is a fanciful young man from Norway who has wild adventures and likes to tell tall tales! His travels take him to a sunrise in the desert where he meets and dances with a beautiful Arabian princess, to an enchanted forest where the trees try to trap him, to the Hall of the Mountain King where fierce Trolls threaten him! The story is drawn from Henrich Ibsen’s piquaresque play in blank verse and the music is one of Scandinavian composer Edvard Grieg’s most famous compositions. Spectacular costumes by Marilyn Skow complete this exciting adventure in dance!
Best for grades 1-4. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 40 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
In a far away country, al miller, wishing to gain favor with the king, tells the king that his beautiful daughter can spin straw into gold. The greedy king immediately locks her into a stone room filled with straw and demands that she spin the straw into gold – or die. A mysterious little man comes to her aid, but demands a high price for his help – her first child! How will the miller’s daughter solve the riddle that will save her child? The classic story unfolds through music, dance, narration and clever effects!
Best for grades 1-4. 5 dancers. Music and narration on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational study guide pending.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
This fun-filled children’s classic tells the story of spoiled Goldilocks and how the three bears teach her a lesson after she disrupts their charming home. The story, featuring colorful costumes and upbeat, character-oriented dance movement, is told through dance, music and narration. Goldilocks transforms from a spoiled brat into a delightful young lady after her encounter with the three bears.
Best for grades Pre-K –4. 4 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood learns not to talk to strangers, and gets a big scare! The children’s classic story is told through music, narration and dance. Colorful costumes, comic characterizations and exciting dance sequences add to the familiar story.
Best for grades Pre-K –4. 4 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
Dance and Sports
A rollicking program that finds the linkages between dance and sports! The program emphasizes athleticism, coordination, preparation and training, teamwork and sportsmanship. The dancers perform works from repertory: Ball Dance (movements derived from many different sports that utilize balls: basketball, soccer, tennis, ping pong, football, etc.), Power Hitter (baseball) and short movement studies on swimming, basketball, golf, running, & volleyball. Kids play “Sports Channel” with dancers – a game in which the player points a TV remote at a dancer who has to improvise movement depicting a specific sport. Each time the remote changes to a new player, the sports “channel” changes also. Kids love this! Groups develop and show their own movement at the end.
Best for grades 3-12, 7 dancers,, Music on CD. 30-50 minutes in length. *Educational study guide available.
How We Make Dances
Through performance of age-appropriate selections from Momentum’s extensive repertory, dancers demonstrate basic ideas of dance composition such as levels in space, speed, dynamics, use of body parts in isolation, theme, and emotion. These are illustrated by movement demonstrations and the repertory excerpts. Kids give dancers “movement assignments” to complete. Audiences receive a basic education in understanding the structure of dance and how to look at, evaluate, and appreciate it.
Adaptable for all grade levels and adults. 8 dancers. Music on CD. Post performance audience discussion recommended. *Educational study guide available.
Dance and Animals
Momentum uses selections from the company’s extensive repertory to draw parallels between dance movement and the movements of animals. Narration emphasizes descriptive words such as adjectives and adverbs and a wide variety of movement is explored: slinky, aggressive, shy, delicate, powerful, squirmy and more. The dances performed in explore the movement of horses, an assortment of jungle animals, frogs, and birds. A special interactive section of the program allows audience members to select ideas for animal movement that the dancers turn into short improvisational animal portraits.
Best for grades Pre-K through 5. 6 dancers. Music on CD. 40 minutes in length. Post performance animal movement workshop recommended. *Educational study guide available.
A Dancing Imagination
Momentum shows kids how any topic can be fodder for dance by using your imagination. Duet is an unusual pas de deux for a dancer and electric car. I See A Song explores how we can “see” music and “hear” color. Bubble Wrap has the dancers popping that irresistible stuff through rhythms in their feet, ballet steps, jumping and rolling and more hilarious antics. Power Hitter incorporates the world of sports in a portrait of a baseball player trying to hit a home run.
Best for grades 3-8. 5 dancers. Music on CD. 30 minutes in length.