SJSA Kick It! summer program students wow an audience of more than 100 people with a performance based on the theme, “The Life and Times of a Coral Polyp.”
The St. John School of the Arts’ Kick It! summer program really put its students to the test — in just three weeks, 16 children ages 8-13 put together both a live performance and a music video. The theme of the performances was “The Life and Times of a Coral Polyp,” based on a dance drama written in 2006 by SJSA instructor Jude Woodcock to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Virgin Islands National Park.
Throughout their three weeks in Kick It! — Kids Impacting and Connecting with Kids through Informative Technology — students from St. Thomas and St. John learned about production, steel pan, drums, acting, singing, songwriting, dance, storyboard writing, and much more.
While learning about the arts, Kick It! students simultaneously learned about coral reefs and how to protect them.
The live performance at the Gifft Hill School’s Upper Campus attracted more than 100 audience members.
“They did some acting and some movement; we had narrators, and some really cute props that the kids and Jude worked on,” said SJSA Director Kim Wild. “One part which was really lively was a fashion show. Most of the kids dressed up as a different coral.”
At the end, a big bad lionfish made an appearance, only to be captured by the performers.
While the music video was based on the same theme, it gave the kids the opportunity to learn very different skills, Wild explained.
“The kids learned what a storyboard is and what the different camera angles are,” she said. “I don’t want to give too much away.”
The music video’s song was based on a traditional Caribbean steel pan folk song whose lyrics were changed by the students to suit the coral polyp theme.
With the help of local organizations like Arawak Expeditions, Kekoa, and the V.I. National Park, scenes were shot out on the water and at Cinnamon Bay.
Two days of shooting are currently being edited by local videographer Bill Stelzer. Wild anticipates the video will be ready for its public debut in about a month.
“The kids did great,” said Wild. “We got a lot done in three weeks. It was fun.”
Kick It! would not have been possible without funding by the Puffin Foundation, V.I. Lottery, and Virgin Islands Council on the Arts.
An announcement for the screening of the music video will be forthcoming. For more information on the SJSA, visit www.stjohnschoolofthearts.org.