A few days ago I created this video for fun. I love creating and video is such a great way to get a message across. My creations are more than stories and pictures, they are concepts that encompass emotions and thought. A sophistication that reveals a story through imagery.
My philosophy stems from my belief that children are more intelligent that we might expect. They see with different eyes, and this is why I love working with them.
Enjoy, and as always please like my posts and leave a message to show your appreciation. :)
What colour is your ball?
Is it a blue, is it a brown?
Is it yellow? Is it red?
Is it a mix of both?
How it is that you feel?
What feelings do the colours represent to you?
Green could be frightened, blue could be brave!
Yellow could be happy and orange could give you a frown!
All emotions and colours are beautiful.
If you know the password, enter it on the official Poems That Dance page and it will take you to the full version video telling. The password is the last word on the last page of the book.
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There’s a game that goes with this book and I’ll be posting it soon!
I created a mask and wondered why human beings love to dress up and play. I made a sad face on one side of the mask and a happy side on the other side, showing opposite feelings. I took care making it and afterwards realized that the sad face was just as beautiful as the happy face. I developed the idea that all emotions are beautiful because it is what makes the person’s character. I felt that having an understanding of why we have certain feelings allow children to have a positive self concept and be more in control of solving problems. This idea makes children feel accepted and accepting of others.
At dance class I noticed the children looking in the mirror and wondered why they were doing this. I wondered what they were thinking. Perhaps the children were playing with their emotions along with acting out the character of their dreams. They wanted to see what that looked like and it was why they were looking in the mirror. There were lots of balls everywhere and I noticed the pattern of movement. They threw the balls away from them and ran to catch them. The spontaneous choreography that occurred was delightful to watch.
At school I used a small tennis ball and passed it around the group. I asked children to choose a colour of their ball and imagine a character. One child said, “Colour my ball, colour my ball and makes a wish! Colour my ball blue. Blue is the colour of a wizard.” The next child wanted to be a princess. At a later lesson I used different coloured play dough. I demonstrated the idea of mixing colours that represented a particular emotion. This was a trial of another concept in the illustrations in the book. The first page is a mix of white and black. The second page is a mix of red and white. The third page mixes red with another colour. Read the book and see the rest of the colours. The colours mix and the friends come together at the end. Another interesting aspect of the choreography was how they played in parallel to each other. The dance instructor gave them ideas and comments, and encouraged certain children to pair up. The children came together at the end to form a circle.
The children made a mask of their favourite character using the mix of colours to represent their feelings. They carefully designed the mask because when the feelings get too mixed up it is hard to see them. Feelings don’t stay the same all the time. They mix and turn, and it was a good way to experience this visually and in a hands on way. All feelings are beautiful, we are beautiful was the main message of the project. For the mask they chose 2 contrasting feelings to draw, and the colours were feelings that complimented them. Feelings weren’t as straight forward as sad and happy. They were “yellow makes me feel safe because it keeps me away from the dark.” Recently this was a comment one of my year 2 students made after reading the class novel, Komiko And The Dragon. It was insightful to her personal response of the characters in the book of which she could relate to.
Lena Truper and I are good friends. We met at tribal fusion dance class and began working with Gala Yakovleva, our dance teacher with the children’s classes. What interested me was that Gala had a philosophy of dance where the participants created the dance. Gala applied the same dances and philosophy with the children’s and adult classes. The characters relate to my personal life of which I wrote a novel that I probably will never publish because of how personal it is. I used the novel as a feeder of my ideas as I recollected events and emotions, and applied them into the present and future.
The wizard is my father. He told me stories and did creative projects with me as a child. Whenever I had a problem, he may not have had a solution but he knew what to say to make me feel better and think about life. The butterfly is the symbol of my mother. From a caterpillar I saw her life grow into a beautiful butterfly and a nurturer of her children. She is more beautiful as she grows. The ageless, timeless quality of a piece is what makes it unique and everyone, regardless of age can relate to the story. The princess is the character I always wanted to be but never thought it possible. The prince is the yellow shadow, and that’s another story. I have a story to share about all the characters in the book!
It was a pleasure to work with Lena. Lena is an excellent listener and observer, and picked up on the connection of the storyline and my personal life. When I saw Lena’s drawings I knew she was the right person to do them because she saw the world in a different way. I wanted Lena to take ownership of the drawings and create them in her own unique style. Lena played with my first sketches that I showed her and developed the ideas. Lena has an innate understanding of book illustration. She connected the pages by an animal that changed. She picked up on details such as the socks. Our friendship grew as we continued to inspire each other and it is why this book has personal value to me.
I created this video to show some aspects of how the book was created. Feel free to post comments and ask any questions. My next goal is to illustrate my own book. I have many other picture book ideas and have been working with video, creating music and dialogue, and photography. I love mixing mediums together and would like to look more into multimodal texts.
ENJOY AND Happy Holidays to Everyone!
Details and character were emphasized.
Showing contrasting emotions.
A paper plate was used to represent the ball.
This doubles up as a tail and a mask.
Details such as a leash were added.
Children experimented with mixing colours and design.
As another year goes by, and with Spring coming to sprout, I recall the period when I started to write my poems. It was a time when I found my career at a stop and I did a lot of walking and exploring around the neighborhood where I lived, in Frankfurt, Germany. For my readers who have followed me, you will know it was the suburb of Bornheim, the most inspirational place of residence I have ever lived.
It was an atmosphere of people combined with unusual activity of animal life. It was Spring. I see Spring as a wake up call after the time of hibernation that Winter provides. I feel free in Spring, and this particular Spring was different. I saw things differently, and it was when I wrote my first poem. And unbeknown to me, it was the first poem of many more to come! It is a poem that belongs to my first poetry book, Spring And Sing.
I See Spring
I see droplets of dew
I reach them with my hand
I find them in my eyes
I touch the sun
I hold the rays in my heart
I smell smiles everywhere
I taste them in the cool air
I keep them in my lungs
I eat refreshing ice
I hear the crunch in my mouth
I meet my friends
I smell their laughter in their words
I spring for joy
I see spring
By Maria Grujicic
Do you have a place of inspiration to share? How did inspire you, and what did it inspire you to do?
Thank you for reading.
Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.Marsha Norman
As you know, I’ve published some poetry books lately, and of which I’ve started a competition. I like to think of fun ways to give my books away, and it gives me pleasure when people enjoy my poems. Of course I can’t give everyone a copy, and so what better way than to share the fun!
The idea is that you post a photo on Poems That Dance page of you or of someone you know (yes, pets are OK too:) doing a ‘dance’. This can be hopping, jumping, skipping, flying, anything you can imagine. Be as ‘simple’ or creative as you would like. The first 100 entries go into a draw, and then I pick out the winner, by physically drawing out one name.
It’s too hard to judge the ‘best’ because I feel all photos are special and unique.
Poems That Dance is a book of poems illustrated by photos of dance choreography for children. If you are into dance, drama, and song, you will love this book. There’s a free audio that goes with the book too. There are endless benefits for movement, and these are also outlined on my webpage, along with samples of the poems as well as audios!
To preview the book look here.
And on AMAZON here.
For more information about the competition look at the page about ‘competitions’ right here on the website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!Thanks!
And see you on Poems That DanceMaria Grujicic (Malena)
Buy the book and get more free downloads of the poems, songs and game ideas! Click here to take you to the page. The password is the title of the last poem in the book without the spaces between words and all lower case letters.
I was looking through my book Spring And Sing today
and with nothing much to do,
with the weather so sombre and grey,
I decided to play
And produce an audio
Of some of the songs.
Throughout the audio parts I explain how the songs can be used for games, and give you an idea of the tune. My voice isn’t perfect, I must say, but I do love to sing. A love of singing is important, I think, because children will instinctively enjoy the experience when you do. So be free, relax, and enjoy! Keep on dancing!