Arts Festival: Monday Review

Walking into school on an ordinary Monday morning can be a particularly difficult task, but this Monday was no ordinary day. WHS greeted its students and faculty with a bright display of balloons and banners over the main stone stairwell advertising the arts festival taking place during the week. The bountiful decorations alerting students of the events continued through the the bridge with the walls streaked with colorful flags, and the in the windows behind the Jungle where large dozens of international flags united in the “WHS” letters of our school; the light through the window brightened the dozens of nations represented. The arts festival and the world language festival holds lots in store for the week ahead, not only including performances about different cultures nationwide, but presentations about different clubs within the school, such as Free Play (improv), Model UN, and Amnesty International.

Of the many highlights of Monday’s events, a particular group stood out: the Brazilian dancing event. This was the “big event” of the day, resulting in the shortening of earlier events and bewilderment of many students and staff about the schedule. Set in the clune during period 5, the event displayed a range of Brazilian culture from music to language to dancing. The MC of the event, controlling the drums and the microphone, referred to the relationship between dancing and Brazilians as fluid and natural, describing it as ‘at the drop of keys, the Brazilians would be flowing to the music’. Ten students joined the dancers, courageously stepping up to the daunting Clune stage to learn the art of Brazilian “Maculelê” dance, which is a sort of improvisation aided by two wooden sticks. The Brazilian bright and vibrant dances were accompanied by flamboyant costumes: one dancer wore a bedazzled gold dress with an orange spread, resembling a peacock wing colored by the golden rays of a summer sunset. The dancing was incredible and the cultural connections were very distinct and interesting.

During period 1, an African Folk Tale event took place. Sophomore Meryl Kaduboski reflected on the event, praising the experience because the presenter “told the story so that it came alive.” Interesting props such as a horse’s tail helped personify the African tale, captivating the audience and immersing them in African culture. The folk tale was not only enjoyable, but meaningful as well. Kaduboski reflects “the moral of the story really left an impact, it was that a person isn’t really dead until he or she is forgotten”. The event was not only enjoyable, but preached about African collectivism and appreciation of legacy for its ancestors.

The events kicking off the week allowed Wilton High School staff and students to engage in dance, story, and beliefs of other cultures. Not only did students receive a nice break from class, but they received an insight on the different world around them.