Artists In Residence

Artists In Residence: James Ward Elementary

IDC is pleased to announce a new residency and partnership with James Ward Elementary in Chinatown. Teaching Artist Kimberly Schomburg was asked back to Ward this year through a grant and partnership with Ingenuity, Inc. Kimberly has the pleasure of teaching first through seventh grade, each class meeting once a week during the school day to enrich their academic curriculum. Teachers and students at Ward Elementary team up with Ms. Schomburg to create lesson plans for the semester. Since students are spending an entire period in dance class, they use what they are learning in science, social studies, literature, math, and art classes as an anchor for what they develop with movement.


The sixth grade students are currently learning about Greek Mythology which pairs perfectly with Gods, Monsters, and Heroes, one of the contemporary ballets toured by IDC SPEAKS. The sixth graders provide information and choose which stories are their favorites and we create a dance from there. In this case, we can even learn some of IDC’s repertoire. Seventh graders at Ward are reading Much Ado About Nothing, which is included in IDC’s brand-new contemporary ballet The Bard Unraveled. Each dancer will be cast as a character from the play and use dance to tell the story. For the other grades, they have chosen anything from volcanoes to Black History Month, from marine life to electricity, even Illinois’ history through square dancing as their inspiration for the semester. Each week as the students learn more about the subject, we build more choreography.


Students will have two opportunities to perform for teachers, staff, and parents. The first performance is the Multi-Cultural event in March, followed by an end of the year performance in May. Our touring company is performing three of our contemporary ballets for the school throughout the semester. We will bring back favorite pieces from Gods, Monsters, and Heroes, as well as Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing.