Student Matinees

Student Matinees

School day performances of world-class artists bring young people and educators (Pre-K-12th grades) together from across Nebraska to share an unforgettable experiences. Presenting music, theater, and dance, the Lied’s student matinee performances enhance classroom learning, expand cultural awareness, and inspire creativity in all. 

STUDENT MATINEES

2021/2022 STUDENT MATINEES – IN-PERSON 

Step Afrika!’s Drum Folk 
Dates:  Thursday, September 16, 10:30am, Lied Center Mainstage 
Grade Levels: grades 3 to 12 
Curriculum Connections: Dance, Social Studies/History, Music, Reading/Writing, Speaking/Listening, Social Justice, Language and Culture  
Website: https://www.stepafrika.org/ 
Length: 60 minutes 

Step Afrika!’s Drumfolk is filled with intricate rhythms and sounds that are made through a combination of stomping, claps, body percussion and spoken word. Stepping is used to describe the African experience in America, starting with the Stono Rebellion of 1739 and the subsequent passing of the Negro Act of 1740, forbidding slaves from learning to read and write, to assemble in groups, raise crops and use drums. Stepping was born out of the desire to communicate, when all these other tools of communication were effectively removed. Experience Drumfolk first-hand, and see how new percussive forms took root, influencing some of our country’s most distinct performance traditions – like ring shout, tap and stepping!  

Ajijaak on Turtle Island 
Dates: February 23 – 24, 2022, Lied Center mainstage 
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – 10:30am and 1:00pm 
Thursday, Feb. 24 – 10:30am and 1:00pm 
Grade Levels: grades 2 to 12 
Curriculum Connections: Science, Social Studies/History, Visual Arts, Puppetry, Music, Theater, Indigenous Knowledge 
Website: https://www.ibexpuppetry.com/
Length: 60 minutes  

Ajijaak on Turtle Island is a story about Ajijaak, a young whooping crane. Separated from her family in a Tar Sands fire caused by the monstrous creature, Mishibizhiw, Ajijaak makes her first migration from Wood Buffalo, Canada down to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. Along the way she encounters many animals as well as communities of people from Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, Lakota, and Cherokee Nations, living in balance with their environments. Eventually, through the many interconnections with peoples and creatures, Ajijaak finds her family, and her own voice. Heather Henson and Ty Defoe collaborated with regional storytellers, choreographers, poets, indigenous tradition bearers, and ecologists to weave this insightful story that enhances our connection to the earth and sky through puppetry. 

The String Beans 
Dates: Friday, April 22, 2022, 10:30am, Lied Center mainstage 
Grade Levels: grades Pre-K to 2 
Curriculum Connections: Science, Social Studies/History, English/Language Arts, Music, Theater, Social Emotional Learning 
Website: https://www.thestringbeans.com/ 
Length: 45 minutes 

From pop and country to rap and rock n’ roll, these goofy guys perform a wide variety of original, family-friendly songs about all the things that kids love: Animals, Cartoons, Food, Science, Sports and more! This student matinee is hiliarious, inclusive, spontaneous, and each catchy tune is designed to get every audience member dancing and singing along! 

 

2021/2022 STUDENT MATINEES - VIRTUAL 

The Puppets, Song and Story of Ajijaak on Turtle Island by IBEX Puppetry/Heather Henson 
Dates: September 1 2021 –  May 30, 2022 
Format: Virtual Video Format – register to be emailed the link/access to the performance 
Grade Levels: grades 2 to 12 
Curriculum Connections: Science, Social Studies/History, Indigenous Knowledge, Puppetry, Music, Theater 
Website: https://www.ibexpuppetry.com/ 
Video/Resources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1DZ3REWx1E 
Length: 45 minutes  

Ajijaak on Turtle Island is a story about Ajijaak, a young whooping crane. Separated from her family in a Tar Sands fire caused by the monstrous creature, Mishibizhiw, Ajijaak makes her first migration from Wood Buffalo, Canada down to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. Along the way she encounters many animals as well as communities of people from Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, Lakota, and Cherokee Nations, living in balance with their environments. Eventually, through the many interconnections with peoples and creatures, Ajijaak finds her family, and her own voice. Heather Henson and Ty Defoe collaborated with regional storytellers, choreographers, poets, indigenous tradition bearers, and ecologists to weave this insightful story that enhances our connection to the earth and sky through puppetry. This video includes an interview with puppeteer Heather Henson and others, as well as a short video of the Ajijaak performance that features the Cranes and other puppets.  

Chief Standing Bear’s Journey to Statuary Hall by Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs 
Dates: 
September 1, 2021 – May 30 2022, includes post-show discussion 
Format: Virtual Video Format – register to be emailed the link/access to the performance and receive other classroom resources 
Grade Levels: 2 – 12th grades 
Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Nebraska History, Visual Arts, Sculpture 
Website: Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs  https://indianaffairs.state.ne.us/ 
Length: 45 minutes, with a discussion following 

The documentary Chief Standing Bear: A Journey to Statuary Hall recounts the story of Ponca Chief Standing Bear and the 1879 trailblazing human rights court case that lead to his designation as a Nebraska hero. This led to his statue being dedicated and installed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall in 2019. This film features many interviews with people involved in the remarkable story behind the placement of the statue. The film debuted in 2020 as part of the Lied’s Mosaic Film Festival; a panel discussion follows at the end of the film.    

Chief Standing Bear is known and admired for his struggle to gain equality and justice for Native Americans. In 1877 Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe were forced to leave their homeland in Nebraska for Indian Territory (what is now Oklahoma). This forced removal led to many members of the tribe perishing, including Chief Standing Bear’s son. Determined to honor his son’s wish to be buried in his homeland, Standing Bear and 30 Poncas walked over 500 miles back to Nebraska. This then created the stand-off Standing Bear v. Crook, in which Standing Bear sued for and won freedom from U.S. Army custody, for himself and his companions. This incident was the first time in which an indigenous person spoke before a U.S. federal court, and it also established that Native Americans are people with civil rights. 

Step Afrika!’s Celebration and Juneteenth (Two virtual matinees) 
Dates: 
Available during Black History Month February 1-28, 2022 
Format: Virtual Video Format – register to be emailed the link/access to the performance 
Grade Levels: grades 8 to 12 
Curriculum Connections: Dance, Music, Black History, Social Studies 
Websitehttps://www.stepafrika.org/ 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/StepAfrikaInfo 
Length: 45 minutes 

These virtual matinee’s include Step Afrika!'s Celebration of African-American History explores the diversity of African-American life through the eyes of one of America’s most renowned dance companies. Concieved and filmed in 2020, this curated video provides viewers with a unique way to mark Black History Month while deepening their understanding of little-known moments in African-American history. Celebration includes works from recent virtual programming, including an excerpt from the critically-acclaimed dance film entitled StonoStono is inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 and the Negro Act of 1740, two monumental moments in American history, that are not widely known. 

In Juneteenth Step Afrika! returns to virtual theater to commemorate Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) as the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure that all enslaved people were freed, nearly two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Premiering three unique works, TraneLittle Rock Nine and The Movement; Step Afrika!'s virtual celebration honors and embodies the determination, resilience, and reclamation of freedom with these choreographic masterpieces inspired by the African American experience.  

About the performances: Trane is the first time the tradition of stepping is performed to jazz while depicting the Great Migration of African Americans from rural communities in the South to cities in the North and West between 1916 and 1970. (The Great Migration: Inspired by Jacob Lawrence.)  In Little Rock Nine, the tradition of stepping and contemporary movement inspired by the social dances in the 1950s unite to honor the resilience of nine boys and girls known as the Little Rock Nine. Their enrollment in a segregated high school in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957) remains one of the most important and courageous acts of protest today – ultimately paving the way for public schools integration in America. The Movement is a tribute to Black Lives Matter and the domino effect of activism experienced in 2020. Nearly 50 performers demonstrate how one can become many as they step for social justice in America.  

For more information about the student matinees and performance guides, please contact Nancy Engen-Wedin at 402-472-4707 or nengenwedin2@unl.edu
 

Program Support:
Kiewit Foundation (LOGO)
Woods Charitable Fund (LOGO)
Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, NE (LOGO)
The Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program (LOGO
Dr. Phillip Engen
Niobrara Public Schools, Niobrara, NE
Umonhon Nation School, Macy, NE

UPCOMING

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