Thomas (à gauche) et Huw (à droite) avec les bidons

The « Batala bidons » project

In preparation for the International Meetings of Batala groups which took place in June 2011 in Haute-Loire (Auvergne-France), the Batala Massif group initiated the “Batala Bidons” project in the summer of 2010 with young school children in the area.

This project was initially initiated and led by Huw Rowlands, then Musical Director and employee of the Batala Massif association. He was supported by Thomas, a young German in European Civic Service (EVS) within the Musik’Ado association.

Haute-Loire is a very rural department and access to cultural spaces for young people is complex and rare. It was therefore a question, through musical practice, of making them discover and practice Brazilian music, with the aim of making a public performance at the Encontro mondial de Batala. Workshops were therefore carried out in a dozen schools (in extracurricular activity) with around thirty young people, and was an opportunity to approach the artistic project in all its dimensions (music, choreography, staging , suits…):

– Learning rhythmic and musical elements without music theory or prerequisites

– Body language, dance and the importance of listening to each others

– Collective organization to achieve a structured show

– Manual work (making drums out of cans, costumes, etc.)

– The discovery of Brazilian musical culture as a pedagogical common thread

The process of creating this show produced by young people was filmed by Thomas and gave birth to the documentary film « When plastic meets metal » in the summer of 2011.

10 years after this experience, these young people, who are now between 20 and 25 years old, still have good memories of this work and some have even joined the Batala Massif group.

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