OIS Interdisciplinary Activity – History of Kumiodori (組踊) Study

On Friday December 11, 2020 all MYP and HS students in OIS attended a lecture on the history of Kumiodori (組踊), a traditional Okinawan dance, given by Ms. Chie Fukushima, a well-known professional Kumiodori dancer with a career in the traditional performing arts in Okinawa extending over 18 years.
Ms. Chie Fukushima kindly visited our school as a volunteer and talked to the students about the history of Kumiodori and her experience studying and learning the art. This was part of an interdisciplinary unit of inquiry for MYP 2 & 3 grades organized by the MYP history and music teachers at OIS.
The purpose of integrating the disciplines of history and music together was to give students the opportunity to develop a comprehensive and performative understanding of Okinawa’s culture and identity. The goal was for students to study and experience the local culture as expressed through poems, singing and dancing.
By studying the history of traditional Okinawan poems and songs, composing an original song on their own and, by the end of this unit, finally performing it, the students are asked to translate disciplinary understanding into a symbolic work that informs and anticipates how humans make sense of complex ideas.
After the end of the lecture, a few students gathered in the corner of the room to ask Ms. Chie a few follow-up questions to which she happily replied. The session was recorded and later edited in the form of this video.
We would like to thank Ms. Chie Fukushima for her generosity and for the sharing of her knowledge and experiences with our students. We hope she can visit OIS again in the near future.