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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

Welcome to Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical where Lion, Monkey, Elephant and their larger-than-life animal friends leap onto the stage from the beloved Kenyan book and cartoon series. In this Family Activity, create your own story at home, embody animals on your way and write your own happy song after the show! 

Before
Inspired by popular African folk tales, Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical paints a colorful picture of how certain animals changed over time and evolved into what they are today. What are some animals in your own life? Do you have any pets or do you see any city-dwelling creatures on the way to work or school? In this activity, create a fable about one of those animals! 

Materials: Two blank pieces of paper, writing and drawing utensils

Step One: Pick one of these titles or create your very own!
  • How the Cat Got Its Whiskers
  • How the Dog Started to Bark
  • How the Lizard Grew Its Long Tail
  • How the Hamster Learned to Store its Food
  • How the Pigeon Found Its Wings
  • How the Goldfish Got Its Color
Step Two: It’s always good to have a story outline! Fill in this outline:

Outline

Here's an example we made for you!
 
Title: How the Dog Got Her Bark
Type of Animal: Dog
Name of Your Animal: Doggie
Where Does Your Animal Live?: My house
What Does Your Animal Want?: To be able to communicate
What Happens First? Doggie tried wagging her tail as hard as she could, but no sound came out. 
What Happens Second? Doggie tried tapping her owner's knee, but the owner only told her to "shoo."
What Happens Third? Finally, she realized that the sound of her owner was coming from her owner’s mouth! So Doggie took a deep breath in and tried to talk. Out came a BARK!

Now, it is time to turn this into a story!

Step Three: Ask a grown up for two blank sheets of paper and fold them in half. Put one inside of the other so that you have your own mini book. Fill out the book with the instructions below
 
COVER PAGE:
Write the title of your story across the top and your name at the bottom. Don’t forget to illustrate it!

PAGE ONE:
Here is (ANIMAL NAME) the (TYPE OF ANIMAL). They lived in (WHERE DOES YOUR ANIMAL LIVE).

PAGE TWO:
More than anything in the world, (ANIMAL NAME) wanted to be able to (WHAT DOES YOUR ANIMAL WANT).

PAGE THREE:
First,...

PAGE FOUR:
Second,...

PAGE FIVE:
Finally,...

PAGE SIX:
And it has been the same for every (TYPE OF ANIMAL) ever since!

On Your Way
Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical is based on an animated series, inspired by African fables. As you travel to the show with your friends and family, act out a few animals from the Tinga Tinga Tales television show with Guess That Animal! 

Step One: Decide who will be the first guesser. 

Step Two: The first guesser opens up this video on a mobile device.

Step Three: The guesser must hold the mobile device so that they cannot see the images but that the other players can see the images. The best locations are on their forehead or somewhere at the center of their chest.

Step Four: The other players act out clues to help the guesser figure out what animal is on screen before their time is up. They can use animal noises, body shapes or short descriptions. Does your group want a challenge? Try using no words at all.

Step Five: The next animal will appear on screen after 10 seconds. After six animals, it's the next guesser's turn.

Get started! 
 
After the Show
At the end of the show, Chameleon found all of his colors. Everyone celebrates by singing a happy song and dancing a joyful jig! Write your very own happy song by filling in the blanks below.

Step One: Fill in the blanks below.
When I see the color red I think of ______. Red makes me feel very ______. 
When I see the color orange I think of ______. Orange makes me feel very ______.
When I see the color yellow I think of ______. Yellow makes me feel very ______. 
When I see the color green I think of ______. Green makes me feel very ______.
When I see the color blue I think of ______. Blue makes me feel very ______.
When I see indigo I think of ______. Indigo makes me feel very ______.
When I see violet I think of ______. Violet makes me feel very ______.
These are the colors of a rainbow it’s true. I am glad I got to share my feelings with you!

Step Two: Sing your song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Try to act out your song to make the sing-a-long special. 

And Beyond
Here are some ways to deepen your understanding of the performance.
Posted by Beth Henderson
September 28, 2018

Get to Know MACHINE DE CIRQUE


The unmatched chemistry in Machine de Cirque didn't happen overnight. In fact, it took more than a year for all of the pieces to fall into place. Although founded in Quebec City, this Canadian company traces their origins back to 2012, at an event for Cirque du Soleil in Argentina, where Max Laurin, Yohann Trépanier, Raphaël Dubé and Ugo Dario were hanging out after a show. As they discussed their various projects, they realized that they could create an exceptional piece of circus together.

MACHINE DE CIRQUE Acrobats
Maxim Laurin, Yohann Trépanier, Raphaël Dubé and Ugo Dario

Performer Ugo Dario says, "When we first started talking about working together, we were all so inspired! But we had to hold off on our plans, because we were each committed to other projects at the time. Maxim and I were working on the show Sequence 8 with the 7 Fingers company and Yohann and Raphaël were travelling as a duo called Les Beaux Frères." Fast forward one year later to 2013: after finishing their run with Sequence 8, Maxim and Ugo gave Raphaël and Yohann a call. "As luck would have it, Raphaël's brother Vincent wanted to start a circus company—it was perfect timing." Ugo says. "And thus, the Machine de Cirque company was born!"

"At first we had to figure out how to collaborate with one another. We all have very strong personalities, but, after learning more about each other, the process felt completely organic!" says Yohann Trépanier. What made their collaboration click was trust. Yohann continues, "We believed that everyone's ideas were worth a try, and no one was too deeply attached to their own concepts. We learned pretty quickly that if we didn't listen to each other, we'd never accomplish anything."

For the four acrobats of Machine de Cirque, circus has proven to be a rewarding, and at times trying career path. The biggest obstacles aren't the death defying flips or awe-inspiring tricks, it's the less-glamorous parts that can be a challenge. For instance, Raphaël shares, "A lot of people don't realize that you need a good head for business. Most circus performers are self-employed workers who provide a service for a company. You need to know how to manage your finances, how to network and how to sell yourself. It really is a full-time job!"

"It's hard to explain to people the breadth of disciplines involved in contemporary circus," Raphaël continues. In addition to business acumen, performers have to be acrobats, clowns, dancers, actors and experts in their own specialized skills. For instance, not only does Raphaël flip and fly off the Chinese pole, but he also is an expert juggler (and acrobat, comedian and unicyclist).

On top of all of this, there's the very real and present danger of a missed catch or a poorly timed landing. "This is something younger performers sometimes forget," he says. "The risk is real! If you stay out late every night on tour, you'll get tired and slip up at the wrong moment. It's important to know and understand your limits, both on the stage and off."

So, why pick such a demanding field? It's about the joy of performance. Maxim explains, "Whenever we perform, I hope our audience forgets their troubles and fears, even if it's just for a moment. I hope that watching our show reminds them of how life can be precious and full of laughter."

Join Max, Yohann, Raphaël and Ugo at Machine de Cirque as they swing high above the stage, bike upside-down and fly off teeterboards to a live musical soundscape by percussionist Frédéric Lebrasseur. 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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