Sunday, June 05, 2011

Le Diversita' Sono il Nostro Tri Colore
Diversity is Cute!
Last night we went to see Chiara's little brother's end of the year show.  It is a school that is super progressive for Italy and their slogan is Diversity is our National Flag. They mainstream kids with special needs and they do it in the most colorful, musical, hands-on way possible. They were helped along in their promotion of cuteness by the fact that they were celebrating the seasons. When are three boys dressed as Winter, Fall and Summer who shout poetry into a screeching, reverberating  microphone not cute, I ask you. The first three seasons were all boys who had to do a maypole type number and a lot of snowflake like fluttering including tiny little delicate running steps that probably cost the dance teacher seven years of her life to get them to do.
The three seasons are on stage left at the mike.

The costumes were hand sewn by a group of talented grandmas and they consisted of color themed ponchos with seasonal appliques on them.  It was like they were all dressed as Laura Bush at Christmas. They saved Spring for the girls who dressed as flowers and did little ballet moves with scarves.  Each girl huddled up in a ball and waited for the lead girl to tap them so they could twirl and bow individually.  The miracle was that no one twirled, leaped, or marched right off the narrow little stage the whole night.  The music teacher stayed at the front to mouth, conduct, and yell soundlessly at the kids while occasionally pounding the stage in front of someone who might have lost track of where the edge was.  That lady deserves a raise by the way.

Our star is the one in the back row with his arm around a girl.
So our Lorenzo was accompanied by two rather sturdy and tall looking girls who literally pushed and pulled him into position and refused to let him leave the stage early when things got hot and boring for him.  Lorenzo seemed to sing at one point and to be fair the girly goons on either side of him did not really give him any space to do the accompanying arm motions that were suppose to go with the lyrics. Considering the amount of stimulation, noise, heat, humidity, and confusion he kept his own little act together miraculously well.  I was proud when he got a pleased look on his face when he saw me and his very capable teacher asked who I was to garner such a big reaction. 

At one point some of the very littlest kids sang a song in English and I'm pretty sure no one had any idea except our little threesome what the heck they were saying. In fact Paola kept asking me what the cavolo they were talking about because the words were pronounced with a rather Queen's English accent. This makes sense because many English teachers in Italy teach that Americans speak entirely in slang. Yo fellow peeps out in the US of A, where do they get such wacked out ideas from? Word! Plus it is delightful to hear Italians try to speak with an English accent.

After the show we went to their house for pizza and I got to give Lorenzo an erasable alphabet drawing book because his old one was worn out and a game of his favorite loveable cartoon dog named Pimpa.  Kind of a jaunty little name, isn't it? I keep thinking it is Snoopy's horny Italian cousin. The game came in a big heavy box with Pimpa's picture on it that you can use for all kinds of stuff and it had matching cards, and puzzles, and a book inside.  It was worth every penny to see the thrill that a theme gift can bring. Wait you were a video and a book series and now you are also on little cardboard pieces, why didn't I know about this earlier? -- his face seemed to say.

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