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Learning Thru Discovery:

Educational Dance Programs

Educational Programs Available for Presentation in Texas Secondary Schools.








Beautiful Dance, Custom-Tailored

To Your Specific Curriculum Needs


Current Programs in the Series include:

Jazz Dance :

An American Art Born in Africa

Traces the Evolution of African-American social dance in the post-civil war American south, up thru the end of the 19th century, and follows Jazz Dance into the 21st century




Hispanic Influences : The First 500 Years in Texas
An exciting program that tells of the powerful influence Hispanic Culture has had on Texas and the New World since Cortes first landed on Mexico's east coast. It recounts through Dance, the blending of Spanish and Indio cultures into a new Hispanic Culture that even now is blossoming in America.




Forest Deep

a rain-forest trilogy

Julie Jacob & Company in scene from Prayers for the Dead, last section of "Forest Deep"

Amazonia Green - Treefall - Prayers for the Dead

A program of Dance & Narrative for Middle/High School Students, Forest Deep takes a look at the damage modern man has done to the Rain Forest all over the world. Powerful music & mesmerizing dance bring a message of Hope to a Threatened Sanctuary





A program of poetry, music and dance for K-5 students. A non-threatening look at the beauty and value of the Amazon tropical rain-forest, no scary talk about destruction and extinction, but a fresh look at the wonders of the rain-forest, the plants, animals and people who inhabit the tropical rain-forests of the Amazon River basin. The basic idea is to develop a positive image of the wild rain-forest in the minds of students, without too heavy an emphasis on images of deforestation by clear-cutting, burning and bulldozing. This way we give them reasons to defend the rain-forest as they grow older.

Students from HISD's Halpin Early Childhood Development Center

300 Students from HISD's Halpin Early Childhood Development Center

Attending a Performance of RONDÔNIA

RONDÔNIA is a work in three mediums:

Poetry: to tell the story of the Rain-Forest in a way that is humorous and entertaining while still giving the students worthwhile information about the Rain-Forest and its inhabitants.

Music: to create an emotional setting, by the blending of primitive instrumentation, the voices of indigenous peoples from around the world, and contemporary jazz into a rich tapestry of musical nuances that skillfully represent the natural sounds of the Rain-Forest.

Dance: to project a strong visual & physical manifestation of both the poetry and music. The movement of the dancers is in no way meant to simply mime the words of the poems, instead it conveys the choreographer's personal feelings about her love of the flora and fauna of the tropical rain-forest.

This project was inspired by our friendship with a gentleman from São Paulo, Brazil, Sr. Marcos Santilli, a highly regarded photo-journalist who has documented the impact of civilization on the Amazon Rain-Forest in the Brazilian state of Rondônia since 1977. "AMAZON - A Young Reader's Look at the Last Frontier", a book written by Peter Lourie, and containing photographs by Sr. Santilli, was instrumental in the development of this project.

("AMAZON..." is Published by Caroline House, Boyds Mill Press, Inc. A Highlights Company, 910 Church Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 18431 and distributed by St. Martin's Press. ISBN 1-878093-00-2)

Jacqpea Franco-Stockman, Former Director of Curriculum Development


POB 1953, Bellaire, Texas 77402-1953

These Program notes are copyrighted by Jacqpea Franco-Stockman © 1995-2000 all rights reserved, permission to reproduce textual content is offered to accredited Texas Educational Agencies, and 501(c)3s upon application.

RONDÔNIA: The Rain Forest in Words, Music, and Dance


500 Years of Conquest : From Veracruz to Rondônia

Rondônia is a frontier-state that lies on the western border of the country of Brazil, directly across the border from the country of Bolivia. Rondônia is bordered on the west and southwest by the Mamoré River and the Guaporé River, these two rivers converge south of Guajará-Mirim (a major river-port and trading center) into the Madeira River, and the Madeira then drains into the Amazon River.

While settlement efforts have been actively supported by the Brazilian national government for the last 20 years, Rondônia is still a largely unsettled wilderness-area made up of primarily tropical rain forest. It is part of the huge Amazon Rain Forest Area, an area nearly as large as the continental United States. While this area is a vast wilderness, it is rapidly shrinking due to the encroachment of civilization and development, not all of which is well planned or coordinated.

As with every speedy expansion into a wilderness-area, much more is being destroyed then is being built. A brief over-view of the last 500 years in North America, Central America and South America will give even the casual observer the obvious historical lesson: since 1492 when Colombus first arrived, western man has been relentlessly destroying the wild rain forests that once covered most of the temperate zones of two continents. From Cortes's landing on the east coast of Mexico in 1519 near present-day Veracruz, to the present, the world has stood by while a huge, disorganized attack on the land, wildlife and indigenous people of the western hemisphere's rain forests has taken place, unabated.

In the 1500's, when the first Europeans landed on the American continent they came in contact with the continent's indigenous people and misnamed them "Indios", thinking they had landed on the sub-continent of India. They conquered and subjugated these people, forcing a rapid assimilation of European influence onto the existing native culture. As the invaders penetrated deeper into the continent, they discovered many highly advanced civilizations.

In Central & South America the Spanish & Portuguese sacked and looted these centers of native culture, science and art, destroying many priceless artifacts, being interested only in the gold, silver and gems they found. They enslaved the conquered peoples and forced them to dig more gold, silver and gems from the earth. Then the conquerors carried the great wealth of the Americas away to Spain and Portugal.

Now 500 years later descendants of some of those original conquerors are still looting and plundering the Americas, where the gold, silver and gems have been depleted, they now destroy the Rain Forest, cutting down the trees, damming the rivers, polluting them with mercury and other chemicals, and as always, driving out the original inhabitants of the land, the indigenous peoples, the people we call Indians.

PROGRAM NOTES : The Mestizo Waltz - Cortés meets La Malintzin (Malinché)

The program opens with a dance depicting a meeting of La Malintzin, a Mayan girl, with Hernán Cortés in 1519 in the dense rain forests that existed along the east coast of Mexico. This Pas de Deux demonstrates the cultural assimilation of the indigenous people's culture with the European influences brought by the Spanish, and how in a relatively short period of time, a new culture evolved, a blending of Spanish and Indio into Mexican. In many ways the piece demonstrates the powerful cultural forces that brought about so much change in a short period of time. Malinché represents the countless indigenous people who tried to make contact with the invaders and ultimately were swallowed-up and consumed by them.

The pieces that follow are choreographic interpretations of the accompanying poems, dealing with the inhabitants of the tropical rain-forest. Other pieces danced include: Rubber Tapper, Butterfly, Green Lizards, Anaconda & Amazonia Green

Recommended study areas include:

People: Hernán Cortés, Cristopho Colombus, La Malinché, Francisco Pizarro, Gil Gonzalez de Avila, Cacique Nicarao, Mayans, Aztalans, Atahualpa/Incas, Monteczuma/Aztecs.

Countries & Places: Rondônia, The Amazon River Basin, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Caribbean, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua.

RONDÔNIA: The Rain Forest in Words, Music & Dance

all poetry by jacqpea franco-stockman © 1995-2000

La Malintzin

(La Malinché)

Not long ago the Azteca made war in Yucatan

proud Mayan's bowed their heads in tribute

and paid a heavy price to the conquerors

as Monteczuma crushed them with his might

A daughter of the Mayan called La Malintzin

witnessed the conquest of the proud Mayan

as she saw her family tremble in awful fear

this daughter vowed to avenge her people

In her heart she made a pledge to keep

any enemy of the Azteca was to be her ally

when strangers landed on the coast in 1519

she saw her chance to wreak revenge

A curse on the House of Monteczuma

she vowed to Cortés of the Invaders

across Mexica she'd lead the Spanish

and Cortés trusted and took her council

And soon all the conquered of Aztalan

did join in this holy war on the Azteca

and soon the Azteca shrank back in fear

and Monteczuma tried to buy peace

But as often happens when villains meet

the greatest villain usually wins

as Monteczuma fell before Cortés

the girl named La Malintzin smiled

She saw the serpent's head cut off

and that her people were now avenged

but too late she realized the outcome

for Cortés and the Spanish remained

She changed her name to Dom Marina

she left her old gods behind

she took the Spanish tongue

and soon, she was no longer Mayan

Nut Tree

In Amazonia there grows a tree

that rises as high as you can see

a source of wood to build a hut

but best of all, the Brazil nut

Since man first came into the forest

the Brazil nut has fed his family

showering down their large brown pods

a gift for sure from the forest gods

And creatures of the forest dine, too

on those nuts, so please leave a few

all season families gather Brazil nuts

and store them in their small rude huts

And when the rainy season finally ends

they carry nuts with family and friends

to the river boats they make tracks

with baskets of nuts on their backs


In small river boats the nuts do travel

on waters lined with multicolored gravel

to the coast they finally come

where nuts are sold for a tidy sum

After nuts are sorted and put in bags

men place them in ships of many flags

and those ships sail north to here

where grocers buy those nuts so dear

Into plastic bags the nuts are placed

so everyone can see their dark brown face

holidays come and stockings are filled

with oranges, candies and nuts from Brazil


The garbage collectors of the rain-forest

Vultures arrive before the ants and bugs

cleaning up the mess left by the jaguar,

today tepid tapir, tomorrow slow lizard

Green Lizards

In the trees above the land

lives a gentle, scaly band

they are tree-climbing wizards

those pretty green lizards

Lizards green as the boughs

of the tree that is their house

climbing high among the branches

taking bugs and other chances

Lizards, lizards everywhere

crawling, leaping without a care

stuffing so many bugs in their gizzards

is it any wonder they are "Green" Lizards


Trees Breathe

Animals breathe out carbon dioxide

and breathe in life-giving oxygen

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide

and breathe out oxygen for us

It's important that we co-exist

they need us and we need them

so when you see a tree growing

remember it's breathing for you!


Thousands of little teeth all biting together

soon the cow is just a skeleton in the river

the Piranha swim thru the water smelling

and when they smell blood, they eat!


Tiny monkeys climb high in the trees

chattering and dancing in the breeze

eating fruit, leaves and even bugs

mother monkeys give their babies hugs

Rubber Tapper

The Rubber Tapper moves from tree to tree

to gather the white sap he has set free

this is a rubber tree that he does tap

tires and toys are made from its sticky sap

The Rubber Tapper carefully cuts the bark

and sees sap ooze out of the chevron mark

into pails he places below the bark tap

flows the rubber trees magic white sap

The Rubber Tapper carries home the pail

where he rolls it all into a large ball

and once he gathers enough sap to trade

takes it to the river where a sale is made

Down the river the sap is carried

on river boats it is all ferried

finally a large port beacons

with many ships of many nations

Across the ocean the sap does go

from the forest, a Brazilian cargo

and once it arrives at its destination

the sap is shipped to a train station

To Akron, for one, the sap does go

a sticky ball of Brazilian cargo

and in the factory men tend fires

cooking the sap they make rubber tires

So every time you get in the car to go

your family is riding on Brazilian cargo

from the rain-forest the trip is long

but softer, with rubber, from the Amazon


Sliding, slipping from limb to limb

comes the stealthy rain-forest denizen

to the river she quietly makes her way

smelling the air with her forked-tongue

In the water she is supreme, swift and sure

as she undulates and swims along the shore

always searching for a tasty snack to steal

coiling around it just to hear it squeal

Since she eats once every 3 to 6 months

she never has to worry about missing her lunch

a tidy beast, she swallows whole in one bite

while her dinner moves slowly out of sight

Anaconda, large first cousin of Python

and auntie to Boa, the Constrictor,

slides slowly, stealthily through the grass

and the animals pray she will just slide past


Worms wiggling below in the soil

burrowing forward, they do toil

everything that falls on the ground

they make into dirt, rich & brown

Every living thing meets them at last

slowly digested until they too, have passed

Now Worms don't bite, scratch or hurt

they just quietly wiggle, making dirt


The colorful Butterfly floats for hours

from ripe bananas to brilliant flowers

stopping to lay its eggs in a safe place

and then just disappears without a trace

A few months later caterpillars hatch out

and begin their creepy crawling all about

eating, eating all the time, day and night

then they go into a chrysalis out of sight

When Spring comes with its rain and mist

it awakens the creature in the chrysalis

who slowly opens its beautiful wings to dry

so that we can all see it's a new butterfly


Up in the trees the boa looks for a meal

but Parrots see and scream so shrill

Bright colors squawk at the boa's search

as Parrots dance on their lofty perch

Grabbing two toes front & two toes back

with large hooked bills, food is cracked

flying bouquets, bright feathered flowers

squawk and call from high green towers

Now men take baby Parrots from the nest

for, of all birds, Parrots speak best

some people will pay a handsome price

for a young Parrot that talks real nice

So young Parrots are shipped up here

far from the forest and their parents dear

sad little birds huddled in small cages

and that's how some men earn their wages

Forest Deep

an eco-trilogy

Amazonia Green


Prayers for the Dead

NOTE: In the Rondônia program we only use a segment of "Amazonia Green". It is actually part of the 3-Part FOREST DEEP, with Choreography by Pamela Ybarguen -Stockman, set to music by Michel Sanchez, Eric Mouquet, with Poetry and dialogue by Jacqpea Franco - Stockman. This program is intended for intermediate and/or middle school students.

In the time it takes to dance Amazonia Green (12 minutes), 800 acres of Rain Forest are destroyed. On the average 96,000 acres of Rain Forest are destroyed around the world every 24 hours. The world suffers the loss of not only trees and plants that produce life-giving oxygen, but also may offer cures and treatments for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

As bad as cutting down 96,000 acres may seem, if all the trees were cut down and made into lumber, at least they would be used for some purpose, but since rain forest trees are mostly soft woods, they are normally just bulldozed into great piles and burned. Then the acrid smoke of that burning mixes with the air-pollution civilization has already created to further poison the atmosphere we breathe.

Another negative effect destruction of the Rain-Forest has on the world we live in, is the destruction of habitat for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Rain-Forest, the destruction of this eco-system means the death of a way of life and a people, much as the slaughter of the American Bison or buffalo meant the end of the North American Plains Indians.

These events do not just happen by chance, they are the direct result of political & economic forces at work in the our world. The development (denuding & destruction) of the Rain Forest can thus be seen as an effort by governments to solve the problem of the homeless in the cities of Brazil by destroying the homes of the Amazon Indians.

In the choreography you will see the elements of nature living in harmony, the emphasis on breathing is obvious by the moves and gestures of the dancers. Amazonia, the creator goddess, moves through the rain forest, her costume indicating the lines sunlight makes as it streams down to the floor of the forest, diagonal lines and shadows, the dance shows the her nurturing effect on all life. From the beginning of man's history dance has been used to tell a story, the story we tell is that a living rain forest is a nurturing and gentle place where plants and animals survive by mutual dependence on each other.

Only one kind of animal consciously destroys the Rain Forest, the indigenous people of the Amazon call those animals the Termite People, because they are predominantly white and seem to eat up all the trees. When the Termite People enter the rain forest they always seem to end up destroying it. Modern technology is used to increase their efficiency, allowing them to destroy more rain forest, more quickly, and at a lower cost! We hope that we have given you a fresh look at the problems of survival for the Rain Forest, its people, creatures and plants in the modern world.


Amazonia Green

by jacqpea franco-stockman © 1995-2000

Green vines cut through rain-spattered layers of vegetation

while faces of the rain-forest peer out of the living maze

She, who has created the world and carried it in Her belly,

tends her lush garden along the living serpentine river

All that lives in the garden is Her creation,

plants and animals, happy children of their mother, Amazonia

On wings in air, wet fins in water, soft steps on land...

they come together to touch and weave a world of green

Melodic voices of the rain-forest fill the moist air,

paying gentle homage to Amazonia, the Creator Goddess

She moves slowly through the forest, creating lines and angles

where no geometry exists, She draws stark images against the green

Her children the trees breathe out life and Her other children

breathe it in, while She hums a sweet lullaby and cradles them

And if the Termite People do not enter Her garden, it may survive,

along with its delicate balance of hunger & plenty, birth & death

Amazonia Green is a celebration of life in the Amazon Rain-Forest ... Untouched by civilization, voices sing, in a language that no one knows, but everyone understands, of the natural harmony between all the inhabitants of the ever-shrinking Rain-Forest. That last remnant of Earth's primeval birthing place, its home of creation, in a word...Eden.




by jacqpea franco-stockman © 1995

Comes now the Dawn and with it rides Death on machines of steel,

driven by men with blades as sharp as razors

They sniff the wind to find their quarry

a tall stand near a meadow, where plants and animals coexist

In their haste, they crush and maim those lesser lights who fail the test

but once they find the ones they seek, nothing stands before their assault

Where once pine cones could be heard to fall

now machines do ravage both plants and peace

For War has been declared and God the Dollar is on their side

Chopsticks, kindling, newsprint and siding, so important in this modern world

Boom! goes the cannon of civilization- Crash! go the trees of our past

and while no prisoners are taken, casualties litter the ground

As they move, they leave a trail of death and destruction

displaced creatures flee the forest to never return again

Gentle folk who lived beside the giants of the forest

driven far from their homes, they watch the tree-line shrink

Echoes of Treefall fill the air as forest dwellers flee the battle

displaced refugees of the war seeking solace in the trees

"When will the sound of Treefall cease?" the refugees cry out in anguish

knowing only too well the answer... "When the last tree falls!"


by jacqpea franco-stockman ©1995

from the East a sucking sound, as darkness swallows the day

and rosy skies in the West into purple darkness fade

day has died its singular death, so night is born again refreshed

and creatures of the dark abound, while She is but somber dressed

like a wraith She moves about, Her touch is soft and gentle

and sleeping flowers are aroused, opening up their colored petals

a quiet place she seeks to find, were stealth is prized by all

stillness brings its own reward, of silent feasting in the trees

and when done, the stars shine down on those creatures who have supped

wide-eyed minions of the nocturne, alert to sounds from far below

hear Her, your Mother, pray aloud to gods who fill the sparkling sky

and yet She pleads not for Herself, but offers prayers for you and I

and when the night fades to dawn, the wholesale carnage begins anew

a slaughter of the forest deep, bringing death to me and you

yet every night as Hesperus rises in the east once more,

at vespers does She genuflect, whispering prayers for the dead

once the forest has been destroyed, will She kneel at our funeral bier

and chant aloud Her sad goodbyes, those prayers for the dead?

and the Dead answer, "She shall!"

Julie Jacob, Michael Wilson, Marcus Willis, Lauren Parker & Celeste Humphries, closing scene of Prayers for the Dead, Part 3 of Forest Deep



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Last Updated March 21, 2003 by Jacqpea Franco-Stockman