S C H O O L S

 


intro/.|/.videos/.|/.pictures/.|/.schools visited/.|/.interviews/.|/.learners' feedback/.|/.staff recommendations/.|/.reviews/.|/.residency reports

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I N T R O




it is in performing to children of all age groups that i feel myself at most being "the HA!Man". a school performance still carries the spontaneously unfolding item-based character of the regular performances, yet is highly interactive, where i act something of a pied piper to draw out music, dance and song from the youngsters - both individually and as a group.

through non-verbal gesture and odd communicative sounds, i would typically elicit interest from some to come and play with me on stage, with no direct instruction other than to make a sound, any sound! through the way i accompany this, a surprising musical expression would then ensue to the delight and bemusement of the assembled.

youngsters are invited to try out things they have never done before (like playing the cello), to join in dance, have a conversation or make up a song. throughout i will keep them entertained with my own items and improvisations, eventually addressing them around the issue of the creativity that lives in each and all of us. often, the desire to participate on stage grows so strong that i painfully have to show away hundreds of eager hands waving in the air. for many, a HA!Man school performance comes as a rare allowance to discover hidden talents and vent neglected feelings - a unique freedom that in stead of producing chaos, brings raw beauty to surface.

over two decades, hundreds of schools have been visited in four continents, from posh private institutions to regular public schools, township and rural schools, universities and colleges. the HA!Man also performs to alternative education schools, home schooling groups and especially to children who are physically and mentally challenged. fees are affordable and performances typically happen during assembly, lasting up to an hour. in most cases i come with all necessary and adequate sound equipment. school visits can also include workshops to smaller and specialized groups. district-based residencies are sometimes organized to cover a number of schools over a two or three day period.

a HA!Man performance infuses our results-pressured school environments with the mystery of constructive play and the enjoyment of creative risk-taking, those unquantifiables without which education and the process of growing up lose their soul and vitality.




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S C H O O L S .V I S I T E D




Examples vary from schools on the Cape Flats to high up in the Lesotho mountains, Afrikaans and English schools, private and special schools (disabilities). Standing relationships developed with a number of institutions including schools like St John's College and Roedean School (Jhb), Somerset College and Stellenbosch High School, school arts programmes at the Leysin American School, Switzerland, general workshops with home schoolers in Kent (England) as well as performance programmes at Sentraal Hoe"rskool (Bloemfontein) and the Lady Grey Arts Academy (Eastern Cape)

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I N T E R V I E W S




From "some things school kids want to know about me"

Who inspired you?

my father inspired me to improvise
my mother to take formal lessons
the changes in SA inspired me to leave behind the classical environment and let Africa breathe through me..

What were some of the hardships?

for 8 years i hitch-hiked through SA, owning nothing but a backpack full of essentials. often i pitched my tent next to the road, sometimes in harsh weather. i played on the streets on borrowed cello's to stay alive. this was great, but also hard. often chased away by security guards protecting the churches of money against art (shopping malls)

what inspires your love and passion for music and the arts?

the joy of play, and seeing how something that comes out of yourself can surprise you (creativity!). also i am keenly interested in the world and human affairs and am inspired by the news, my travels and my meetings with people to communicate my vision to the world through sound and other mediums. yes, i'd like to see a healthier future for all of us. deep inspiration there.


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L E A R N E R S' .F E E D B A C K




Chante Jonas, Pietermaritzburg

Thank you so much for coming to our school and giving us not just a dramatic arts show but a LIFE LESSON! You really inspired me!

KM Mailwane, Polokwane

Aahh! Aha! Eureka!! You've got it HA!Man - you da man.

Nyolo Njaba, Soshanguwe

It was mind blowing! Great creativity from the HA!Man. Thank you for your time, entertainment, and homour. You are an amazing artist. I learnt a lot from the show, hope you come again soon.

Tracey Phillip, Johannesburg

At first I thought you were crazy but then I enjoyed myself.


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S T A F F .R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S




Denise Fiveash, Cape Town

Just to thank you so much for the most fantastic presentation you did with our parents and some of us music teachers.Everyone is talking about the experience and I would love to have you work with our students, perhaps on some ongoing relationship, as what you offer is incredible.

Sally Catz, Ottawa

Thank you for the creativity injection! I only regret that we can't do this once a month! I think all music students & teachers should attend workshops like this & all music students should be required to take a perfromance skill class. Thank you for reminding me that everyone can improvise!!! It will become a dedicated segment of my music lessons from now on..


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R E V I E W S




From "HA! Moments" by Callie van Heerden

This is a gift. It is a gift when you can find such a vivid way to express yourself. Even a bigger gift when you can make other understand what you feel. Often during his show the audience would just look at each other and you could see - there was a Ha! in their eyes. They understood. This valuable ability can easily get lost in a world of canned music and backtracks. Our kids (and ourselves) should learn from artists like Francois le Roux. We should learn to find a way to say it and we should learn to hear it.

From the Niskayuna School district residency report, by Diane Smith

The Ha!Man's residency was an unqualified success. Following the gala middle school concert, for example, parents, family and community members lauded the students and Ha!Man for their performance, particularly the finale in which the choir and orchestra joined le Roux in honoring his homeland. Audience members appreciated the opportunity to sing along and respond to this powerful piece. People smiled and the energy in the crowd was palpable. One faculty member also wrote to say, "Thank you for bringing Francois le Roux to Niskayuna. It was an amazing experience. I'm not sure who was inspired more, me or my students. I have heard such positive feedback from all of my students."


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