a swimming pool play
concept & coaching: Sigrid Keunen



This concept is inspired by my Art Education Project Sigi’s Boat, where children are invited to playfully create music and stories. Within a competent frame of a boat we set off from improvisation. By completion of several offered musical, theatrical and visual elements during the workshops, those self-created musical stories introduce a performance in a synergy with Total Art.

The FIREBIRD was executed on June 26 2016 during the Blue North Music Festival in Olafsjördür in the North of Iceland.

Preparatory workshops have been organized in May during school time in the 3 different schools of the 3 corresponding neighboring towns: Dalvik, Olafsjördür and Siglufjördür.

There I have spent 3 weeks with one hour a week in several classes. The sum of 100 students was between 4 and 13 years old. Those workshops, explanation of the storyboard and its global working process were to challenge the children so they could decide themselves during their holidays to take part in the Swimming Pool Play workshop week at the end of June.

Unfortunately, by the half of June only 9 kids signed up.

Those 9 children acted individually as well in group with lively embodiment and keen enthusiasm throughout the costume-making, dancing their choreography, exclaiming their text, creating music, designing and drawing the setup wall alternated -to relax- by running around their self- made edge of the imagined swimming pool in the sports hall.

The Firebird 2

I was mainly in charge with all the production issues therefore -when I look back now- I was triggered by how flexible one can be, how to stay solution focused during meetings, how to act compliant onwards the organization and just centre on being open-minded in relation to the children.

In conclusion and due to unforeseen, difficult and last-minute circumstances the kids brought it to a wonderful end: The FIREBIRD became free and all together they sang!




Dancers in the swimming pool / Musicians near and on the edge of the swimming pool


The kids are getting Key Phrases those idioms will help to express the personality and nature of their character. The rest of the sentence they have to adjust themselves in line with the storyboard,

e.g. the KING: I claim, I want to … the PRINCESS: I would like to…

The STORYTELLER has no Key Phrases but localizations; he or she can complete paragraphs with a concrete content besides the global line of Act 1: sky / horizon / castle of the king -Act 2: castle of the King / horizon / sky -Act 3: horizon / castle of the King / sky.

The following story is the starting point for the Swimming Pool Play, participating kids and artists can modify the libretto any convenient time.

And this story is based on Irina Zheleytova’s version of The Firebird and Princess Vassilissa.


Currently, content and material are appropriate, adequate and suitable to pursue a continuation and implementation of this community project into other places worldwide.

The concept on itself scopes a substantial motive to continue its realization and execution. Consequently I take into account the frame of my initiated concept, wherein a focus on the elaboration of several tasks is requested by the search of dividing the assignments along the collaborating artists and potential production partners.

This way of creating ensures the working process and by its presentation it will engender an equal, beautiful and meaningful outcome where its lively performance or a synergy within the Total Art will shine fully.