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The art of theater: Oratory and communication skills for Arctic children

The project’s organizers say the children living in the tundra are special first of all due to their living conditions

KRASNOYARSK, February 14. /TASS/. The first ever theater club for children from far-away settlement on the Taimyr Peninsula will open in Dudinka. Children from 7 years of age will learn secrets of theater arts and oratory, they will develop communication skills, as sometimes they face communication problems after living in very isolated environments, the project’s organizers told TASS.

Theater lessons

The project was offered by the Mukistur community of the low-numbered indigenous peoples at Dudinka’s school 1, the project’s head Nadezhda Yeremina told TASS. Under the project, the school will have a class of theater arts and oratory, where professional teachers will be educating children. This is the first ever experience of a project, aimed at working with children from nomadic families on Taimyr.

"We are making all necessary preparations, so that it begins in September, at beginning of a new academic year," she said. "We shall teach 35 children from seven years of age, who live in the tundra."

The project’s partner is a White Birds theater club in Dudinka. Its teachers have been working with the youth, and now they will teach Taimyr’s indigenous children, who live in the tundra’s settlements.

"Our work would be aimed at developing performance skills, the teachers will organize lessons in stage speech and actor’s skills," the White Birds’ head Marina Petrakova said, adding children from senior classes would make the theater essentials and costumes.

The initiative received support after Nornickel’s competition among social projects. "Projects of the kind are very important for that area, as they are aimed at supporting traditional culture of Taimyr’s indigenous peoples, at conditions for education of children and teenagers from the nomadic families, living in the tundra," the company’s head of charity programs at the Polar branch Svetlana Rubashkina told TASS.

Developing communication skills and learning traditions

The project’s organizers say the children living in the tundra are special first of all due to the living conditions. Until they are seven, when they begin school studies, together with the families they are wandering the tundra and quite often they would not have any other communication than with the relatives.

"They do not have pre-school education, their oral speech is usually under-developed, they are tough to contact, very often they are not easy to make friends," Rubashkina said. "By participating in theater performances, the children will learn how to work in a team, how to perform, how to communicate with other people."

Besides the communication skills, the children will study and then promote their folk arts - many performances would be based on the Northern tales.

Competition of social projects

The competition of social projects, aimed at supporting public initiatives and at making conditions for sustainable development, is an important component of the World of New Opportunities charity programs, which Nornickel launched back in 2014.

Norilsk Nickel is a Russian diversified mining and metals company, the globally largest producer of nickel and palladium and the major producer of platinum, cobalt, copper, and rhodium. The company produces also gold, silver, iridium, osmium, selenium, ruthenium, and tellurium.