Creativity Salon with Dr. Lori Custodero and the Haftecks ☆

| May 5, 2011
Written by Evelyn Troester.

Photo by Heather Van Uxem.

April 29th, 2011

“Beauty is … the ocean.” says Claire (11) and starts to dance. With grace, imagination, purpose and incredible detail, she moves through the room – first by herself with a flowing scarf, then together with her younger sister Lucie (8).

Claire and Lucie Hafteck made my day! What a delight it was to watch them interact with each other and with the audience. With such sweetness and great modesty, yet with conviction, they shared their creative endeavors with the enchanted audience. Most of the visitors of the salon were students of Dr. Custodero who have followed Claire and Lucie’s creative growth on video in Dr. C’s  Children’s Musical Development class. And, just like me, they probably felt a sense of pride to be able to meet the sisters in person and witness their creative process.

These wonderfully gifted children embodied in their various artistic expressions what Dr. Custodero defined earlier at the symposium as “the childhood idea of wonder” and “the childhood idea of play.” They definitely “caused an emotional reaction” (Dr. Lin) and “told the story” (Dr. Hansen). But with their emotion evoking dance, fabulous drawings, brave storytelling, beautiful creative writing, fun movie making and even a surprise fancy dress-up game with some audience members at the end, Claire and Lucie showed us why creativity is really not something that can be sufficiently described with words – one has to experience it!

However, Claire has her own opinion: “Creativity is not copying what someone else does. It is making my own moves.”

Where do they get their ideas from, you ask? Claire says: “Nature is one of my inspirations.” When Lucie reads a self-written story, which she wrote from Claire’s perspective, she tells us that she was inspired by the book The Cricket in Times Square.

Yes, it is quite astonishing how these children express themselves and their understanding of the world so naturally through art and music. I felt immediately invited and welcome to share their joy and wonder!

“What sea animals did you recognize?” Claire asks after her initial dance.

I saw starfish, octopus and seaweed, … – and a whole world of imagination. It reminded me how important it is to never stop playing.