New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
October 24, 2016

Family Activity: Chotto Desh

Play with dance, family stories and illustration in this Family Activity inspired by Chotto Desh!  For each show this season, we’ll be posting a brand new Family Activity. You can find all of our past Family Activities on our blog or at

Name Dance

Chotto Desh is full of meaningful dance and exciting movement. Watch the video below and learn how to choreograph your own personal ‘name’ dance from New Victory Teaching Artist Penelope McCourty.


In Living Color

Chotto Desh is inspired by stories from choreographer Akram Khan’s life and his relationship with his father. It features beautiful animations with a very specific style of illustration. In this activity, ask your family members questions while illustrating the stories that they tell you! How close can you get to the style of the show? 

Materials: Writing utensils, paper

Step One: Examine the two photos below. They’re from Chotto Desh! How would you describe them? Make sure to pay attention to the style of animation so you can mimic it later! 


The Art of Chotto Desh

Step Two: Now it’s your turn to tell each other your stories. Decide who will get interviewed first—grown-ups or kids. 

Questions for Grown-ups:
  1. Where were you born? What do you know about that place and that time?
  2. Where did you live when you were a teenager? What do you remember about it?
  3. Where were your parents born? What do you know about that time and place?
  4. What were your biggest dreams as a child? 
  5. If you have made your dreams come true, how did you get there? If you are doing something different from what you imagined, how did you get to where you are now? 
  6. Who is your favorite storyteller in the family? 
  7. What are your favorite family stories? 

Questions for Kids: 
  1. What is your earliest memory? 
  2. What do you know about your family’s background? 
  3. What is your favorite thing to do for fun? 
  4. What are your dreams for your future? 
  5. How can you make those dreams come true? 
  6. What is your favorite story that your family told you?
Step Three: While listening to the answers from your family, draw an image that would show or enhance their responses in the same way that Akram Khan’s images enhanced his parents’ stories. Try to get inspirations from that!  

Bonus: Compare your drawing to the ones from the show and notice the similarities and the differences. If you were to make a show about your family story, what kind of show would it be? Would it be a dance show or something else? 

I Only Have Eyes for You

In Chotto Desh, the dancer appears as many different characters throughout the story. In one section of the performance, he becomes his father by drawing eyes on the top of his head. In this activity, put your eyes somewhere else on your body. Who will you become? 
Eyes on the Dancer's Head

Materials: Post-Its, pens

Step One: Draw a pair of eyes on a Post-It note. 

Here are some examples for inspiration!

Examples of Eyes
Step Two: Stick the Post-It on a body part that’s not your face. Using your real eyes, look in a mirror and try to move like your Post-It eyes are real! 

Step Three: Try these challenges as a family:
  • Move around the room with your new eyes—how do you move differently?
  • Have a staring contest. Who won?
  • Have a conversation and make up a new voice to use!
What else can you do?

Family Activities

We invite you to share a giggle, try some new moves and deepen your understanding of the performing arts with our Public Engagement Activites: TXT Marks the Spot, Talk-Backs and more!
Twitter   How did your Name Dance turn out?
Share a photo of them with us on Instagram or Twitter, #NewVicFamilyActivity.
Facebook   What kind of stories and movements did you discover?
Like us on Facebook and tell us what you thought up!

Photos: Richard Haughton
Posted by Beth Henderson
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