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Dead Things.jpg

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting
 
             fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked
 
thee
,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy
 
        beauty      how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and
 
buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
         (but
true
 
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover
 
             thou answerest
 
 
them only with
 
                              spring)

 

–ee Cummings, #21

 

Make-it month continues.

I decided to channel my all my emo and mopey-ness into further development of the raven choreography.

I can’t remember what came first, the wings or the song.  Both appeared in my life around the same time about a year ago.  The wings I purchased from Polish artist Dorota D.’s Etsy store Pracownia Dor. She hand-paints these gorgeous silk wings.

Raven

The song I’m working with was originally a poem set to music in the 1700s by Swedish composer Carl Michael Bellman (Fredman’s Epistles, No. 81). I’m using the Mediæval Babes’ version of this work, Märk Hur Vår Skugga (Behold Our Shadow), which you can listen to in the video below.  The lyrics set a scene in which two fellows are graveside with the deceased: a wayward, trouble-making woman. As the two men reflect on their own mortality and stare into the abyss, one wonders, ‘Who will now command the bottle? Thirsty was she, thirsty am I, we are all very thirsty.’

I also revisited Poe’s poem The Raven for a bit of Nevermore inspiration and read up on raven symbolism in Viking mythology.  I played with wing configurations, geometry, and whirling. I experimented with wing and wind, shutter and flutter. I perched and sat in an attempt to capture the ghastly, grim, and ancient in movement and stillness. Then when things got too morbid and ridiculous, I squawked and flapped my wings and flew the coop.

 

water ducks sky

the 

          sky

                was

can    dy   lu

minous

            edible

spry

            pinks shy

lemons

greens     coo    l  choc

olate

s.

      un    der,

      a    lo

co

mo

     tive     s pout

                             ing  

                                     vi

                                     o

                                    lets

–e.e. cummings, Songs, I

sunset

Tumbling-hair

              picker of buttercups

                                                 violets

dandelions

And the big bullying daisies

                                  through the field wonderful

with eyes a little sorry

Another comes

                         also picking flowers

–e.e. cummings

iris 2

 

roses2

journal

It’s been a busy spring filled with seeds sewn and flowers bursting. Seeds were planted in so many places I can’t keep track of it all in spite of my journaling,  mapping, and labeling.  I get impatient. If a seed doesn’t sprout within a few days a different seed gets popped into the same tray.  Nature has her own rhythm and won’t be rushed.  Suddenly there are multiple things growing from the same cell.  I am no longer sure what’s what.  The rain has washed away the ink from my labels.  The garden will be full of surprises.

Life is not all fuzzy sprouts, sweet-scented petals, and swirling cursive. The concrete spillway leading from the pond collapsed and caved in from erosion over the last few years. It needed immediate attention.  Hours upon hours were spent in the pit with mud in my hair, in my ears, and under what was left of my jagged fingernails.  Digging rocks from the mud and moving them from here to there is prison work, I tell you! Then there was the construction on the learning garden and the hauling of poop from here to there.  It is almost complete.  So worth it to see he beans already beginning their ascent to the top of their tee-pees.  I can’t wait to show you!  Until next time…


Hawaii Feet April 17, 2019

Wherelings, whenlings

(daughters of if-but, offspring of hope-fear, sons of unless and children of almost),

never shall guess the dimensions of him

whose each foot likes the here of this earth

whose both eyes love this now of the sky.

endlings of isn’t shall never begin

to begin to imagine how

Him whose each foot likes the here of this earth

Him whose both eyes love this now of the sky.

(only are shall be were

Dawn dark rain snow rainbow

and a moon ‘ s whisper in sunset

Thrushes toward dusk among whippoorwills

or

tree field rock hollyhock forest brook

Chickadee

Mountain. Mountain)

Why-coloured worlds of because

Do not stand against yes

Which is built by forever and sunsmell.

(sometimes a wonder of wild roses sometimes)

with north

over

the barn.

 

e.e. cummings

20/50

In the middle of our life journey, I found myself in a dark wood. I had wandered from the straight path.  It isn’t easy to talk about it: it was such a thick, wild, and rough forest that when I think of it, my fear returns….

Dante, The Inferno

Dante's Inferno

On Saturday, October 3rd, the Inferno choreography was released into the world.

Inferno (2)

The idea for this dance has lived in me for over nine months. In the last trimester alone I poured out over 20 hours of zeal and profound love on just the physical creation of the 4 minute and 23 second dance. That doesn’t include the hours I spent reading, researching, and thinking about Dante’s heroic verses.

Inferno

Before this conception there was a courtship, of course.  My notes date back to August 15, 2014, when I responded to Dante’s call to his Readers:

O voi ch’avete li ‘ntelletti sani,
mirate la dottrina che s’asconde
sotto ‘l velame de li versi strani.

Oh you with sound intellects,
Observe the doctrine that conceals itself
Beneath the veil of these strange verses!

–Dante’s Infeno, Canto IX

Inferno 01

That’s when I began studying Dante’s work in earnest and trying to interpret the mysterious verses. It’s astounding how a 700 year old poem continues to resonate through the work of contemporary musicians, painters, writers, singers, and other artists.

By the time of the performance, most of the choreography was set, but there were unnerving parts I had to improvise.  I haven’t seen the video yet, so I don’t know how well the improvised parts went and whether I was able to express what this dance with Dante meant to me, but I do know that I learned a lot through the process of making it.

IMG_4916 (2)

If you’re interested in seeing the images I collected to guide the choreography, they may be found through the link here on Pinterest:  Inferno inspiration board

Inferno Finale

 

The poets leave hell

Inferno

I’ve been working on a choreography for Emma Shapplin’s The Inferno for months now.  The song stirs something in me that badly wants out. A version of the song is embedded below.

After months of reading, thinking, listening, and moving, the idea is finally beginning to find some form in motion. I need to finish it.

The quote in the image above was taken from John Ciardi’s translation.

Yes, there’s a lot aflame around here lately.  It’s an energy that needs to be channeled somewhere safe, like dance.

dandelion lawn

white fluff drifts across blossoms

the wind makes a wish

dandelion 017

–Lunar Euphoria

 

 

 

Everywhere

 

 

 

 

things lie in wait

 

 

 

 

 

ready to fill this void

 

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t let them.

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