Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing the Poem "Voice"

Please join us for the upcoming concert " so much nearer home," featuring choreography by faculty member and Dance Program Director, Anna Leo. The concert has three performances from September 25-27. Please see our website and click on the Events link for more details. One of the unique features of this concert is that each dance will be introduced by a poem. The post below is written by Lynn Thompson, who composed one of these poems.

Writing the Poem “Voice”
by Lynne Thompson

When Anna Leo invited me to compose a poem for a solo dance entitled Warrior Woman Pantoum, I assumed the Malayan form (originally, pantun) would provide the structure for the poem. When I received the DVD of a rehearsal of the piece, however, it struck me that Anna’s choreography and Steve Everett’s feral musical score had fractured the regularized expectations that are a necessary aspect of that form. Traditionally, the pantoum is comprised of repeated, rhyming lines that create an echo in the listener’s ear; a feeling of taking four steps forward, then two back. However, Anna’s Warrior Woman earns her status by eschewing this expectation; by exploring the previously-unexplored so as to discover and establish her own way in the world. Thus, in writing "Voice," I wanted to develop a pattern by repeating the active verb say while marrying that repetition to the dancer’s unpredictable curiosity and insistence on becoming.

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