Woolf works

img_6476I have seen many ballets within this rich tapestry called life, a aficionado of dance, not by any means but the thrill that music and movement can instil is unforgettable.  I have seen the proud somewhat arrogant Nureyev bring the audience into a frenzy to the graceful elegance of the long limbed Sylvie Guillem but nothing in all these years has moved me so much as Wayne McGregors’s  Woolf Works.  Plus it was a live screened performance from The Royal Opera House, sitting in a cinema !

A ballet triptych describes three books, which takes you through life from an ageing perspective,  looking back at the vibrant memories of 1920’s  England in Mrs Dalloway, to the energetic, fast moving dynamism of youth in Orlando, then finally to death with The Waves. By the end I had been through so many emotions, my heart had been pulled this way and that and at times felt it would leap from my chest.  I felt expanded, exhilarated, as if my body had filled the auditorium.

I watched mesmerised as the dancers moved with such grace and ease, their limbs, muscles, tendons showing the strength needed to perform such a strenuous ballet, especially in Orlando.  So many avenues of thought and feelings erupted

Then came the rhythmic hypnotic swelling of the waves, not only in the music of Max Richter but the dancers and the compelling back drop of raging foaming seas in  in slow motion as you watch and hear life ebbing away.  Actress Gillian Anderson reads Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter written to her husband before she drowned herself in the River Ouze,  the words  so moving in themselves.

I have now listened to this so many times since seeing the ballet, downloaded from the trusty itunes.  Its stunning, moving , haunting and magnificent and so much more.  This week sees the start of my week in Totnes and this mornings playing produces these quick impromptu sketches  and I can see this is going to inspire the senses in many ways as the days,weeks and months roll on.

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something different

took a few assorted objects down into my studio, a treasured teapot form marrakesh, a metal upturned wastebin, an apple, a cup measure and a few odd little boxes, stood them all on my desk, and started painting!

it made a change to concentrate on shapes.  Usually its a kind of inspirational meditation set to some music, soothing music, and then as something stirs within and the outpouring starts, it just flows, the head is not engaged.  I noted with the objects, first I had to choose, which seem to take longer than I thought, then they had to be displayed and then I had to think about composition, a very much mind based way of doing things.    All in all an enjoyble time, but somehow I love just letting all pour out from my soul, its one of the most intense feelings and its so all consuming……………………

Open your heart………..

Breathtaking scenery does it for me, it opens my heart and I feel uplifted.  This past week I have been to two places in the UK that has some of the most of expansive views.  The Malvern Hills in Worcestershire was the first stop, where the high street is lit by gas lamps would you believe.  The area is synonymous with Elgar the composer and his famous Enigma Variations ( see clip below), he walked the hills often, and you can imagine the views here must have been a real inspiration to him.  Also of course its famous for the water, its bottled and sold throughout the uk and beyond today, but the hills are alive  with natural springs and wells, Holywell being the most important and possibly the oldest  recorded in Malvern,  dating back to the 12th century.  No time to explore the waters on this visit,  a return is imminent.

Next came Matlock, county town of the Peak District and its spectacular views.  this too is famous for its water, and in Victorian society this was the place to come for a “cure”.  Driving through this amazing scenery makes me wonder why in the uk people jet off to far-flung places of the world to be herded along with hordes of other brits when there is such beauty in our own landscapes.  These areas truly “open my heart” but there is one breathtaking view I have always wanted to see for myself, and that is of our planet earth, suspended in the cosmos………….. One day.  For now I have to make do with video clips, found one that travels through really heart expanding territory and set to NIMROD from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Artwork by Fernando Vincente

moon talk, lashes and jacques renault

Oh wow, the moon last night was so ………………  Oh I dont know,  guess enriching, so full of hope.  it was a perfect end to a perfect day.  My music full on and my body  pulsating to the beats of Jaaques Renault: a brooklyn based DJ his enlivening dance punk ( so wish I could share here but the music thing just cannot get to grips with on wokdpress, anyone out there have the answer?)  tunes just take me to another level.    As I looked out of the windscreen there in front of me, sharing my journey home was the magnificent moon, lying on her back in a perfect crescent, she was so open and giving, and full of so much energy to strive forward.

The moon reminded me of howling wolves, in fact that image was the backdrop to Natasha Khan ( bat for lashes) performance that I had just been to see.  Enjoyable, not the most amazing gig I have seen but it was upbeat and fun.  At the end she reformed with a string quartet and sang some of her fave songs………….  good stuff.

The nicest thing  of all was the venue, the amazing art deco architecture of the De La Warr Pavillion and its amazing helix staircase.

click here to view more images info about the building

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Bird song

I have been working this evening on humming bird energy for a forthcoming workshop I am preparing………..  my thought were on flight, about the lovely sound of a bird chirping, the colours and the charm they hold.  Watching little birds hopping about, fluttering in puddles, there totally in the present, just happy and getting on with life.  When opening my emails, I had one from the Barbican announcing this artist and the video clip on you tube.  Low and behold these charming little birds having great fun………….