Voices That Move Me - Video link -
Inspired by National Women’s History Month, Tania writes: I created “Voices That Move Me” in response to world women’s literature of our time. Each scene in is an interpretation—not a literal adaptation—of the chosen works. Some are classics and others lesser known, but all share an acute feminist sensibility and international influence. The piece features writers who attracted me due to the strength of their voices, their divergent cultural and social backgrounds, and their distinctive vision. The dance represents the sharp gaze of Joan Didion (USA), the creative imagination of Angela Carter (UK), the social commitment of Jackie Ogega (Kenya), and the delicate and tender melancholy of Dulce Maria Loynaz (Cuba).
Scene One: Joan Didion, USA (1934-2021) Joan Didion is known for her insightful journalism, novels, and screenplays, and her far-reaching influence on generations of artists. Scene 1 nods to her books Play It as It Lays (1970) and The Year of Magical Thinking (2005)—stories that address the mysteries of love and death that bookended her life. The characters, reflecting the life of Joan and her husband, are at times comfortable and happy and at times stressed by life as celebrities on public exhibition. In a second movement, one of the characters commits suicide as the other watches without intervening (taken from Play It as It Lays). The scene ends with a reading from The Year of Magical Thinking.
Scene Two: Angela Carter, UK (1940-1992) Angela Carter personifies imaginative richness, theatrical characters, and ardent feminism. This dance, drawn from her story “The Loves of Lady Purple” (1974) and a poem called “Unicorn” (1963), presents a duet in which neither the arrogance of the puppet master nor the fragile dependence of the puppet are what they seem. Gradually, we see the puppet realize the power her sensuality exerts over her puppeteer, which she uses to subvert the role of dominant/dominated. Now the characters emerge more as individuals with an interdependent, love/hate relationship.
Scene Three: Jackie Ogega, Kenya (1969- ) Jackie Ogega’s memoir, Home Is Us, tells the story of the survival and ultimate triumph of her mother, Marcella, in the deeply patriarchal society of Kenya. This scene portrays several elements of Home is Us: a mother's determination to challenge an abusive husband and his ancestral culture of violence towards women, her flight to create a safer life for herself and her three daughters, and the salvation of the family, symbolized in a girl. The dance is a tribute to the courage, intelligence, and devotion of a mother and daughter.
Scene Four: Dulce Maria Loynaz, Cuba (1902-1997) Dulce Maria Loynaz refused to applaud and flatter the Cuban communist government and was for a long time better known abroad than in her own country. She grew up in an upper-class home full of literature, music, and intellectual discourse, sheltered from the dramatically changing world outside. In her poem “Last Days of a House,” we see two images of the same woman: the younger, consumed by her own anxieties, and a wise older version, oblivious to vanities, waiting in peace for the last days of her life. Although the poem was written in 1958, its spirit of decadence, loneliness, and absence haunt Cuba today, where people pine for past glories and families are painfully fragmented. I remain indebted to Loynaz’s sweet, soft poetry, her evocative images and intelligence.
“VOICES THAT MOVE ME” is made possible by the generous support of: Jane Woods, Presenting Sponsor Sarasota Contemporary Dance Overture Group RBC Wealth Management Reliable Tax Data Corp, Dallas, TX Nicole Nicholson BT on the Boulevard Trader Joe’s Noela Chocolate Lueanne Wood, KW Island Life Real Estate Rick & Irma Uhler, Azul Steak House & Sushi Lounge Dramatic Reflections Photography Special thanks to Eve Marino Rehearsal Space provided by Sarasota Contemporary Dance and the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School Graphic Design by Nikitas Kavoukles
Copyright © Tania Vergara.
All rights reserved.