Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Diva Returns...and gives us lightsticks!

The room is lighter this time, but the circle of chairs remains. For what do we wait this time? People respond to lighting so differently now: they are chatting, this time, eating cake and collecting coffee and tea. There is darkness outside, but the room is cheerful. There is laughter and buzz.

Carol Leeming returned to talk about her work, 'The Lonliness of the Long Distance Diva' which, as described yesterday, uses digital visuals, still and animated, poetry and spoken word, a blog, and there will be music as the work evolves. Drawing on the ancient cultures of India, China and Africa, the work is part of Leicester's and the East Midlands' Cultural Olympiad. It is hoped that, in the future, there will be more community involvement as part of a bid to participate in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The work also draws on the history of Ancient Greece and is deeply influenced by the martial arts of all these cultures. Sports, in many cases, were children of wargames and martial practice. Stories of cultures and how these have been handed down and passed through diffusion are also a great point of interest for Carol. Each 'language' contains intangible elements, the successful practice of both often based in a philosophy of reconnection with the intangible self. The Diva of the work, then, is a mythological figure, an embodiment of orality through movement and sound.

Cultures have links across time and geography. Often imagery and stories are repeated and reinterpreted in different locations in different ages and it is through such representation and symbolism that humanity's intangible feelings and experiences are frequently expressed. Through literary and physical metaphor we come at once to understand our world and at the same time to build it anew.

Once again, this access to the artistic process of creation is fascinating, especially given our physical experience of the work in practice yesterday. It brings into more critical relief the experience of yesterday afternoon, without negating our ability to have experienced that. Technology is a huge player in this access, as a new mediator of the flow of energy and information.

And today our own role as mediators is highlighted. We move with lightsticks, we are in and of the music. From our own controlled motion to a directed shaking of the sticks we create intangible forms of light which are part of us, and yet unreal. We share in languages of music and movement, though we may speak them differently. Through these material languages, we produce and pass on the intangible.

1 comment:

  1. See Carol's blog here: http://carolleeming.blogspot.com/