When my Grandfather was a Fish

This is the rather long name of the group I have joined formed by Paola Esposito, Flavia Coube and Malcolm Atkins.  The title was inspired by a short story in Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics.

The current explorations for us have been around interpreting poems by Mohan Rana.  This is a challenge for me as I am not confident with poems in the first place and I find it difficult to escape the literal clutches of words when I am creating movement.  Even when the poems themselves ( being poetry) are not straightforwardly narrative I find myself trying to ‘portray’ specific images or sequences of events.  However, grapple I have and may be I am beginning to lose my fear of all those words!  Still plenty of work to do.

Invited to perform as part of ‘Kymmata‘ the God’s Playmates at the O3 gallery we chose to also work on a poem relevant to the specific theme of the exhibition/installation:  ‘Crow’s Playmates’ by Ted Hughes.  We trialled this the night before at Cafe Reason’s Diamond Nights where it went down well.  Mostly I suspect due to the fabulous masks/headpieces that Paola constructed for us and Malcolm’s music.

Today at the O3 Gallery we performed two 20 minute sets.  The first based on Mohan’s poem ‘In Principio’ and  Hughes poem ‘Crow’s Playmates’.  The second set beginning with a duet by Paola and Flavia based on the poem ‘Photograph’ then a solo by me based on ‘Checkmate’ , finishing with a trio ‘La Riva’ where we decided to use the space itself more fully – including the outside.  This last worked well.  I managed to lose the words from my head and put them in my body finally.

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