Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

La Blanche (third Time Lucky)

By Lucy May Constantini
The solo that first saw the light one January evening in Bangalore in 2010 is in the process of being dusted down and life breathed back into her. She’ll be closing Arts Care Gofal Celf’s D12 dance festival which is part of Pembrokeshire Fish Week. I’ll be performing La Blanche (the white girl)at about 17:40 this Sunday, June 24th at Port Authority, Milford Haven. The stage is going to be built under a bridge (so safe from any drizzle on the day) and facing the sea. Those who know her know she’s a solo about growing up on and in the sea in Gabon, so I’m excited about the setting, if a bit worried about some of the technical quandaries (the marriage of live spoken and recorded sound outdoors, dancing on the toe I broke just over a week ago…)
La Blanche (third time lucky)  Through Arts Care Gofal Celf, I’ve also been working with a class from Milford Haven Junior School, creating a work in progress based loosely on the poem in La Blanche. The children will be sharing what they’ve made at about 17:15.  So if you’re anywhere near Milford Haven, please come!  And if not, please send blessings.
Here is some of what I wrote the day before I performed La Blanche in Cardiff last July (2011):
I have a sense she has shifted where she lives in me since her first and last outing in Bangalore in January 2010.
Thoughts – in no particular order – on this revisiting of the SOLO:
Nicky (Visser)’s thoughts from her email responding to the film There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in – that for a change, the film allowed her to enter in to the SOMATIC experience of the moving. I started thinking:
SOMATIC → SOMA, elixir, ecstasy, somehow EROTIC – so the truly somatic is also deeply and subtly erotic. At any rate, this seems true now in this piece: creativity / embodiment / eroticism emanating from a felt sense of the second (and first) chakras – the language, especially the poem “Vaguely Waving” must honor this – and suddenly this poem seems charged with eroticism – the goddess exploding from my mouth and senses… the rhythm, the sounds, the shapes of the words in my mouth, the images – I had never realised this.
So the task is to embody, be present, be fully alive to the sensations evoked by the story of the piece – the physical and not the mental story (let the structure take care of that) to be my focus…
Thoughts of Kirstie (Simson) “maybe I’m just a sex maniac”…
Thoughts of Nancy (Stark Smith) – bridging the gap in experience between practice and performance – something about the body chemicals of “performance” sending me out of my body and more into my head → control. My seed for tomorrow is to be conscious when this happens and re-embody.
TRUST:   myself   my body   my experience   my practice   my training   my creation   my work
Image / message in meditation this week:  red flow, Shakti, (kundalini?) rising up between my legs, out the top of me and expanding spherically from me – strength / power comes from this core deep within me, not an external hardening (of my carapace), an external impulse of fear wanting me to shape, to contain, to control. Instead work to soften, dissolve this outer shell so the red → white explosion can expand from me, expand beyond measure. Power but not mine, and yet mine.

This may be a bit too stream-of-consciousness processing for some, but in case people are curious, here’s the movement score as it currently stands for the varying sections of the piece, and the text of the poem, for readers of French:
strong Atlantic waves:disorientation → head lead → soft →spirals
vaguely waving (poem)
fishermen’s song:pleine d’écume et de sel et de sable pointu (motif) → waving
sting rays & calm waters:piercing the circles, stillness, balance
the women’s song:body touch, fragments of set material, low ground, Shakti, sacral chakra, kalari serpent & elephant
We’ll see what changes by Sunday. At the moment, it’s the last section, the women’s song, which is the least secure, not least because it involves some of the more challenging movement on my broken toe.
And finally, here’s the poem, for those who like French:
I wave, waver, waiveWave at the ocean – Green greyWaves coming into shore.
Pictures of sine waves breaking on the beachVague trigonometric memories
Vague, waveVague, vague
La vague sur la plage qui s’écrase,La vague qui écrase la plageLa vague qui m’écrase sur la plage
La vague qui m’écrase sur la plageForçant le sable durForçant le gros sable durDans ma bouche ouverte,Dans ma bouche ouvertePleine d’écume et de sel et de sable pointu.
Vagues vertesTerrain des raies-requinQue les pêcheurs tirentQue les pêcheurs noirsTirent des fonds vertsDes fonds lugubresDes fonds si profond que j’ai peur.
Les pêcheurs noirsQui traversent les vagues vertesDans leurs pirogues marronQui traversent les vagues vertesQui traversent la troisième vague,La vague d’où – si on la dépasse –On ne revient pas.
La fille blanche regardeLes pêcheurs noirsQui traversent les vagues vertesVagues vertes-grisesDans leurs pirogues marronDans leurs pirogues en bois marron,Les pêcheurs noirsQui trouvent les raies-requinA travers les vagues,Raies-requin couleur de sableCouleur de sable dur et pointuDans ma bouche pleine d’écume et de sel.
La fille blanche regardeLes pêcheurs sur les vaguesQui vaguent.
I vaguely waveAt the fishermen.
From Lucy, with love xx
© Lucy May Constantini, June 2012

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