Black History Month
“...time was not passing...it was turning in a circle...”
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude
Untitled (Woman in Flowers) by Gregory Crewdson, Reclamation by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Big Head Poetry by Maia Fione.
One of my hobbies is reading, for I love to get lost in a vortex of poetic sentences and the beauty of words. The quality of reality depicted within a dreamlike world is particularly intriguing to me. I found that the stories of the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez fully embody this spirit. Marquez is a renowned writer and winner of a Novel Peace prize in Literature. He began as a journalist yet soon transitioned to writing novels and short stories. Marquez combines facts and historical events as well as fantastical elements to produce tales which are characterized as magical realism.
When I was in high school we often did writing assessments based on the works of authors we read. One of my favorites was an exercise of imitating the style of an artist. I found that analyzing and identifying the characteristics of another artists work, and then translating those into your own voice, is a wonderful way to unlock hidden ideas free of your routine means of working.
I find that I am continually inspired by the world of magical realism which Marquez creates in his stories. I believe that I was inspired by such themes before discovering his work, yet I experienced a cathartic moment when I read his Leaf Storm and Other Stories. A moment when the themes and my love of “close to realness but a little off" was solidified under the umbrella of his work in magical realism.
After studying Marquez’s style I could not help but begin to notice little scraps of his voice within art I enjoy. I saw it in paintings in the era of Symbolism, in the photographs of Sarah Moon, and even the art work of my parents. When I set out to make my own dances I now look at other forms of art which are imbued with this dreamlike style, and I long to bring this sense of narrative, yet also eery mystery to my choreography. I find that finding influence from forms of art that are outside the realm of dance also influence me to open my mind to new possibilities for creation. I love to read the works of Marquez (or those inspired by him) and to bring the influence of language into my research process. There is also something about Marquez cultural references which transport me into a different dimension. I feel that his use of language and imagery is deeply rooted in his peoples cultural identity and his interpretation of his surroundings. Thus his writing offers me a window into a different time, country, as well as the musings of an artist.
“Suddenly, as if a whirlwind had set down roots in the centre of the town, the banana company arrived, pursed by the leaf storm”
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez Leaf Storm and Other Stories