Sunday, December 23, 2007

‘Dancing Poetry’ interpretive performance

Four people in yogic poses on a stage
Left to right: Sandra Wade, Cynthia M. Parkhill, Jonathan Donihue and JoAnn Saccato.

Ever since she was appointed Poet Laureate in April 2006, Sandra Wade has taken part in various activities that showcase the local poetic scene. By virtue of her attendance at various poetic readings, she serves as a steady reminder that Lake County has a Poet Laureate and a viable artistic community.

I can’t stress enough how important is this aspect of Sandra’s job. Lake County has had a lot of outside attention of late, and it presents a very skewed and unflattering picture of the community that we really know and love.

I always enjoy hearing about Sandra’s activities when I put together Arts and Entertainment sections for the Lake County Record-Bee and the Clear Lake Observer American. But on one occasion I got to participate in a performance of Sandra’s poetry.

Sandra also teaches yoga each week at the United Methodist Church in Clearlake. My husband Jonathan Donihue, our friend JoAnn Saccato and I have all taken yoga classes with Sandra at one time or another, and she invited us to perform with her in a “Dancing Poetry” routine.

The performance took place Saturday, Sept. 29, in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Sandra combined a couple of her poems, which were dubbed as an audio track with music by Schawkie Roth. In a collaborative effort we worked out a routine, deciding upon yoga poses that we thought were suitable accompaniment to the narration of the poem. It took two or three weeks’ practice as we refined the routine, substituting one pose for another, working out “the kinks” and figuring out our timing. The poem and music were recorded on CD so that Sandra was able to do the poses with us.

Finally, we decided upon our final routine and with practice, practice, practice, were happy with our ability to perform on stage.

The “Dancing Poetry” event was hosted by Embassy Arts International. It featured recitations by various poets laureate as well as poetry contest winners, whose prize was to have their composition set to interpretive dance.

Performing Sandra’s contribution was a lot of fun and I think we pulled it off beautifully. There were a lot of very nice, creative approaches exhibited during the performance.

Published in ArtNotes, the Lake County Arts Council newsletter

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