“Dancing is the Poetry of the Foot”
speaking large gestures:
to tell, to move. to answer
with liquid magic.
I was going to post about the Matisse cut-outs and dance, but I couldn’t talk about dance without acknowledging the death of Geoffrey Holder last week: dancer, choreographer, actor, painter, and all around extra large liver of life.
Matisse returned to the theme of dance again and again, and many of his collages reflect this. The above, “Two Dancers”, is a design for a ballet stage curtain. As I’ve said before , Matisse was the original inspiration for me to attempt collage, and I found an old one done in 1982 that really shows his influence. It was in a sketchbook with collage-illustrated poems–the poetry is long and tedious and so cryptic that even I, the writer, have no idea what it’s saying (there’s a reason I stick to haiku these days)–but the collages are interesting.
A few of the poetic phrases do seem appropriate:
tuning my fingers
playing my arms
mind through distances
Matisse also, famously, painted dancers. I have an easier time doing collage inspired by a painting than by another collage, but I do want to explore Matisse and collage and dance. I’ve been cutting out photos of dancers from the newspaper for awhile, although without any real idea where I would go with them. The juxtaposition of the bodies appeals to me, in both the photos and Matisse.
I did do this small collage I call “Dancin” which is one idea. I also like the quick motion sketches Geoffrey Holder inspired. We’ll see where it leads.
The quote in the title is from poet John Dryden.
And for a more modern but equally valid point of view:
“The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.” –James Brown.