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Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category

 

 

painting-by-vincent-romero-madrid-1956

Vincente Romero © 2007-2009

 

As I’m focused on picture books for children through my 12 x 12  challenge, I’ve also just enrolled in a class on The Art of the Picture Book illustration class with Shadra Strickland.

(Of course, I could never be as good as Vincente Romaro who’s paintings I’ve just discovered!)

So for a ‘tester’ project, I’m going to use a poem I wrote many years ago (and I mean many) in the early 60’s called “The Prima Ballerina”.

I hope to show you how I adapt it to a PB and slowly, how I have a go at illustrating it too…

 

The Prima Ballerina

She lives in a world of fairy tales,

all fantasy, happiness and woe. 

 

Floating across the stage in tulle,

fine silk or organza.,

 

softly pirouettes through the mist,

or dies upon the snow. 

 

This is the world of Ballet

of the Prima Ballerina.

 

So lithe and slim, so beautiful,

so graceful and serene. 

 

On stage, supremely untouchable

yet so frail behind the scenes. 

 

She’s the Queen of the ‘Corps de Ballet’,

the star with the golden feet, 

 

dancing her way through ‘Petruska’,

‘Swan Lake’ or the ‘Nutcracker Suite’.

 

The audience, transfixed with awe,

watch silently, as in a dream,

 

for gripped by suspense and beauty

 – such as they’ve never seen! 

 

They observe the scenery so real,

the superbly made costumes,

 

but their eyes are fixed on the ‘Bluebird’

and all it’s fine blue plumes.

 

And when the ballet is done,

And encore after encore taken.

 

And baskets and bouquets

of flowers dispensed….

 

There’s a feeling of despair and longing

at the end of such unforgettable enchantment.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1968

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #1968Notebook  #POEM:ThePrimaBallerina  #poetry  #Ballet

#Children’sPictureBooks  #Illustration  #TheArtOfPictureBook  #ShadraStrickland  #12x12Challenge

#ARTIST:VincenteRomaro

 

 

 

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12-x-12-new-badge

Nearing the end of my 12 x 12 picture book membership for this year, I’m sticking to the rules for writing a story a month, setting myself little tasks to stimulate my imagination.

So I thought I’d share my latest writing exercise with you. I set the rules as; to write a story about two random words, I pin-picked ‘peaches’ and ‘dancing’.

This is the 1st draft of ‘The Peach Polka’, deliberately written without dialogue, an exercise in actions for illustration. If I ever get around to illustrating it, I’ll post those up too.

130709VisitingSonja (13)

Nanna couldn’t remember what started it – but it was happening more and more.

In the supermarket, suddenly her legs didn’t act like they belonged to her body at all. 

Sometimes, they danced away, trying to be somewhere else – without her!

Nanna couldn’t help grabbing whoever was nearby, to dance the polka too.

Waiting to pick up her granddaughter Sonja at school, she danced with the teacher.

What made her lose control – why suddenly burst into dance – at her age?  

Today, thankfully, it happened at home. It was Sonja’s new peach fairy doll.

Long peach-y hair, wings of gossamer, she even had sparkling peach shoes.

Nanna and Sonja sniffed and Surprise! Surprise! The doll smelt of peaches too!

Startled Sonja beamed with delight to see Nanna twirling and whirling around the room. 

It wasn’t long before Sonja was twirling too, in the new pink dress Nanna had made. 

As the white spots twirled, Sonja was almost lifted off her feet with happiness. 

Then she was! Nanna took hold of Sonja’s hands as they whirled and twirled together.

For Nanna, dancing with Sonja was a very special and perfect dance memory…

Sonja had the best birthday ever and never wanted the Peach Polka to stop!

 

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #Peaches&Cream  #FromMyNotebook  #DanceMemory  #Children’sBooks  #12×12

 

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In the dark old days, the storyteller always had the best place by the campfire. Those days may be gone, but the power of story remains. It’s time we acknowledged that, and brought our authors out of the cold.

Joanne Harris  from her excellent article:  This fairy story has lost its happy ending.

I’ve just finished watching  ‘The Swan Princess’  on the Drive In on-line page.  Although it credits the story writers and the screenplay writer, it doesn’t mentioned the original  Other Swan Stories it may well have been inspired by.   Now I want to know which of those stories the beautiful ballet ‘Swan Lake’ was based on.

How many people do you think, have enjoyed these story in all their many presentations.  And how many do you think know who wrote the originals, who was the first to put pen to paper?

2005_1010Furphy0006E

A story I wrote for my own children in the late 80’s was awarded the FAWWA Furphy in 1994 as “The Best Children’s Book Manuscript”.

To my total surprise, my story was nominated without my knowledge by my fellow writers group members at the Fellowship of Australian Writers here in Western Australia .

Since then,I’ve adapted the story to a pantomime and it’s been performed at Emerald Park by members of the Northern Youth Theatre then again at the 1995 Joondalup Festival.

I’m currently updating the story and adapting it to a script.  I know it’s a good story and I want it to live many lives.

Just returned from watching my 6 year old niece dance – it would also make a good ballet.

I’ve never actually sent it out for publication though.  I wonder why?

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #TheSwanPrincess  #SwanLake  #TheSwimmingPoolPeople  #NorthernYouthTheatre  #FAWWA

 

 

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I love how sometimes a poem ends up taking you to all sorts of places you don’t expect.

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‘Dance’ by Jessica McCallum at His Majesty’s Theatre, 2009. #jessicamcallumartist

My poem “My Life as a Sari” has appeared alongside beautiful artworks.

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POETRY POSTCARD available from Jessica McCallum

An excerpt published on a postcard.

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#IndigoJournal

And published in the INDIGO JOURNAL of West Australian Writing, Vol 3 published by INDIGO books and received lovely comments.

Fremantle Press have recently become on-line partners with the original publishers of the journals and have always been tremendous supporters of those who write in Western Australia, quietly promoting and encouraging new, emerging and established writers by putting their money where their mouth is.

As a result of my inclusion in the journal, Fremantle Press also interviewed  me about my writing and particularly, this poem.

 

My Life as a Sari

 

Securely tuck your fears under elastic

at the centre of your waist with your left hand,

and with your right, hold the remaining

metres of spun silk – your future, facing inside.

 

Measure the drop of the fall

and it’s finely stitched edge

for correct positioning against heels.

 

Wrap yourself in the gossamer fold,

swirling the diaphanous film behind

but stay level and wedge the top border

into your petticoat.

 

Like a bride preparing herself,

you are now ready to pleat.

 

At a distance from the last fixing,

hand-measure the delicate veil,

embroidered with details

important to who you are

toward the middle of your body.

 

Some may need five pleats, some six.

Less is more. Another judgement held on show

– a statement of size, however graciously it moves.

 

Securely fix the perfumed fanning

and grasp what is left, bring it back around

to wrap warmly and return to the front.

 

These days, you can choose to gather all loose

ends onto your left shoulder, secured with a jewel.

But many prefer to throw the remainder

over, remembering to hold an arm half bent,

letting the end float freely – the beaded

edge skimming the inside of your wrist.

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

#francesmacaulayforde

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