Friday, June 14, 2013

fairytale friday and scandanavia

King Olof and The Little People by W. J. Wiegand

The Norwegians call the Elves Huldrafolk.
The little underground Elves, who are believed to dwell 
under the houses of mankind, are described as sportive 
and mischievous, and as imitating all the actions of men. 
They are said to love cleanliness about the house and place, 
and to reward such servants as are neat and. cleanly.  

The Elves are extremely fond of dancing in the meadows, 
where they form those circles of a livelier green which from 
them are called Elf-dance (Elfdans).  When the country 
people see the morning stripes along the dewy grass in the 
woods and meadows, they say the Elves have been 
dancing there.  If any one should at midnight get within 
their circle, they become visible to him, and they may then 
elude him.  It is not every one that can see the Elves; 
and one person may see them dancing while another 
perceives nothing.  Sunday children, as they are called,  
i.e. those born on Sunday, are remarkable for possessing this 
property of seeing Elves and similar beings.  The Elves, however, 
have the power to bestow this gift on whomsoever they please. 
People also used to speak of Elf-books which they gave to those 
whom they loved, and which enabled them to foretell future events.
The Elves often sit in little stones that are of a circular form, 
and are called Elf-mills (Elf-quรคrnor); the sound of their voice 
is said to be sweet and soft like the air.

Sir Olof he rode out at early day,
And so came he unto an Elve-dance gay.
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
The Elve-father reached out his white hand free,
"Come, come, Sir Olof, tread the dance with me."
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
"O nought I will, and nought I may,
To-morrow will be my wedding-day.'
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
And the Elve-mother reached out her white hand free,
"Come, come, Sir Olof, tread the dance with me."
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
"O nought I will, and nought I may,
To-morrow will be my wedding-day."
The goes well,
So well in the grove.
And the Elve-sister reached out her white hand free,
"Come, come, Sir Olof, tread the dance with me."
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
"O nought I will, and nought I may,
To-morrow will be my wedding-day."
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
And the bride she spake with her bride-maids so,
"What may it mean that the bells thus go?"
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
"Tis the custom of this our isle," they replied;
"Each young swain ringeth home his bride."
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
"And the truth from you to conceal I fear,
Sir Olof is dead, and lies on his bier."
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
And on the morrow, ere light was the day,
In Sir Olof's house three corpses lay.
The dance it goes well,
So well in the grove.
 It was Sir Olof, his bonny bride,
 And eke his mother, of sorrow she died.
 The dance it goes well,

 So well in the grove.

Svenska Visor, iii. 158, as sung iii Upland and East Gothland

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

illustrated world of virginia frances sterrett

Blondine and the Tortoise

Europa and the Bull

Old French Fairy Tales
Blondine Threw Her Arms Around the Deer

Medea and the Snakes

Proserpina and the Sea Nymphs

Virginia Frances Sterrett
When Sterrett reached 19, two things happened: first, she received 
a commission to illustrate her very first book called Old French 
Fairy Tales by Comtesse de Segur.  Second, she came down with 
tuberculosis which soon began to sap her strength.  The race was on.
For the rest of her short life, Sterrett worked as hard as her failing 
strength would allow, illustrating Tanglewood Tales
the Arabian Nights, and Myths and Legends.

By the time she turned 22, she had to enter a sanatorium where she
could only work for short periods of time before resting.  Yet, Sterrett's
exhaustion does not show up in her pictures.  You do not see her
taking shortcuts or compromising the quality of her work.  She seemed
intent on making her pictures perfect, to isolate them from the 
limitations and frustrations of her life.
Virginia knew the game was fixed against her; she will not have a 
lifetime to improve her skills or compile a major body of work.
The work under those restrictions might have made sense to give
up or resort to drink, but still she persisted.  The time was devoted to
making pictures. She was almost finished with Myths and Legends when she passed 
into the spirit world.

The local newspaper, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ran an obituary that
remarked upon the disparity between her life and exotic world
she drew:
Virginia's life spent in prosaic places of the West and Middle West,
she made pictures of haunting loveliness, suggesting Oriental lands
she never saw and magical realms no one ever knew except in the 
dreams of childhood....Perhaps it was the hardships of her own life
that gave the young girl's work its fanciful quality.  In the imaginative
scenes she set down on paper, there must have been an escape from
the harsh actualities of existence.

Friday, June 7, 2013

healing fabrics, it's in the threads

I recently stumbled upon information pertaining to an ancient 
technique of dyeing textiles using medicinal herbs.  It is called
Ayurvastra.  “Ayur" in Sanskrit means health while vastra 
translates to cloth or clothing.

Ayurvastra is based on the principle of touch.  Every contact 
with the cloth helps the body lose toxins and enhance 
the metabolism.  The threads or cloth has been permeated 
with spices, herbs and oils to help cure a wide range of 
ailments and basically following known effectiveness 
of the plants.  The most regenerative time to wear Ayurvastra 
is while sleeping or meditating.

I find this all fascinating, logical, remarkable, yet near 
fundamental.  After researching into the technical process, 
I found the technique a bit off the mark.  Bleach, cow's urine, 
dyeing gum, and thirty days for the process.  I wonder if 
organically produced fibers will help decrease the time 
while increasing the legitimate value.

Some of the herbs used in the dye baths include curry leaves,
turmeric, neem and sandalwood.

Monday, June 3, 2013

acrojou, spinning homes, performance

Acrojou Circus Theatre with The Wheel House
A device that defies the laws of gravity and many other conventions. 
The characters, through acrobatics and black humor, do a round trip 
and surreal that leads nowhere, housed within an exquisite structure, 
built by hand. 
Formed in 2006 by Artistic Directors Jeni Barnard and Barney White, 
Acrojou have so far created six original shows, toured work to nine 
countries and performed to nearly 60,000 people.
Some of their offerings include:
installation and experimental performancec
corporate and high-end circus spectacle
street theatre 

small to medium scale touring
interactive characters

Their website is filled to the brim with so much documentation of their

Saturday, June 1, 2013

mary wigman is more than a witch

Lake Maggiore 1913

Lake Maggiore 1913

Traumgestalt 1927

Edmund Kesting 1935

Mary Wigman
Interested in the relationship between human being and 
cosmic forces, she describes her creative experience as the 
transformation into movement of the invisible forces 
that give her life.  The dancer is a medium for her; 
dance functions as a trance, accomplishing its cathartic 
function recognized by archaic societies; dance is first of all 
an expression of ecstasy (or emotional impulses) that creates 
forms of movement as a consequence.

Following these ideas, Mary Wigman gives the first steps 
and opens the doors of a trend that influences many generations 
of choreographic artists in the search for new expressive means. 
Her way of dancing is given the name of Ausdruckstanz 
(dance of expression or expressionist dance), and states that no 
movement is considered as ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’ as far as it is executed 
from a true feeling or is evocative.
In consequence, Wigman aesthetics are made up of very 
different elements compared to ballet.  She dances without music, 
uses non attractive costumes, works over subjects like death, 
desperation, the war or social riots, and experiments with masks, 
among other things.  She also opposes to the notion of 
‘representing’ something while dancing, in a search for a truthful 
experience: dance should not represent; dance should be. 
“We don’t dance histories, we dance feelings”, she says.

A great example of this is a document that consists of more than 
70 pages of labanotation scores of exercises of her method. 
The title of the text is Die Frankfurter Seminarreihe in 
Wigman-Technique mit Prof. Gundel Eplinius (Frankfurt, 1990) 
by notator Anja Hirvikallio.
M. Hirvikallio explains that M. Eplinius divides Wigman’s 
technique in five main groups, like this:
- Striding and sliding
- Springs, vibrations and bouncing
- Momentums and oscillations
- Falling and dropping (floor technique)
- Tensions: relaxed, sustained and motor tensions

 excerpt taken from

TanzMarchen 1926

Mary Wigman Troupe

Mary Wigman Troupe

Laban and Mary Wigman

Mary Wigman Troupe