Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sharon Bridgforth @ Purchase

In October, Sharon Bridgforth lectured at SUNY Purchase. She is a poet, writer community activist, and a workshop facilitator, along with other works, Sharon presented and talked about her published performance novels The Bull-Jean Stories and Love Conjure/Blues. The Bull-Jean Stories are a collection of poems that are written to be received like lyrics and performed. The stories are about the hardships in and around love, primarily a lost love. Love Conjure/Blues is another performance novel, primarily blues poetry meant to be read out loud therefore you can feel the passion and way the poetry flows.

Sharon also showed and talked to us about Delta Dandi show she is currently touring with. Delta Dandi is “a living cacophony of monologues, chants, choral tellings, blood memories dance and song”. Sharon showed us video of her performances and I was intrigued about how she used pre-recorded video on a projector, and had live performers in and around the audience. The videos were beautifully created and showed everything from women singing and dancing, to a nature shot of a stream running. Every part of the performance space helped add atmosphere and feel to the show. Sharon brought the audience into the show and made it more personal for them. She involved them by having them get up from their seat and dance, chant, sing, read, and dance again. Involving the audience in the show helps them more understand the passion and the power of the word that the audience member hears.

Sharon’s overall collaboration with poetry, dance, video, nature, motion, sound and the audience creates a feeling in the reader, viewer, listener and performer; this means her message was received. Performance is not a good enough word for her art, at first she gives a performance but really that performance is just a stepping stone for being able to feel her powerful message.

Love Conjure/Blues -
The Bull-Jean Stories -

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