Baryshnikov & Brodsky/ Julius Jules Banda – Poetry News Roundup January 8th

We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with an article about Mikhail Baryshnikov and his performance of the poetry of Joseph Brodsky. We also take a look at the Malawian poet Julius Jules Banda who has appealed to his fellow countrymen for financial support to attend a poetry festival in the UK later this year.

Baryshnikov Brings Brodsky to the Stage

Brodsky/Baryshnikov a performance of poetry set to movement will be coming to the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston from January 17th to 21st.

The show which was the idea of Latvian theatre director, Alvis Hermanis was originally performed at the New Riga Theatre in Riga, Latvia in 2015. It has since toured all over the world with performances in London and New York to name just a few places.

Hermanis had the idea of an experimental one man show in which Mikhail Baryshnikov, who more recently has worked as a choreographer and artistic director following his distinguished career as a ballet dance, would recite and perform the poems of Brodsky.

Joseph Brodsky, the late Russian Nobel laureate, left the, then, Soviet Union in 1972 following strong suggestions that he should do so, and settled in New York. A few years later Baryshnikov, who was dancing with the Kirov ballet defected during a tour of Canada. Later the same year both men, now living in New York, met and became friends.

Brodsky who won the Nobel Prize in 1987 died of a heart attack at the age of 55 in 1996, the two men had remained friends until the end. Barishnikov brings something of that friendship to his performance, he knew Brodsky well and understood him; his sense of humour and his use of language. The performance is conducted completely in Russian, with translation being provided alongside.

Malawian Poet Appeals for Financial Support

Julius Jules Banda, a spoken word artist, rapper, songwriter and activist from Lilongwe in Malawi has been invited to perform at Lake of Stars, London later this year. He is the only Malawian poet to have been invited and will be sharing a stage with poets from all over the world.

The poet has appealed to his fellow countrymen to help fund the trip, which he hopes will not only help to put Malawi on the map but also inspire young people to reach for their dreams.

He estimates that the costs of travelling to the UK, including visa costs will be around two million Malawi Kwacha and he is hoping that local organisations and businesses will step forward and help him.

Banda is a founder of “No Child Left Behind” in Malawi, and also “Until we Rise” both of which use the mediums of arts, education and activism to fight for changes that will bring more positives outlooks for young people.

With the festival taking place on 10th March, time might well be running out for the poet to sort out his travel plans confirm his attendance.

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