Poetry Set to Dance/Poetry in Adverts/DNA Poetry – Poetry News Roundup September 4th

Today on My Poetic Side we look at poetry set to dance, the use of poetry in adverts and a piece of unique DNA poetry artwork that is up for auction.

Poetry Turned into Dance

Four Quartets, the very loved 75-year-old poetic exploration on the themes of time and memory, by the poet T.S. Eliot, has turned into a dance.

Pam Tanowitz, the American dancer and choreographer, is the artistic expertise behind the project, which was suggested by the artist’s director at Bard College. Last year, Tanowitz worked to produce a lengthy dance routine set to Goldberg Variations by Bach. Although she admits that setting a dance to the poetry of Eliot might be a lofty challenge, it is one she felt up to achieving.

The completed Four Quartets premiered in July and was a success. It was set to music from Kaija Saariaho the Finish composer and narrated by Kathleen Chalfont with the poem in its entirety.

This isn’t of course the first time that some of Eliot’s poetry has been set to music or matched with dancing, the musical Cats, which is based on his work Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, is the sixth longest-running west-end performance.

Poetry in the Adverts

Once again poetry has made an appearance in the adverts this time in the form of a new advert from O2.

The advert features the spoken word artist George the poet who delivers a haunting ode to the miracle of the existence of life and is titled “Breathe it All In”.

The inspiration behind the advert comes from the concept that mobile technology affords its users a sort of “digital oxygen”, something that helps people feel more alive, makes them more social and most importantly helps them make those memories that will stay with them. The advert will be run on the television as well as at a number of other venues including Piccadilly Circus Lights in London, Waterloo Motion and a number of Imax cinemas.

The Poem Up for Auction

A dialect poem written by Alexander Nderitu the Kenyan poet which has been made into a piece of art will be going up for auction.

The poem which is being described as “the ultimate autograph” features a background image which is the actual DNA sequence of the poet. It is written in the Gikuyu language and is title “Mathabu ma Carey Francis” (The Mathematics of Carey Francis). It is part of a collection of poetry that Nderitu is currently working on.

The poem is a message between a young man and his girlfriend from Nairobi City who is better educated, there are references to some sayings that are more frequently transmitted by word of mouth and also to a children’s rhyme about a frog.

Measuring 46 cm x 61 cm the poem and artwork is an oil on canvas piece that has a bidding price set at a minimum of Kshs 1,000,000 ($10,000 USD).

Poems by the poet have been translated into a number of languages over the years; Kiswahili, Chinese, Swedish, Arabic and Japanese. He also shares a birthday with the Bard himself, William Shakespeare.

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