The work is a collaboration between Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Joanna Haigood, and Brooklyn-based singer and theatre artist José Joaquin Garcia. Based on the famous song cycle Dichterliebe, by the German classical composer Robert Schumann, A Poet’s Love takes the form of sixteen, discreet Aerial Dance and Dance Theater vignettes, each of which will be responsive to one of the songs in the cycle. The work will be performed at Zaccho’s home studio in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point district of San Francisco, where performers will inhabit all areas of the space at various levels of flight and suspension, creating an immersive and ethereal environment for the audience. The cast includes Guest Artist Garcia, a classical pianist and members of Zaccho Dance Theatre’s own company.
Director’s notes: José Joaquin Garcia introduced me to Robert Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe shortly after we met at Camp Winnarainbow a few years ago. He shared that he’d loved these songs since he was a teenager and has always wanted to perform them outside the formal tradition of standing in front of the piano. He envisioned dance, movement and the idea that the songs would trigger the memory of the protagonist. I loved the idea and began work on interpreting this beautifully lush work through dance. I had already begun a series of pieces about love a few years ago, the first inspired by Ann Hamilton’s Tower at Oliver Ranch, and this opportunity was a perfect next step. Dichterliebe, set to Heinrich Heine’s Lyrisches Intermezzo, Shumann’s selected poems that begin with a passionate and joyous experience of love and ends with anger, loss and deep sorrow. Each song is its own world, often very dream-like, and can be experienced separate from the whole. At this point in the creation process, I decided to focus on physical and movement problems that relate to the ideas, images and musical qualities in the songs - tenderness, elation, precariousness, floating, separation, collapse and certainly a large dose of romanticism. Narrative has not been fully explored but shifting physical relationships throughout the dance begin to imply a storyline.
This performance is made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Francisco Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the W A Gerbode Foundation and Nicholas Bogle, Dana Gluckstein, Eric Karpeles, Michael Sell, Kary Schulman, Stanford Rosenthal, Eva Lee and Patricia Yenawine.