A Poet’s Love premiered October, 2015 at our home studio in Bayview Hunter’s Point (BVHP). The work was 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 took the form of sixteen, discreet aerial dance and dance theatre vignettes, each of which is responsive to a song in the cycle. Using an innovative approach, performers used various levels of flight and suspension to create an immersive and ethereal environment for the audience.
The cast included Joanna Haigood, guest artist Jose Joaquin Garcia, classical pianist Frederick Harris and members of Zaccho Dance Theatre, Delvis Savigne Frinon, Adonis Damian Martin Quiñones, Danielle Sandia Sexton, Natalie Wagner, Helen Wicks and Pianist Frederick Harris. Set Design by Wayne Campbell, Lighting by Allen Wilner.
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. In Dichterliebe, set to Heinrich Heine’s Lyrisches Intermezzo, each song is its own world, often very dream-like, and can be experienced separate from the whole. 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.
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.