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Montpellier, France
Writer, actor, artist, teacher, exploring the world and its levels in fiction, poetry, memoir, photography, fine arts.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Lake at Sunset (poem)

Lake Washington, c. 2012
The Lake at Sunset
A poem on my mother's death, October 8, 2014.

Just this morning the sun rose sparkling on the lake
and as the day warmed the small birds returned
to the feeder outside your window.
You opened your eyes as I embraced you
and raised your arm bone-thin with infirmity
to rest it across my back and weakly murmured
I’d love a hug.
I cradled your head in my fingers
the bone smooth as stone under your silver-feather hair.
I watched the birds flutter and struggle for the gift of seeds   
watched the cross of waves on the lake
thronging in haste to parts unknown.

With us there is no hurry.

Now is to be still, to breathe with you, to feel
for a few more hours your hand still warm in mine
to pour my words of love into the fragile cup of your
upturned ear   
and then again be still with you
all the world in movement except here   
hovering in quiet sorrow.

Now purple with oncoming night the lake rests
A glowing opal ring of light,
the small birds have gone to their secret nests
the feeder hangs emptied of its trove.
I have no more words but those I’ve said before
I love you I hear you I am with you to the end
as promised,
and now to let you go,
small bird gentle wave,
I will sleep in my nest beside your bed
and wake to find the sun has risen
and you are gone.

Will Rose
October 10, 2014

Lake Washington, c. 1940

Saturday, April 26, 2014

los posibles (dance film review)

los posibles -- Dance film review

Featured at the Northwest Film Forum's "Pulsos Latinos" film festival, "los posibles" is a production of Grupo KM29, a genre-bending Argentinian arts organization, and "La Union de los Rios," a film production brainchild of Agustina Llambi Campbell, Alejandro Fadel, Martín Mauregui and Santiago Mitre. Some readers may remember last year's fascinating and much-accoladed "El Estudiante" at the Film Forum, also directed by this team.

"los posibles" is an unforgettable synthesis of dance and movement, original live music, stunningly effective photography and camera work, and a riveting ensemble of male dancers. In its utter originality, devotion to male energy and physicality, and eroticism, it bears some comparison to Fassbinder's controversial but arguably masterful "Querelle" -- not in terms of content or even style, but in both films' success in creating an otherworldy, almost hypnotic world where speech and storyline are transcended by a language of movement and relationship.

"los posibles" moves through a succession of "beats" or movements, starting with a somber, shadowy space almost devoid of scale and shape, where male figures prowl, emerge, disappear, return, engage, disengage, touch, look, submit and transfigure in what suggests the silent, erotic dance of a cruise park or under-the-highway trysting point where language and identity are non-existent: movement or the absence thereof are the prime medium. The actual "KM29" on National Route 3 outside of Buenos Aires is such a place, apparently: a kind of no-man's-land beyond the rules and conventions of the Federal Capitol, where boundaries blur and a kind of dangerous, erotic, subversive anarchy holds.

From here, as the twilight gradually brightens, the men leap to an open floor where a complex web of action and interaction unfolds. The camera follows particular dancers and clusters, illuminating fragments of stories within a surrounding vortex of outsiders, observers, invaders, and newly-germinating stories.

Fernando Lockett and Pablo Parra insert their cameras like knowing and well-practiced eyes amidst the deceptively improvised-looking choreography and the stark industrial sets. The original score played live by Ramiro Cairo, is penetrating, primal, and supportive of the dancers; it permeates the space of the film without crowding the performers who share it -- a perfect synchronicity of genres.

At a mid-point of the film, the camera tantalizes with an ambiguous glimpse as from the wings of a major opera or concert hall: rising ranks of red-velvet seats, pillars, gilt arcades, and one of the few glimpses of vivid color in the otherwise pale palette of greys and browns.

"Ah," this viewer thought, "now we will see the performance in a live theater."

But no: this film, and the KM29 project as a whole, does not appear to take an interest in the concert venues of the Federal Capitol. Viewers instead are  drawn into the dark, ambiguous spaces between and behind the facades of mainstream culture, where danger and eros and experimentation cohabitate in joyful irreverence.

In the final trope of the film an outlier, a solo dancer who has circled and watched and remained apart from the evolution of the dance, finally finds his groove and earns his place among the clan of men. Here, as elsewhere, the film reveals an aspect of its work: the use of arts and community to lift up and unite outliers of society: the poor, the despised, the ignored, and to show the amazing,  revolutionizing power of eros and expressive freedom to transform and uplift humankind.

The film is one of a kind, and will hopefully return to NW Film Forum or SIFF and garner a larger audience than the woefully small crowd at NWFF on April 26, 2014. Those present witnessed a rare work of revolutionary collaboration among genres of film, music, movement and performance, alongside a social element (see KM29DANZA on the website) that seeks to empower and motivate street youth through  opportunities and training in performance arts.

See the film trailer here.

Ficha técnica y artística
Argentina - 2013 – 50 minutos – Color – HD

Dirección: Santiago Mitre – Juan Onofri Barbato
Producción: La Unión de los Ríos – Km29 – Alta Definición Argentina
Con el apoyo de: Instituto Cultural de la Provincia de Buenos Aires – Teatro Argentino de La Plata – Universidad del Cine.
Coreografía: Km29
Fotografía y Cámara: Fernando Lockett
Fotografía y Cámara adicional: Pablo Parra
Producción Ejecutiva: Agustina Llambí Campbell
Sonido: Santiago Fumagalli
Escenografía e iluminación: Matías Sendón
Montaje: Delfina Castagnino – Susana Leunda
Música: Ramiro Cairo
Asistente de Dirección: Juan Schnitman – Marina Sarmiento
Jefatura de Producción: Martin Feldman
Coordinadora de Producción: Giselle Lozano
Vestuario: Km29 - Carolina Sosa Loyola

Interpretada por: Lucas Araujo – Jonathan Da Rosa – Jonathan Carrasco – Daniel Leguizamón – Alejandro Alvarenga – Alfonso Baron – Pablo Kun Castro

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Message from Oso (opinion)

The Stillaguamish River looking downstream toward Oso, 2013

When 15 million cubic yards of earth, rock and forested mountainside came crashing down on Oso, Washington, sweeping away the lives and homes of dozens of victims, horror and disbelief quickly gave way to an all-out rescue effort by volunteers and relief workers from across the state and beyond.

There is a global message from this local tragedy.

For years before the most recent landslide, the mountainside was identified as a risk. A smaller slide less than a decade ago sent a loud signal that even an unmovable mountain could alter its character in a flash. Despite warnings from scientists and documentation of the looming danger, homes were built and lives lived in the shadow of impending crisis.

For decades scientists worldwide have been piecing together the global disaster awaiting us: glaciers crumbling into the sea and surging from mountains; snow-packs evaporating to be seen no more; sea currents and air disrupted and turbulent. Global warming is documented, and projected to become worse than we can imagine.

Yet we live our lives, drive cars and trucks, fly in planes, heat our homes and light our cities, burning, burning, burning age old carbon in a worldwide bacchanal of fire.

The dozens killed in Oso, and the many more displaced and grief-struck, are real and near and need our compassion and support. They are a tiny fraction, however, of the ongoing greater tragedy worldwide, as sea levels rise and the earth, our only home, undergoes a momentous and calamitous shift we have triggered and accelerated. Multitudes will be displaced, drowned, lost. There will be no bystanders.

The warnings have been sounded. Where are the leaders to exhort and mobilize us to prevent the unimaginable? Where the throngs of willing hands and hearts to avert it? We can wait, as Oso did, for disaster to sweep away all that we have built and love, or we can take action. Now.

Earth as we know it