In the 11th through 13th centuries, troubadours were the lyric poets of southern France, northern Spain, and northern Italy, writing in the langue d’oc of Provence. Their social influence was unprecedented in the history of medieval poetry.
This idea is inspired by Robert Browning’s poem, Rudel to the Lady of Tripoli, and the legend of 12-century troubadour Jaufré Rudel. Browning uses the metaphor of sunflowers to tell the story of Rudel’s unrequited love for the Countess of Tripoli:
That I, French Rudel, choose for my device A sunflower outspread like a sacrifice... Say, men feed on songs I sing, and therefore bask the Bees on my flower’s breast as on a platform broad. But, as the flower’s concern is not for these But solely for the sun...
La Princesse Lointaine
A House with Four Rooms
There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day—even if only to keep it aired— we are not a complete person.
Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms
This piece investigates symbolism in attire and costuming. What we wear simultaneously covers the body, while revealing who we are. We can “wear” different personas, based on who we wish to be or are trying to become.
As a classically trained dancer, I am drawn to the idea of using the human body to tell stories. I am also interested in finding the real story—what lies beneath surface and defense—when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. I believe that it is vulberability that allows us to connect with others and be more complete as human beings.
A House with Four Rooms
Repetto After Me
Wandering through the streets of Marseille, I suddenly caught my breath and halted in front of a store window. Mesmerized, I stood and stared at the display: vintage ballet costumes suspended mid-air, swan feathers, and a stack of new pointe shoes.
Repetto, longtime shoemaker for the Paris Opera Ballet, has retail boutiques across France. Repetto’s ties to Marseille run even deeper. Founder Rose Repetto was the mother of Roland Petit, who founded the Ballet Nationale de Marseille in 1972.
Inside this particular shop, while a young dancer was having her first pair of pointe shoes fit, a flood of memories riveted me in place. Once a dancer myself, it’s only in recent years that I’ve allowed the sweetness of ballet back into my life, free of regret for having left something I love. I took a deep breath and when inside.
This piece is about how much we are allowed to have in life. Not necessarily material objects, but things like happiness, opportunity, and grace. As I experiment with what I allow myself to have, this path is trickier than I anticipated. Even when life is abundant, allowing is much harder than it appears to be.
A regular mantra for me is a line from poet Dana Faulds’ poem, Allow:
Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.” Repeat after me: allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.