DICKINSON DANCE: HOUR OF LEAD OCTOBER 18, 2007
Another work of performance art inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson is Stevan Novakovich’s dance piece, “Hour of Lead.” This work premiered at California State University – Long Beach in October, 2007. Says the Daily 49er:
In the center of the stage, there was a thick, white wall on which the dancers focused their motions, pressing, twisting and supporting their bodies against its surface. Functioning as the verbal or musical backdrop, the voice of an older woman reciting lines of poetry in which Dickinson explores the nature of pain was projected into the audience.
The title is taken from Dickinson’s “After great pain a formal feeling comes”, a poem we haven’t covered yet at Daily Dickinson.
Though she has a reputation for the ethereal, bolstered no doubt by her spinster reputation and white dress, Dickinson could be a surprisingly physical poet, particularly on the topic of pain. Note, for example, The Mystery of Pain, in which she explores the all-consuming nature of pain: pain has “no future but itself,” consuming everything with its white heat. It is entirely appropriate that Dickinson’s pain poetry should be explored in dance.