Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Milagro Teatro (Miracle Theatre) in Portland, Oregon premieres "Duende de Lorca" 14 January

Federico Garcia Lorca, acrylic on wood, by John Barrett 60 X 60 cm.

Many artists seek resuscitating the spirit, the duende of Spanish poet and playright Federico Garcia Lorca.

Playright Danel Malan of the Milagro Teatro (Miracle Theatre) in Portland, Oregon stages the world premiere of "Duende de Lorca" at the theatre (for tickets, see www.milagro.org).

This is a bilingual play that will be shown only on weekends until the end of January and then it travels to various Oregon colleges and universities beginning in February.

"Duende"? What's that?

James A. Michener in his travelogue novel, Iberia, circa 1968, takes the reader into a world of little used vocabulary. One of four words he features is duende.

If a person has duende you feel it, sense it strongly, know it almost immediately, wrote Michener. Michener spent many months and years in Spain.

Ilustrator/painter John Barrett, senior full-time lecturer at Birmingham City University's Institute of Art & Design, has worked more than 15 years, creating at least 300 images (acrylic and mixed media), interpreting the poems of Lorca.

He credits Lorca with putting the current spin on the word, duende.,

According to four recognized references for the etiology and definition of Spanish words, duende previously meant, in so many words, magic, poltergeist, ghost, sprite, pixy, elfin.

But after Lorca adapted the word to his works and embedded himself in the Spanish psyche through plays and poetry, duende has become the magic of an energy infused with corazon (heart or soul), spirit and an undefinable energy field around a person, something special, mystical but quickly recognizable.

On 19 August 1936,  Flangist (fascist) militia executed Lorca and about 2,000 other suspected liberals and republicans (those favoring the democratically elected Spanish government) outside Granada in the village of Viznar, where he continues to rest in a mass grave.

To illustrate his duende:

The Passage of the Siguiriya

Among black butterflies
goes a dark girl
beside a white serpent
of mist.

Earth of light,
sky of earth.

She goes chained to the tremor
of a rhythm that never arrives;
she has a heart of silver,
in her right hand a dagger.

Where are you going, Siguirya,
with a headless rhythm?
What moon will gather up
your sorrow of time and oleander?

Earth of light,
Sky of earth.

"Sleepwalking Ballad" by John Barrett, acrylic on wood, 80 X 80 cm.

Another Lorca poem:

Saying Goodbye

I'll be saying goodbye
at the crossroads,
Heading off down that road
through my soul.

I'll arouse reminiscences,
stir up mean hours.
I'll arrive at the garden spot
in my song (my white song),
and I'll start to shiver and shake
like the morning star.

Rock on and practice peace and love. See flamenco dancer during the opening of Barrett's first exhibition in Spain of his Lorca works: See other ArtTraveler videos on YouTube.

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

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