Thursday, 8 January 2015

I’ve been working on a new short dance piece - around 13 minutes long - based on the Northwest American story ‘Raven Steals the Light.’  It starts with my voice reciting these words, a greatly shortened poetic account of that tale.

Raven Steals the Light

Raven travels into the unknown
Greedy for experience.
On and on he flies.
He almost turns back.
In his greed he is devoured,
Eaten down into the long, black
Hold of a human womb.
For nine waves and nine breathes he floats,
Labouring over his desire.
He slides forth from his biding place.
And there is more – oh so much more-
Than he ever thought to seek.
A secret treasure that he must uncover.
He works. Oh he works! To hold that bauble.
For half a year he weeps himself hoarse
With longing for this hidden thing,
Each day a small uncovering.
Until, finally – oh who can withstand his beseeching? –
It is there, singing its glory.
All the Light of all the world.
And it is his!!!!!
It burns, oh it burns him black.
But it is his, his alone.
His great beak was made for this.
He snatches the wondrous light.
Gloating, he floats aloft.

Who knew the sky was blue
Until Raven flew high with the light?
Who knew the beauty of the green Earth below
Until the Light bathed it?
Who knew the perfection of their beloved’s face
Until eyes could behold it?

That cheeky, greedy rascal brought
All this from its hidden place.
His voice cracks with the wonder of it all.
And he drops it.
It falls and is gone from him.
The broken fragments of it leap to their allotted places
And Raven dances his triumph forever
Between Sun and Moon and Stars.

For half the year the Old Man takes it back,
Piece by piece.
But Raven’s weeping always turns the tide

And the Light always returns.

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