Updated: Mar 28, 2020
After watching the dance show REDD (by Boy Blue, at the Barbican) which explores the impact of trauma and how to move forward towards recovery, I've been moved by the poem that originated the show. 143 Words on Grief, by R Moulden.
In his poem Moulden portraits grief as the driving force of the experience someone is going through. In my view, it elucidates how after experiencing trauma, people grieve for what they used to be, for life as it was before. To think about the loss within traumatic experiences may help in understanding the whole psychological process of trauma and I find that this poem beautifully mirrors that. As does the dance show, making the spectator live the agony, confusion, anger, restlessness, grief and final inner peace of the character. Presented by hip-hop inspired body movements and enhanced by the performers' facial expressions and voice sounds, together with a low-fi music background. In concludes with the main character being supported by another human in facing what looked like his inner demons, communicating with those and making peace with them, in a joint empowering and turbulent dance. I could only think of this as Art Therapy. For anyone interested in learning a bit more about the experience of trauma and loss, I highly recommend going see this and reading the poem.
I leave you with the poem:
It is in love with you, your grief
It slinks in like a beaten dog
And makes its home at your feet
Asking for nothing.
Too black to focus on
Too sudden, too seeping
With cracked voice and lolling tongue
It cannot explain itself.
But it longs for you
Clambering over your chest
Reaching into your mouth
Searching your throat for words of comfort
It is bound to us, our grief
Lassoed by memory
On a time-slackened rope, pulled taut
By the innocence of children
Or newness, unshared.
Curled under every stone
Pretending to be a small thing.
The shadow tethered to joy's light
Needle in the heart's cushion
Each loss, a tremor of the first.
It is in love with me, my grief
And I must learn to love it back
Or be outlived by it.
For tickets visit: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2019/event/boy-blue-redd