• Catarina

Trauma and loss, inspired by REDD (BoyBlue) dance show

Updated: Mar 28

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 

Unconditionally. 

It slinks in like a beaten dog 

And makes its home at your feet 

Asking for nothing. 


Loyal agony 

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 

Finding none. 


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 

Unconditionally. 

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


London, United Kingdom

©2019 by Catarina Vasconcelos