Zadie Smith & Beyoncé #KnowingtheDance

One of the most solid pieces of writing advice I know is in fact intended for dancers.. (Zadie Smith ‘What Beyoncé Taught Me’ Gaurdian, 29 October 2016)

Zadie Smith and Beyoncé in the same headline is a headline with kerb appeal. The backdrop is, of course, that her new novel ‘Swing Time’ is based within the world of dance and is not, as I had hoped, a book which is a longer meditation on what writing and dancing bring to each other.

The connection between writing and dancing has been much on my mind recently:”  she starts the article by saying “it’s a channel I want to keep open. It feels a little neglected – compared to, say, the relationship between music and prose – maybe because there is something counter-intuitive about it. But for me the two forms are close to each other: I feel dance has something to tell me about what I do” Read the full article HERE

The quote she goes on to refer to in the following paragraph from Martha Graham’s biography is one I am including on my wall of why I am wanting to do the #knowingthedance work. The comparison between types of dancers and types of writers was interesting but not quite what I was looking for in my research phase of #KnowingtheDance

Whether it is Lorca’s duende or Yeat’s many dancers or Eliot’s ‘still point of a turning world’, this sense of being a being in motion and how this goes from the core of the body into animating what happens on the page (and back again all being well) is what I am looking to explore.

I have found a couple of good texts but I’m relieved to hear Zadie Smith about the relationship being a bit neglected as I’m finding it difficult to find reading material.

If anybody has any leads or suggestions about this, I would be delighted to hear from you!



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