Open this poem/love letter from our Editor in Chief Tommaso Cartia sent to all the lovers out there celebrating this St. Valentine’s Day 2021 in all of its love’s forms.
Me & You, A Sunday Morning of February 2021
It is not a Holiday Until Billie caresses this Sunday With the sweet roughness Of her “Body & Soul” Outside the window Winter solmizates A snow’s symphony A concert of ice and lights Embracing and salvific. The world is violently shaking Sneezing blood, death, and confusion We are prisoners of our hugging desire But today you are with me “Body & Soul” Suspended In this house of red brick walls Warming and fragrant Like freshly baked bread A house full of music and future Of candles lit up to our dreams. We are a reassuring parcel To be opened next Christmas A lovers’ music box That plays this fragmented present With new harmonies Audacious, adventurous, experimental. Visions of us getting out of the house Unmasked Hand in hand To go embrace of little wriggles of happiness Our friends tonight at dinner. A connection of loving sense Some wine, some laughs Some singing, some foolishness A melting of bodies, voices, sensations A glimpse into eternity And then the present, the ordinary The dreams of the trip we plan for next summer More dreams … “I can’t wait to go to her concert…” “…she is great, though she’ll never be like Billie…” “promise we’ll see each other next week, good night!” … Later the love, me and you at home The love Unmasked And the tomorrow gets trepidant with trivialities Once again The necessity of living as much as possible Before nothing will be, again, impossible. Me and you, Billie Holiday, and a Sunday morning of February 2021 Outside the window The pandemic is sour Flaking down Even more violently than this snow’s tempest But it will subside, will melt, and settle Flash up once again and for all And be swollen by the darkness of time. It will leave us dry, rested, rejuvenated Full of love for the days ahead.
Me, you, Billie Holiday, and a Sunday morning of February 2022.
Herman Cornejo, Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, partners up with the visionary genius of photo-artist, director, and documentarian Steven Sebring, to launch his newly created dance company, D A N C E L I V E, featuring some of NYC’s most talented performers. An innovative and epiphanic concept that transfers and transforms the ballet art form into a digital, live and hyper-realistic immersive experience.
We sat down with Herman Cornejo for an exclusive interview on the eve of D A N C E L I V E first show: “New York Alive”. The Virtual World Premiere will be up this Saturday, January 30, 2021, 3:00 pm EST. Streaming on @veeps. By Tommaso Cartia
N E W Y O R K C I T Y I S D E A D But is it really?
This is an example, of one of the many, scary headlines we have been bombarded with since the beginning of the pandemic, slowly pulverizing our hopes and dreams to go back to the so-called “normal”. N O R M A L again, a kind of ordinary word, suddenly turned into a headline. The COVID-19’s narrative is a sort of “normalized” “all is lost”narrative, which is the stage, in the traditional hero’s journey – from Homer to Star Wars – where the protagonist shifts their pursuit of what they want to the realization of what they need. It can stop them dead in their tracks, but it’s also the point of the story which is instrumental to the triumphant return, the victory, and the final apotheosis of the hero. The artists have always been, throughout history, our heroes, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, envisioning our next steps into the future of our evolution. So yes, in this “all is lost” phase that we are living, we want to go back to New York’s theaters, but what we need is to never stop dreaming, while we get back there.
Herman Cornejoand the Sebring Revolutionmulti-dimensional media company of Steven Sebringare going beyond “normal”, into the territory of the extraordinary. With the D A N C E L I V E company they are already making brand-new headlines and building brand-new narratives promising to nurture that need to attune ourselves to those dreamlike frequencies of the soul, only transcendental forms of art can activate. Their first installment,“New York Alive”, is indeed that headline we all needed to read. The immersive dancing experience features, alongside Herman Cornejo, ballet sensation Skylar Brandt in new works by choreographer Josh Beamish, and will be streamed this Saturday, January 30th, 2021 at 3:00 pm EST on the @veeps platform. Tickets available here https://sebringrevolution.veeps.com
Dive into the D A N C E L I V E company with our exclusive conversation with Herman Cornejo, and “welcome to the future of ballet”.
When and how did you come up with the Dance Live concept?
I started writing about this project in 2018. I wanted to create a live reality show about the dance world. I have been thinking for a long time that many people may be interested in the real-life and the work process of dancers: from class to rehearsal, to actual creation, that would be streamed live, meaning with no cuts, recording everything that is happening with no additional editing. I thought it was possible to do something artful and entertaining at the same time. Now, with the pandemic and all performing activity stopping, it was the perfect momentum to pursue it. I contacted Steven Sebring and shared my idea with him, since he is a genius of the visual arts, and I was thinking of something very innovative. His perspective gave me a whole new scope in terms of the technology we could have used to channel it.
This project promises to be visually groundbreaking, something totally new for ballet. What can you tell us about its uniqueness?
The visual uniqueness of this project resides in the system Steven Sebring created to record movement in 360, which allows us to capture and transmit any dance through virtual and augmented reality. In that sense, we will not only have a video as we all know it, we will also have many other interesting media products coming out of the production, which take advantage of the latest visual technologies through which we can show the dancers’ work.
Tell us about your artistic collaboration with visual artist and director Steven Sebring?
Just to clarify, I am the director and creator of the project D A N C E L I V E project. I contacted Steven to present this idea to him to see if he wanted to collaborate with me on this project. Steven leads Sebring Revolution, and he is directing all of the films and how the visual material should be presented. I am in charge of organizing the part related to dance: from dancers and choreographers to the music, costumes, and the whole dance show. Steven brings the technology and the visuals into play to interact with my ballet and dance art form.
What about the other members of the company? Tell us about the extraordinary ballet talents involved in the project.
The talent will always be different as this company, for now, will work “project to project”. For “New York Alive”, I invited Skylar Brandt to be my partner and Joshua Beamish to be the choreographer. I am beyond happy I chose them. They deployed not only their amazing talent as artists, but they also showed amazing support towards this project. They are amazing people.
How will the world be able to enjoy Dance Live? On which platforms will it be available?
We are working to have our own platform at the Sebring House, which is a totally virtual gallery/theater where the user will navigate as if you were in a video game. Right now, we organized one first show to be broadcasted on the platform VEEPS. It will take place on January 30, 3 pm ET. Tickets are available at this link https://sebringrevolution.veeps.com. More info about the project and this show is available at this link https://sebringrevolution.com/dancelive
For Herman Cornejo, what will be the future of ballet after the containment of the COVID-19?
I believe the arts will go back to theatres and museums, but there are going to be so many new tools. My company will be another option to enjoy dance in a virtual way. Also, the choreographies created for D A N C E L I V E will be able to be performed in a theater, live, in front of an audience as well as they have been set into a virtual environment. There is that sort of versatility attached to the project. Also, everything recorded for D A N C E L I V E will be an educational asset. The 360 images can be very helpful for students and teachers to analyze dance steps in an interactive 360 imagery.
To know more about Herman Cornejo and his 20th anniversary with The American Ballet Theatre, listen to our podcast interview here:
Watch Herman Cornejo’s contribution to our #CreativityWillSaveUs Series:
Guila-Clara Kessous is Ambassador for Peace, UNESCO Artist for Peace, and Rising Talent 2020 of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. She will host prestigious speakers at the second edition of the International Women’s Leadership Summit on December 8 and 9, a 100% digital event. She will be joined by personalities such as Eve Ensler, famous author of the “Vagina Monologues”.
Other panels will also be with famous personalities like authors such as Metin Arditi (UNESCO ambassador and Giono prize) and David Foenkinos (Renaudot prize), who will give a masculine vision to women empowerment. These live encounters will be opened to the general public who will discover more than ten panels on vast subjects such as digital, audacity, Generation Z, intercultural dialogue, with notably President of UN Women France and activist Frédérique Bedos. In this context, the opening night will be dedicated to host famous actress Eva Longoriain order to get some funding to the Global Gift Foundation.
Enjoy, here below, an interview with Guila-Clara Kessous, speaking about the initiative.
Why this international summit on women’s leadership?
GCK – This summit is a moment of sharing reflection on the place of women and her capacity of action in the society. This conference aims to give the floor to speakers on the theme of women’s leadership, that is to say the ability for women to create follow-up, enthusiasm and to endorse a notion of power. An actress like Eva Longoria or an entrepreneur like Arielle Kitio have in common that they do not avoid from accepting the responsibility of being seen as a woman of power and create a male and female followership from this strength.
Why choosing a personality like Eva Longoria to open the entire summit linked to the Global Gift Foundation on the topic: “Finding inner strength”?
GCK – Eva Longoria is an example to follow in terms of women’s leadership. She accepts her femininity together with endorsing political views and creating followership on very important causes. Having her introducing the entire summit is the chance for women today to understand that you do not have to “play it like a man” to be successful in your leadership. She will reveal the secret to resist in those uncertain times and finding inner peace. Those elements will be precious for the rest of the summit, to have those advice in mind to be more efficiently talking about an intellectual approach once you find calm within yourself… The Global Gift Foundation was chosen for its amazing work helping women and children to find resilience. Beginning with this event was a beautiful message of hope.
For you, is there a difference between women’s and men’s leadership?If so, what would it be?
GCK – It is very difficult to make the difference between what comes from birth and what comes from education between men and women. Today, “leadership” remains an unconscious collective representation linked to the power of the alpha male. This refers to this “first man”, the man who is a pioneer in all fields, to the point of having a predominance over women since he was the first human being on earth through the biblical figure of Adam. As a result, the “first man in the world”, “the first man on the moon”, has invaded our imagination to the point of having immediately in mind when we speak of “progress” or even “humanism”, this naked man’s body with four arms and four legs in a circle annotated by Leonardo da Vinci. Of course, its feminine equivalent by the famous painter, remains wisely with arms crossed and showing only an upper body. For me, there is no difference in the leadership made by men and women. The Mona Lisa could have been a leader, but she remains a “mysterious woman”… The Vitruvian Man, is stunning by the masculine power of strength and energy that comes from the drawing.
In your opinion, is it necessary to steer away from stereotypes in 2021?
GCK – It is absolutely necessary to steer away from stereotypes in 2021 and fight them with all our strength. This starts with an education of respect for women and stop treating them as beings who must serve or define themselves only in relation to motherhood. Strengthening the girls’ self-confidence with early exposure to, among other things, team sports, strategic games and daring to let them speak more in public remains a basis for positive education. In the business world, it is also through the education of women AND men that this mental switch is taking place. Programs such as Eve from Danone, EllesVMH, among others, are there to help women to break the glass ceiling, to dare to run for positions of high responsibility without fear of not finding a balance between personal and professional life. There is still a lot to be done, especially now in times of COVID, with domestic violence that still puts women back to a level of victims.
Personally, how would you describe your leadership, and how does it manifest itself?
GCK – I describe myself as an “artivist”, which means that I use my art to bring my action to the world. My work as an educator, a coach or an activist are all linked to my approach to drama. As art is not simply here to “create Beauty” as a “Mona Lisa” representation would do, but on the contrary, to help human leadership taking distance with our action. Today, I have the chance to help many leaders to give them the strength to be able to strengthen the embodiment of their character to give them all the depth of an authentic leadership, where vulnerability becomes revealing of powerful management. This is deeply linked to the body, in the posture, the non-verbal…
What actions have you personally implemented to achieve greater participation of women?
GCK – I have been a spokesperson for several founding texts of women’s emancipation through readings that I have recorded such as “I am Malala” by Malala Yousfzaior “A memory, a monologue, a rant, a prayer” under the direction of Eve Ensler. I am a facilitator of several programs of “Women Empowerment” in several Nasdaq companies and I often do conferences on the issue of women’s leadership. Training and coaching-in are also part of my solidarity action for beaten women through organizations such as the “Maison des Femmes” in France for example, or through UNESCO. Not to mention partnership actions to help young girls access education.
What would you like to tell the new generations (men and women), children and young adults on these subjects?
GCK – Not to be afraid…It is fear that creates this sense of empowerment in others. It’s very difficult for a woman not to be afraid: to be a “bad” daughter, a “bad” mother, a “bad” wife, a “bad” girl…With this injunction of “being good” that remains in the minds of women and girls. Today, what I want to say, especially to women, is not to be afraid of not being “good”, since the question is not to be good or bad, but simply to “be” themselves. It’s time to stop being afraid of not looking smart and speak up, that’s why participating in this second international summit on women’s leadership is so important.
The video-poem “Jupiter Rising” is read by the author and shot around various locations in NYC. PERSONAL TRAINING is now available on Amazon and Kindle. Please enjoy here below both the video and the poem.
Steady as my glass that just fell off of the table—
don’t worry it wasn’t full—
and what phase of the moon are we in now?
which tide just got pulled?
Today I felt all bitter and fucked up
like a poem by Dorothy Parker
brittle on the outside
but fragile at the core
They say Jupiter is visible tonight
but I can’t see it through all this rain
On 9th Avenue the boys are cruising one another
and they’re all starting to look the same.
So Jupiter is rising high
in the cloudy sky tonight
Michaelangelo must have spilled his paints again
leaving us this pearly drop of light.
Today I felt like a Henry James heroine
crafty and unfulfilled
dreaming of a perfect match
in a rudely imperfect world.
In my back pocket I have a business card
from—I think his name was Ed?
He works in technology
but I didn’t hear a word he said.
I was only thinking how the way he held his glass was sort of like
the way you held my wrist in the movie theatre
stroking up and down as if I might break
stroking up and down as if I might purr.
Tonight I felt like a French film star
leaving by the back door
I’d tell you la raison porquoi
but then again, what for?
Can you see Jupiter from where you sleep?
Can you see it from his bed?
In my back pocket I have a business card
—I’m sure his name was Ed.
Today I felt like a ballad by Adele
all bittersweet and corny
distraught and crying out your name
yet deep down just plain horny.
Jupiter is visible again tonight
impersonating a star
like a drag queen on a good night
think we could get there by car?
And how long before it twirls around?
Blinking its big red eye
How long before it rolls back over?
to a completely different sky.
About the Author
Writer David James Parr was born on a cul-de-sac in suburban Ohio and grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he learned how to spell “cul-de-sac” and to mispronounce “rural”, respectively. He is the author of the novelsViolet Peaks and Beauty Marks, as well as the collection How To Survive Overwhelming Loss & Loneliness in 5 Easy Steps: Stories. His title story How To Survive Overwhelming Loss & Loneliness in 5 Easy Steps was chosen by Michael Cunningham (The Hours) as one of the Top 10 Stories in The Tennessee Williams Fiction contest, and is included in the anthology The Best Gay Stories of 2017. David’s story Mata Hari was also selected in 2015 as one of the winners of The Tennessee Williams Fiction contest. David’s plays Slap & Tickle, Albee Damned and Pluto Is Listening have been produced all across the U.S. including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Provincetown and St. Petersburg, and his play Mimi at The 44th Parallel was a Top 10 Finalist in The Austin Film Festival’s 2019 Playwriting Competition. His fiction has appeared in Saints + Sinners, Mosaic and Feminisms. His playEleanor Rigby Is Waiting was made into a film which premiered at the 2019 Manhattan Film Festival, winning Best Independent Feature.
New York, May 20th, 2020, how long have you been locked down? A couple of months? Is it really just a couple of months, or have we been living in stages of lockdown, on and off, since our life’s journeys began? Have we escaped? Have we tried to escape? With our bodies, with our minds, with our souls? Have we experienced freedom or are we still excruciatingly mingling with self-imposed or super-imposed imprisonments? Do we know that is our Self who is Super and has Super-powers? Are we aware of the superpower of our creative minds? Do we know that the Creation is never completed until we co-create it and expand its marvels with the pyrotechnical visions of the worlds we wish to live?
How Long Have IBeen Locked Down?
That was one of my first thoughts when the surreal and yet super-real atmosphere of this global pandemic started clouding our vision and super-impose itself on our daily lives. Why was this atmosphere so familiar to me, where and when did I experience it? If I detected the origin of this feeling, could I have recollected how I dealt with it before, and what helped me to escape? The brutal desolation and isolation, the sorrow and the despair, with which this sneaky and virulent virus is paralyzing and polluting both our bodies and consciences, brought back virulent paralyzing and polluting memories.
Masking – An Old Habit This is certainly not the first mask I’m wearing, and masking is a fashion that really never went out of style. How many times was I forced to wear a mask; a mask on my eyes for the worlds I wasn’t allowed to see or reach, a mask on my mouth for the words I wasn’t allowed to say, a mask on my heart for the feelings I was not allowed to express. How many days and nights, locked-down in a room wishing on lives, wishing on far-away lands and emotional landscapes I so wanted to walk in, fear-free, mask-free.
Art & Creativity – Compass of Our Lives What helped me survive that isolation? What helped me expand my vision, my senses, and bring reality closer, shaped exactly how I envisioned it? It was Art, always, there were the artists, the mentors, the writers, the muses, injecting my mind with their purposeful creations. Art and Creativity are the compass of our lives, the sails unfurled navigating towards the ends of any horizon, transporting us through dimensions, unlocking all locks, unmasking all masks.
With the same instinct that brought me to cling on to the artists to survive my many lockdowns and experiencing the life I’m leading today, we at Creative Pois-Onfelt that we needed to cling on to the artists to understand this very challenging time that we are facing, find in them guidance and find with them the time to rediscover how our own creativity can lead us to phase 2, 3, 4… of our future. As we are finding new measures to contain the spreading of this virus, and we are looking for effective treatments, the testimony of the artists of our times living through this pandemic, can give us creative measures to contain the spreading of our fears and treat our minds and souls to re-design the more sustainable world of tomorrow, humanly, ethically, economically.
A video/podcast series and social media campaign – nominated for the prestigious United Nations SDG Impact Awards – where prominent figures from the international world of art, culture,and entertainment come together to reflect on the central value that art brings to all humanity during these challenging quarantine times of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is also designed to support the global community of artists who are seeing all of their venues temporarily shut down to safely prevent the spreading of the Corona Virus.
Listen to the Podcast Series Here below:
Creative Pois-On thinks that this is the time to go back to basics, to the essential DNA of its mission: “More than 7 billion people are living on Planet Earth. Every single one of us is like an isolated island, a polka-dot (Pois, in French), seemingly disconnected from one another. Laptops, smartphones, and social media provide technological bridges, but the storylines we channel are the real threads for all of the living polka-dots around the world to truly connect in this infinite maze.”
These words sound so incredibly current and important in this climate of fear and transformation. So Creative Pois-On thought to channel the extraordinary, talented voices of some of the artists whose stories and creations have been enriching the pages of the platform, both on the Creative Pois-On Podcast show, the editorial project – Storytelier – and the Creative Pois-On Official Youtube Channel. The reach extends beyond these outlets, enlarging CP’s tentacular maze to embrace a constellation of a different variety of artistic expressions and artists. All together they raise a voice that can break through these walls of isolation sending everybody a positive message that #CreativityWillSaveUs and that we can spend this time making the most out of our creative powers.
Follow us on this journey with the goal to find ourselves renewed and ready to soon unlock not only the doors of our houses but also the ones of our intuition, when this virus will dissipate and we will be asked to co-create the world of tomorrow, mask-free, fear-free.
Ready, Set, Imagine!
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