This Season, MZD has commissioned poets to respond to the work created by dance artists. Thinking about dance through poetry adds a different perspective to the work and opens up conversation between artists in their creative practice.
Sue-Shane Tsomondo’s poem Ave Maria’s reprise is in response to MAYDAY’s Icône Pop.
Ave Maria’s Reprise
By Sue-Shane Tsomondo
I tried to write but the depth of my feelings evaded any words
I am circling a pit in pursuit of this question
“How can I be free?”
I feel someone watching me making my rounds
I am tantalizing and mesmerizing in my dedication, in my discipline
But someone is watching me,
Is the pursuit of freedom a performance to the those with the keys?
Do you know something I don’t?
When a prophet said, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop”
Did he mean this stage?
Is this stage the mountaintop?
There are more people watching me now
They are watching me gyrate and make art out of my agony
Am I elevated because I am exalted?
Or is this a modern-day lynching when I can see crowd of a thousand people and hear them scream my name?
Why is the sensation of freedom, the imminence of liberation, so vivid when I start to feel I can’t breathe?
Maybe it’s the burning and the looting that happens in the aftermath of prolonged inhibited breathing, that tastes like milk and honey
This little paradise is simply imagining the world anew, for the brief moment this world seems possible
But for now, I’ll take the illusion of freedom
I’m chained but now I keep a gold chain on my neck so I can say I’m blessed
I’m the circus’ main attraction
They call me the star of the show
Never mind that I’m caged
I cosplay the freedom I cannot afford.