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HomeDance“La Follia” Evaluate and Interview with Writer Joanna Marsh

“La Follia” Evaluate and Interview with Writer Joanna Marsh

From the writer:

Following the success of Cantique de Salomon, Colette struggles to stability marriage, a booming dancewear enterprise, and her first ballet efficiency. In the meantime, James suffers an harm that forces him to query his future. When Colette receives an surprising shot at a solo, will she rise to the event—or buckle below the stress?

A sequel to the novel Cantique, La Follia explores the regenerative energy of creativity amid the chaos of on a regular basis life.

In her first novel, Cantique, Joanna Marsh launched readers to Colette, an grownup dancer who longed to carry out and who fell in love with James, a principal dancer with the Westmoreland Ballet. Readers watched Colette blossom below her collaboration with Henri Lavoisier, the corporate’s inventive director, on an authentic ballet that grew to become an enormous success. We additionally watched her confidence develop as a dancer and in her profession as a costumer and dancewear designer.

When La Follia opens, Colette is swamped with work: fittings for Westmoreland Ballet’s efficiency of “Swan Lake” have begun and orders at her on-line dancewear retailer are overwhelming. As if these weren’t sufficient “good issues” to have, a brand new trainer on the college needs to choreograph a chunk on her grownup college students and have them carry out it on stage. Life for Colette is about to get even busier and extra thrilling!

However no sooner has she begun to work with Iris and the group than James suffers a career-jeopardizing harm. He’s out of “Swan Lake” and off his ft – homebound and bored along with being apprehensive about what his future might maintain. After taking a brief job at his father’s retailer (mockingly, the cashier’s place Colette had after they first met), James occurs to bump into a lesser-known composition by Antonio Vivaldi, “La Follia.” He turns into entranced, and later impressed, by this 9-minute piece, recognized additionally as Sonata in D Minor, Op. 1, No. 12, which was written within the early 18th century.

Music in La Follia, because it was in Cantique, performs an vital function within the story and within the growth of the characters and their relationships. When James discovers the Vivaldi piece, he turns into obsessive about it in a approach that permits him to find a brand new ardour, a brand new goal, and he quickly encourages Colette to pay attention too. Regardless of the commotion of Colette’s life – the upcoming present, the anxiousness she feels about her personal efficiency, the stress of her dancewear enterprise – she finds solace within the composition. She readily agrees to work with James as he creates, to permit him to set the choreography on her.

Working collectively on “La Follia” rekindles the enjoyment James and Colette felt after they created “Cantique de Salomon,” invigorating them each and galvanizing their creativity. When an opportunity to carry out this new piece in the identical present as Iris’s group work is obtainable, James jumps at it however Colette hesitates. Though it’s a once-in-a-lifetime alternative, dancing a solo can be scary and Colette begins to query her abilities earlier than stepping on-stage. Can she actually do that? Ought to she?

“La folia” or “la follia” means “insanity” and has been used as a theme in music for hundreds of years, with numerous composers taking a flip at invoking it of their work. It was initially meant for frolicsome dancing (very similar to we'd use a easy tune for a gaggle dance in a membership or at a celebration) and composers all through the years wrote variations on it, Vivaldi’s being one which has stood the take a look at of time. Marsh’s use of this piece of “mad” music to deliver calm to her characters’ anxious lives is intelligent and it undoubtedly makes a reader need to know extra.

Readers who love dance, grownup ballet college students who're greater than hobbyists but not fairly skilled, will see themselves in Colette and can root for her to succeed on the stage, as a lot as she does in her off-stage life.

A particular deal with! Joanna joins us to reply some questions in regards to the guide, her course of, and the inspiration she took from her personal life.

Dance Benefit: What spurred you to write down a sequel to Cantique? Do you know this was the following step in Colette’s journey?

Joanna Marsh: I didn’t intend to write down a sequel, however readers began asking for one early on. Luckily, I had some concepts come to me shortly earlier than publishing Cantique, so I had a spot to begin. I knew I needed Colette to carry out, and I knew what James and Sammy can be as much as. From a writing standpoint, I additionally needed to deal with a efficiency story because the content material style. (Whereas Cantique is about dance, it's not a efficiency story.)

DA: Do you envision extra tales on the earth of the Westmoreland Ballet?

JM: I've some concepts for yet another, however we’ll see the way it goes. I can’t make any guarantees simply but!

DA: What was your analysis like for this novel? Was there something you wanted to know extra about?

JM: I bear in mind researching particular dance accidents, the historical past of the “folia/follia” theme, and totally different variations of Swan Lake. 

Picture of writer by Jana Carson

DA: You go into nice element with among the choreography; what was it prefer to choreograph in addition to write?

JM: Since I'm very a lot a newbie at choreography I didn’t think about any of the items in La Follia of their entirety. I are inclined to sprinkle in a number of steps right here and there and go away the reader to fill within the gaps. I did discover it fairly fulfilling to plan the general temper and elegance of a chunk with out having to do the precise work of choreographing.

DA: The costumes sound luxurious. What's your expertise with costuming?

JM: I'm a horrible seamstress, so that you received’t discover me making any costumes! Nevertheless, I’ve been lucky sufficient to carry out as a supernumerary in a few skilled productions, so I’ve had some firsthand expertise being in a fancy dress store and carrying robes much like these described within the guide. 

DA: If this novel have been a film, who would play Colette and James? Iris and Sammy? Others that stand out?

JM: I don’t have anybody particular in thoughts; I simply hope they’re precise dancers! I'd love to listen to who readers would recommend. I do bear in mind stumbling upon a clip of Patric Palkens a pair years in the past (I believe he was with Cincinnati Ballet) and pondering he might make a great James. We are able to see if he’s accessible every time this hypothetical movie comes out!

DA: Did you could have any real-life inspirations for the characters, firm, setting?

JM: After all, the whole lot has to begin with my life expertise to some extent, however not one of the characters have been consciously based mostly on particular individuals. Most of them simply sort of seem on the web page, totally fashioned–even I don’t know the place their personalities come from. Concerning the corporate, I needed Westmoreland to move for any mid-sized, midwestern ballet firm. For that reason I deliberately stored the setting imprecise. I by no means really point out its location, which makes it really feel a bit extra like a modern-day fairy story to me. (Aspect observe–there's really an actual Westmoreland Ballet now in Pennsylvania, which might trigger some confusion!)

Picture of writer by Jana Carson

DA: Have you ever ever had the expertise of stage fright that Colette has? How a lot of your individual life, if any, is mirrored within the novel?

JM: I've felt comparable stage fright but it surely was not associated to bop–it was really earlier than some radio and TV interviews I did a number of years in the past. It’s actually troublesome to know the way a lot of my life is mirrored within the novel. Some scenes might begin with a component of my very own expertise however then creativeness takes over and the whole lot turns into fictionalized. I'll say that Colette’s relationship with music is sort of an identical to my very own in that the standard of my dancing is dependent upon how a lot I just like the music. My very own efficiency experiences additionally knowledgeable the best way I wrote about that course of and the transition from studio to stage.

DA: Any scene or character find yourself on the “slicing room ground”?

JM: The one factor I minimize from La Follia is the prologue, which is a information article with a variety of exposition filling within the gaps between the 2 novels. My very smart and well-read cousin prompt I minimize it. I ended up making the prologue into just a little bonus sneak preview for my e mail subscribers, so it labored out nicely ultimately!

DA: Music performs a significant function in your novels. How did you uncover La Follia? Is there something about it you need readers to know?

JM: Okay, right here’s a component from my actual life. My husband discovered Vivaldi’s “La Follia” whereas he was listening to music at work, and we each grew to become obsessive about it. At that time I had already written among the manuscript, and it dawned on me that “La Follia” was the lacking piece, so I began working it into the story. I didn’t inform my husband that I used to be utilizing it within the novel till two years later, proper as I used to be getting ready to publish. He took the information nicely!

There are a lot of preparations of the folia theme by totally different composers, however this specific recording of Vivaldi’s model (by Il Giardino Armonico) is the one which impressed me. So, the one factor I'd recommend to readers is to take heed to that one in the event that they’re curious. It's undoubtedly not a prerequisite, although. I do know some individuals favor imagining their very own music as they learn.

DA: Something you’d prefer to share about this novel? In regards to the writing of it?

JM: Whereas I wrote La Follia for my fellow leisure dancers, it additionally accommodates some broader themes on creativity that I hope function encouragement to all readers who may see themselves within the characters. If nothing else, I need my writing to encourage individuals to make use of their very own creativity, whether or not that’s by way of dance or some other medium.

JOANNA MARSH is a librarian, archivist, visible artist, and leisure dancer based mostly in Kansas Metropolis. She is the writer of two girls’s fiction novels, CANTIQUE and LA FOLLIA. For extra data, go to her web site.

Join with Joanna on Instagram and Fb.

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