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Joan Jonas Interprets Lorca



In 2010 Akiko Miyaki invited performance/intermedia artist Joan Jonas to perform at a conference held at The Lorca House in Grenada, Spain. In preparation, Jonas read as much Lorca as she could find, specifically focusing on poet Jack Spicer's translations After Lorca (reflecting the poet's passion for cante jondo, see below). With this inspiration Jonas put together a reading interspliced with imagery from her previous video work and post cards purchased in Grenada. This performance was replicated at the CUNY Graduate Center's Martin E. Segal Theatre on April 16, 2013, as part of the event Interpreting Lorca. Jonas's performance works to translate Lorca into her own visual language. As she says, the work is "not an illustration, but a parallel narrative."

About cante jondo Lorca wrote: The "cante jondo" approaches the rhythm of the birds and the natural music of the black poplar and the waves; it is simple in oldness and style. It is also a rare example of primitive song, the oldest of all Europe, where the ruins of history, the lyrical fragment eaten by the sand, appear live like the first morning of its life. The illustrious Falla, who studied the question attentively, affirms that the gypsy "siguiriya" is the song type of the group "cante jondo" and declares that it is the only song on our continent that has been conserved in its pure form, because of its composition and its style and the qualities it has in itself, the primitive songs of the oriental people."

The event was produced by The Center for the Humanities at Graduate Center (CUNY), PEN American Center (Translation Committee), and Fundaciòn Federico Garcìa Lorca with the support of AC/E and La Caixa Foundation.
 

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Recordings from Lorca in New York: A Celebration, the largest festival in North America celebrating acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca.


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