‘Eternal, A Love Story’ highlights conflict within interracial & LGBTQIA+ relationships that reside in our society. KZ CREATIVES and ELANDER MOORE have produced a piece reconceptualizing Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Contemporary spoken word poetry and expressive dance produce a heartfelt, modern performance and a compelling story of desire coiled with timeless issues and the fight to not inhibit love.
The poetry in the piece is accompanied by lyrical dancers and music, ‘UMAN’, produced by KOKOROKOMUSIC, an 8-piece Jazz band from London (currently covering Spoitfy’s State of Jazz playlist), which gave me undeviating West Side Story vibes. The story’s focal point, told through each technique, focuses on segregation, love and the conflict that they bring. This rendition brings new life to Shakespeare and has a dynamic narrative and compelling visual interpretations. Introducing ‘Romeo’ & ‘Juliet’, the two lovers are unable to connect, despite their reciprocities, due to lack of trust. The complementary movement communicates an intimate dialogue between the two, as they embrace and dismiss each other.
“Yet eye to eye and palm to palm could
Neither side seem to see or meet
Their skin pink as dawn
The other dark as dusk
Though their many similarities could not outweigh the lack of trust”
Segregation is a key motive within the piece. It is important to break down revised whitewashed versions of history that have been constructed to segregate POC’s and their roles throughout the past. This has marginalised LGBTQIA+ POC and society altogether. Unequal radicalised structures are concreted into society, although these are beginning to break down, structures have also solidified through people’s own unconscious bias. The dance within this piece is structured and migrates through harmonious chaos. Initially, the communities are competing, challenging each other, but later they begin to integrate. This prompted me to reflect on the communities and how they are challenging concrete societal structures and divisions while stimulating togetherness and coherence visually.
Despite being “minorities” LGBTQIA+ people experience: racial bias, white privilege and POC’s are often overlooked. While people in interracial relationships, POC and LGBTQIA+ people are subject to discrimination, what are the challenges for those who in fall in the intersectional communities (ie LGBTQIA+ POC’s have additions inequalities)? This piece colligates this notion; the struggles that exist within interracial & queer relationships are perpetual. Timeless issues are bound with overlapping structures of prejudice. This revised modern rendition plays with the past and the present. Radical disparities are continuously perpetuated, societal issues bearing onto domestic relations, despite love and cohesion. Throughout, the individuals and communities go on a powerful journey. They begin completely segregated, disassociating and threatening to their opposing community, climaxing with a thriving cypher. Individuals intertwine through their opposition, but also conversing smoothly and visually creating symmetrical balance. This is beautiful to watch, as the story develops and the dynamic softens, the characters begin to unify.
Collectively, the piece collaborates segregated races and breaks down social “norms”.
A famous quote from West Side Story:
Bernardo: Couldn’t you see he’s one of them?
Maria: No. I saw only him
This reflects a similar message of blind love, which is composed positively toward the end of the piece. Similar to the communities in the piece, their challenge seems to be identifying issues regarding disassociating themselves outside of their restrictive cultural identities and to recognise everyone from both communities as individuals. It also made me speculate how segregation can affect you physically and mentally; unwillingly inducing separation anxiety from your loved ones. I did some primary research, through Instagram polls, and these two results were interesting:
Does culture affect relationships? 73% Yes / 27% No
Does your family’s perspective on relationships influence your own? 38% Yes / 62% No
These results were surprising; although every relationship to some extent is cross-cultural, the majority believed that culture does affect relationships. However, this isn’t to say that your personal prerogative toward culture and traditions cannot intertwine with others.
The first half of the piece, tinged with melancholy, is seemingly hyper-anxious. Reflecting on the everyday issues interracial/cross-cultural relations people experience, the relationships and physical dialogue in the piece exhibits those agendas, anxieties, and cross-dissonance. Fake societal “norms” have been used as a tool to police identity. This piece broke down the planes of identity and race. This further colligates a hypothetical fluidity within race identity, which is also physically demonstrable through the choreography. The piece concludes by highlighting those issues and simultaneously expressing the importance of enduring the fight for love and attaining your liberty.
‘Eternal a love story
Music — “Uman” @kokorokomusic
Director of Photography: @thehenrygill
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