‘Jehanne la Pucelle’/ ‘The Lady of Shalott’
Review of concert performance
St Andrew’s on the Terrace, Wellington
27th March 2019
(by Lindis Taylor)
“Prosser’s style was both poetic and narrative in a natural way and she held audience attention through her mixture of naturalness and conviction.”
Of ‘The Lady of Shalott’ (by Alfred, Lord Tennyson): “Prosser’s lighter tone let the narrative speak clearly. It was a delight to hear it and for light to shine through its strange, enigmatic story.”
Of ‘Jehanne la Pucelle’ (by Ingrid Prosser): “It has the character of a dramatic poem – the names of saints and places appear in a framework of words and imagery and events, creating a persuasive emotional and even pictorial story. And the spirited, histrionic manner of her delivery held the attention.”
(The use of the word ‘histrionic’ sent me back to the dictionaries! – in this context, it means: ‘pertaining to actors or acting; theatrical; dramatic’.)
I wrote ‘Jehanne la Pucelle’ in 2015, after a visit to the Bay of the Somme in Picardy, France, where Joan of Arc (as we know Jehanne) was imprisoned before her trial in Rouen.
I was particularly moved by the fact that during her forced walk from Le Crotoy to Rouen, after a month’s imprisonment in the castle at Le Crotoy, Joan and her guard traversed the Bay at low tide (which one can still do).
As I suggest in the poem: ‘How she must have gasped/at the air; the wide, wide sky/And breathed in the hope of life’. On returning home, I immediately borrowed from the library Helen Castor’s book ‘Joan of Arc’, and immersed myself in all the available detail of Joan’s life.
I have enjoyed performing my poem in various concerts and other contexts. One such performance included these comments afterwards: “Very impressive”; “Brilliant”.
(By the way, the poem isn’t in French! – but it does include a few French phrases).
Another performance of Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’, for the Taihape Music Group, in April 2018, elicited this response from a member of the audience:
‘That was amazing’
The vocalising of words has long been a major focus in my life, as a singer, and now also as a performance poet, of both my own poetry and other poets' work.
I love words, and the physical forming of words: harnessing the articulators
- the teeth, the tongue, the lips,
the alveolar ridge -
in the service of expression; thought becoming word becoming resonating sound.
I aim to bring words fully alive, and to tell the story in each poem. My style, therefore, is theatrical, involving word painting, and the inhabiting of character and scene. I do the voices!
"Ingrid Prosser was the guest poet in May 2019 for ‘Poetry at the Fringe’,
More YouTube links -
Who knows if the moon's a balloon?
by E.E. Cummings
The Way Through the Woods
by Rudyard Kipling
"Ingrid is a performance poet who fully enters her work – giving it energetic presence and creating imagery as she speaks. Her ability to commit herself in such a lively way means the poems sort of leap out with her, cantering across the space. Ingrid’s bold delivery has an eccentricity about it that draws you to her; she inhabits the poems, allowing their imagery and force to blossom out in front of you." Anna Campion
“It was lovely to hear poetry recited with such expression and commitment”
"Your boundless enthusiasm and
Review of Renaissance Singers concert
St Peter’s Church, Palmerston North
20th September 2020
(by Roy Tankersley)
“In partnership with Ingrid Prosser (a performance poet), the scene was set for each of the songs with beautifully modulated renditions of the poems”.
"Ingrid truly engaged with her audience. She took us on a journey, full of wonder and anticipation; her lively expression, beautiful diction and dramatisation bringing to life the characters, images, atmosphere and spirit of each poem". Ingrid Palmer
“Intelligent interpretation of classic poetry and original verse.” Lindsay Smith
- The Grey Sentinels by Ingrid Prosser
- Shall I Compare Thee? by Shakespeare
- The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost
- The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
- Adlestrop by Edward Thomas
- The Flame by Ingrid Prosser
- The Song of Wandering Aengus
by W.B. Yeats
Photography by C.Decio
Ingrid performs with her husband Colin Decio in various programmes combining poetry with classical piano music. Haydn & Chopin & Rakhmaninov intertwine with Shakespeare & Elizabeth Barrett Browning & W.B. Yeats – and much, much more. Colin has a particular affinity with the Russian repertoire (being half-Ukrainian!); and Ingrid particularly enjoys dramatic and story-telling poetry – for instance, D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Snake’ and T.S. Eliot’s Practical Cats poems. (A list of Ingrid’s repertoire can be found here; Colin’s repertoire list can be found on his website).
The programmes also include Ingrid’s own poetry and piano compositions by Colin.
-Piano & Poetry Facebook page
"That was a very stimulating concert, in many ways"
"Your programme was absolutely fabulous. I loved the variety. I was never sure what was coming next - it was all done really, really well" - Sally Huelin
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