Multi-award winning choreographer Sally Marie presents an evocative balance of music, theatre and dance depicting the richly romantic life of one of Wales’ most distinguished classical composers, in a performance coming to the Capstone Theatre tomorrow (Tuesday, October 27).
I Loved You and I Loved You has been developed in conjunction with National Theatre Wales and Coreo Cymru, this dance theatre work reflects upon the life of celebrated 20th century composer Morfydd Owen, who was friends with the likes of DH Lawrence and Ezra Pound and whose husband was Freud’s closest associate. It is accompanied almost entirely by a live score of the composer’s own works. Click on this Vimeo link for a taster of the performance.
Born in the Welsh valleys in 1891, Morfydd Owen’s talent for music flourished from an early age, with her first hymns published while she was still a teenager. Amongst the awards, scholarships and acclaim was a woman fiercely loyal to Welsh music and yet famed for her beauty and sense of fun. In her few short years she won more awards than anyone in the entire history of the Royal Academy of Music.
I loved you and I loved you follows the composer’s story from humble beginnings to her meteoric rise as a composer while touching upon the turbulent relationships that marked much of her early twenties, telling her unique and compelling life story through to her early death at the age of just 26. Considered one of Wales’s most talented musicians and composers, she is little known outside of Wales and there are relatively few recordings of her work.
Director Sally Marie said: “It’s a totally fascinating story – and a true one. Due to our extensive research we have uncovered new truths not in any other biography in print. We’ve even discovered a new previously undiscovered piece of her music. Morfydd is a true unsung Welsh heroine. And it’s almost 100 years since she died in the most mysterious of circumstances.
“Her music is beautiful. Anyone could love it. And yet dying so young in 1918, meant that not only was this huge talent not properly fulfilled, but she also missed the revolution and revelation of 20th century music. Here is where the tragedy lies for me.”
Sally Marie is the artistic director of Sweetshop Revolution, a company that “strives to make dance theatre that both questions and entertains, blending movement, music and text seamlessly together”. The company seeks to explore the complexity of personal relationships, searching for a lyricism in mundanity and juxtaposing the everyday with broader philosophical questions. Recent credits for the company include Dulce et Decorum (The Place and Battersea Arts Centre, 2008), Tree (Battersea Arts Centre, 2012), Violet Smile (The Cockpit Theatre, 2013), Palma Violet, Crimson Smile (Birmingham DanceXChange for the CAT scheme, 2014) and I am 8 (The Place and Liliyan Baylis, Sadlers Wells, 2015).