mtakla — May 10, 2014, 4:02 pm

A Ghazal Through Movement

I have chosen to create a sort of physical ghazal through dance. I have utilized and reinterpreted the choreography of Maya R. and have set the choreography to James Vincent McMorrow’s cover or Higher Love. I chose this song because its lyrics relate very well to that of the Persian ghazal that we have studied. The lyrics speak of a lover who feels blind as he searches for a  higher love that he believes must exist. In my retelling of these lyrics, the higher love is god. In the lyrics, the lover’s desire is so strong that he can “light up the night with his soul on fire”.  The lyrics also refer to the idea found in Attar’s The Conference of the Birds, that one will not find god in an external place but rather by searching internally and “look[ing] inside your heart” as McMorrow suggests, one can reach kemal. 

The quality of movement in the dance piece seeks to reflect how the lovers in many ghazals such as those in The Green Sea of Heaven, try to reach their beloved but are spurned. The movement in the dance emphasizes how sometimes the lover grasps at the intangible in search of his or her beloved. The choreography also includes many moments of reaching up and out as an attempt to draw closer to god and to articulate the yearning of the lover in the ghazal art form. The constant fluctuation between the multiple levels in the dance makes reference to the supposed inconsistency of the beloved as well as the hardships that one encounters while trying to rid oneself of ego.

Link: Lyrics, By Will Jennings and Steve Winwood:

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on
Facing our fear and standing out there alone
A yearning, and it’s real to me
There must be someone who’s feeling for me

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
I could rise above on a higher love

I will wait for it, I’m not too late for it
Until then, I’ll sing my song
To cheer the night along

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love

Read more: Steve Winwood – Higher Love Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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