Bringing the quartets to life

Is for the Blind
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Is for the Blind

Regarded by many critics as the great last work of acclaimed 20th century poet T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets is about to be brought to life in Castlemaine in a very literal sense this Sunday.
Four Quartets is a set of four poems which Eliot published over a six-year period and this Sunday the work will be transformed into live performance featuring physical movement, voice and cello by the Wander-Light Eurythmy Company.
“It takes you into language like nothing else, not even Shakespeare,” says Wander-Light’s Castlemaine-based eurythmist Mark Neill.
“He works with the sounds in a way even Shakespeare hasn’t achieved I believe.”
Neill studied with European eurythmy master Else Klink in Germany receiving a diploma to teach and perform the art of eurythmy which employs dynamic movement and gesture as an embodiment of the spoken word.
The local eurythmist has toured Australia many times, performing classics such as Hamlet, King Lear and Richard III, as well as many fairytales and legends.
Delivering the vocal aspect of this Sunday’s performance, Melbourne’s Dennis Coard has many decades’ experience as a professional actor in theatre, film and television.
And accomplished musician Gotthard Killian, who spends a lot of time in both Switzerland and Melbourne, is cellist for this Sunday’s performance which also has tour dates in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Armidale and Europe.
“For me the music matters,” Killian says.
Considered by many to represent a masterpiece of the Western canon, the Four Quartets are four interlinked meditations with the common theme being humanity’s relationship with time, the universe and the divine.
“It creates space within the language. It creates a virtual inner space,” says the cellist when asked what it is he most enjoys about performing Eliot’s Four Quartets.
Sunday’s ticketed performance takes place at 7pm at Castlemaine’s Anglican Hall on the corner of Forest and Kennedy Streets with tickets available at the Railway Station Cafe – or at the door.

Angela Crawford
Angela Crawford is the editor of The Midland Express