From the writer:
Following the success of Cantique de Salomon, Colette struggles to steadiness marriage, a booming dancewear enterprise, and her first ballet efficiency. In the meantime, James suffers an damage that forces him to query his future. When Colette receives an sudden shot at a solo, will she rise to the event—or buckle underneath the strain?
A sequel to the novel Cantique, La Follia explores the regenerative energy of creativity amid the chaos of on a regular basis life.
In her first novel, Cantique, Joanna Marsh launched readers to Colette, an grownup dancer who longed to carry out and who fell in love with James, a principal dancer with the Westmoreland Ballet. Readers watched Colette blossom underneath her collaboration with Henri Lavoisier, the corporate’s inventive director, on an authentic ballet that grew to become an enormous success. We additionally watched her confidence develop as a dancer and in her profession as a costumer and dancewear designer.
When La Follia opens, Colette is swamped with work: fittings for Westmoreland Ballet’s efficiency of “Swan Lake” have begun and orders at her on-line dancewear retailer are overwhelming. As if these weren’t sufficient “good issues” to have, a brand new instructor on the faculty needs to choreograph a chunk on her grownup college students and have them carry out it on stage. Life for Colette is about to get even busier and extra thrilling!
However no sooner has she begun to work with Iris and the group than James suffers a career-jeopardizing damage. He’s out of “Swan Lake” and off his toes – homebound and bored along with being apprehensive about what his future might maintain. After taking a brief job at his father’s retailer (satirically, the cashier’s place Colette had once they first met), James occurs to come across a lesser-known composition by Antonio Vivaldi, “La Follia.” He turns into entranced, and later impressed, by this 9-minute piece, recognized additionally as Sonata in D Minor, Op. 1, No. 12, which was written within the early 18th century.
Music in La Follia, because it was in Cantique, performs an essential position within the story and within the growth of the characters and their relationships. When James discovers the Vivaldi piece, he turns into obsessive about it in a means that permits him to find a brand new ardour, a brand new goal, and he quickly encourages Colette to hear too. Regardless of the commotion of Colette’s life – the upcoming present, the nervousness she feels about her personal efficiency, the stress of her dancewear enterprise – she finds solace within the composition. She readily agrees to work with James as he creates, to permit him to set the choreography on her.
Working collectively on “La Follia” rekindles the enjoyment James and Colette felt once they created “Cantique de Salomon,” invigorating them each and provoking their creativity. When an opportunity to carry out this new piece in the identical present as Iris’s group work is obtainable, James jumps at it however Colette hesitates. Though it’s a once-in-a-lifetime alternative, dancing a solo can be scary and Colette begins to query her expertise earlier than stepping on-stage. Can she actually do that? Ought to she?
“La folia” or “la follia” means “insanity” and has been used as a theme in music for hundreds of years, with varied composers taking a flip at invoking it of their work. It was initially meant for frolicsome dancing (very similar to we’d use a easy tune for a bunch dance in a membership or at a celebration) and composers all through the years wrote variations on it, Vivaldi’s being one which has stood the take a look at of time. Marsh’s use of this piece of “mad” music to deliver calm to her characters’ anxious lives is intelligent and it positively makes a reader need to know extra.
Readers who love dance, grownup ballet college students who’re greater than hobbyists but not fairly skilled, will see themselves in Colette and can root for her to succeed on the stage, as a lot as she does in her off-stage life.
A particular deal with! Joanna joins us to reply some questions concerning the e-book, her course of, and the inspiration she took from her personal life.
Dance Benefit: What spurred you to jot down a sequel to Cantique? Do you know this was the subsequent step in Colette’s journey?
Joanna Marsh: I didn’t intend to jot down a sequel, however readers began asking for one early on. Happily, I had some concepts come to me shortly earlier than publishing Cantique, so I had a spot to begin. I knew I needed Colette to carry out, and I knew what James and Sammy could be as much as. From a writing standpoint, I additionally needed to deal with a efficiency story because the content material style. (Whereas Cantique is about dance, it isn’t a efficiency story.)
DA: Do you envision extra tales on this planet of the Westmoreland Ballet?
JM: I’ve some concepts for yet one more, however we’ll see the way it goes. I can’t make any guarantees simply but!
DA: What was your analysis like for this novel? Was there something you wanted to know extra about?
JM: I keep in mind researching particular dance accidents, the historical past of the “folia/follia” theme, and completely different variations of Swan Lake.
DA: You go into nice element with among the choreography; what was it wish to choreograph in addition to write?
JM: Since I’m very a lot a newbie at choreography I didn’t think about any of the items in La Follia of their entirety. I are inclined to sprinkle in a number of steps right here and there and go away the reader to fill within the gaps. I did discover it fairly pleasant to plan the general temper and magnificence of a chunk with out having to do the precise work of choreographing.
DA: The costumes sound luxurious. What’s your expertise with costuming?
JM: I’m a horrible seamstress, so that you received’t discover me making any costumes! Nevertheless, I’ve been lucky sufficient to carry out as a supernumerary in a few skilled productions, so I’ve had some firsthand expertise being in a fancy dress store and sporting robes much like these described within the e-book.
DA: If this novel have been a film, who would play Colette and James? Iris and Sammy? Others that stand out?
JM: I don’t have anybody particular in thoughts; I simply hope they’re precise dancers! I might love to listen to who readers would recommend. I do keep in mind stumbling upon a clip of Patric Palkens a pair years in the past (I feel he was with Cincinnati Ballet) and pondering he might make James. We will see if he’s obtainable every time this hypothetical movie comes out!
DA: Did you could have any real-life inspirations for the characters, firm, setting?
JM: After all, the whole lot has to begin with my life expertise to some extent, however not one of the characters have been consciously primarily based on particular folks. Most of them simply sort of seem on the web page, totally shaped–even I don’t know the place their personalities come from. Relating to the corporate, I needed Westmoreland to move for any mid-sized, midwestern ballet firm. For that reason I deliberately stored the setting obscure. I by no means truly point out its location, which makes it really feel a bit extra like a modern-day fairy story to me. (Aspect be aware–there may be truly an actual Westmoreland Ballet now in Pennsylvania, which might trigger some confusion!)
DA: Have you ever ever had the expertise of stage fright that Colette has? How a lot of your individual life, if any, is mirrored within the novel?
JM: I’ve felt related stage fright however it was not associated to bounce–it was truly earlier than some radio and TV interviews I did a number of years in the past. It’s actually tough to understand how a lot of my life is mirrored within the novel. Some scenes might begin with a component of my very own expertise however then creativeness takes over and the whole lot turns into fictionalized. I’ll say that Colette’s relationship with music is sort of an identical to my very own in that the standard of my dancing depends upon how a lot I just like the music. My very own efficiency experiences additionally knowledgeable the best way I wrote about that course of and the transition from studio to stage.
DA: Any scene or character find yourself on the “slicing room ground”?
JM: The one factor I minimize from La Follia is the prologue, which is a information article with quite a lot of exposition filling within the gaps between the 2 novels. My very sensible and well-read cousin urged I minimize it. I ended up making the prologue into somewhat bonus sneak preview for my e mail subscribers, so it labored out effectively in the long run!
DA: Music performs a serious position in your novels. How did you uncover La Follia? Is there something about it you need readers to know?
JM: Okay, right here’s a component from my actual life. My husband discovered Vivaldi’s “La Follia” whereas he was listening to music at work, and we each grew to become obsessive about it. At that time I had already written among the manuscript, and it dawned on me that “La Follia” was the lacking piece, so I began working it into the story. I didn’t inform my husband that I used to be utilizing it within the novel till two years later, proper as I used to be getting ready to publish. He took the information effectively!
There are lots of preparations of the folia theme by completely different composers, however this explicit recording of Vivaldi’s model (by Il Giardino Armonico) is the one which impressed me. So, the one factor I might recommend to readers is to take heed to that one in the event that they’re curious. It’s positively not a prerequisite, although. I do know some folks choose imagining their very own music as they learn.
DA: Something you’d wish to share about this novel? Concerning the writing of it?
JM: Whereas I wrote La Follia for my fellow leisure dancers, it additionally accommodates some broader themes on creativity that I hope function encouragement to all readers who would possibly see themselves within the characters. If nothing else, I would like my writing to encourage folks to make use of their very own creativity, whether or not that’s via dance or another medium.
JOANNA MARSH is a librarian, archivist, visible artist, and leisure dancer primarily based in Kansas Metropolis. She is the creator of two ladies’s fiction novels, CANTIQUE and LA FOLLIA. For extra data, go to her web site.
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Leigh Purtill is a ballet teacher and choreographer in Los Angeles the place she lives together with her husband. She obtained her grasp’s diploma in Movie Manufacturing from Boston College and her bachelor’s in Anthropology and Dance from Mount Holyoke School. She is the creator of 4 younger grownup novels from Penguin and HarperCollins. She presently teaches all ranges of ballet to adults. Zombie ballet is her ardour. She is the inventive director of the Leigh Purtill Ballet Firm, a nonprofit newbie ballet firm for adults. Learn Leigh’s posts.