Always Dance!

5 Sep

David Duckworth, Untitled, 1982. Charcoal on bond paper, 19 x 24 in.

It’s always a pleasure meeting a lifelong dancer.  That is how I felt meeting Julia Montrond, dancer, painter, poet, through my work at Expressions Gallery, Berkeley, where Julia is an exhibitor.  Julia will be reading a poem this coming Saturday, September 8th, at the 18th Annual Dancing Poetry Festival, where she among other prize honorees will present between noon and 4:00 p.m. (  The venue is the Florence Gould Theater in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, San Francisco.

Dance is my first love.  I studied ballet and modern dance at a school in Los Angeles under the direction of Sally Whalen.  I quit after almost three years of training, not knowing as a young adult how I could build a career as a ballet dancer.  I was in need of mentoring but only understood the isolation I felt at the time.  For years afterward I quietly dwelled on the regret of an unfulfilled ending.  I did not realize until much later in life that I had always danced and that this dance was not only my constant return to the joy of physical movement, but the uplifting of my soul.  This is how we stay young, by forever dancing.  Julia’s poem appears below.

Julia Montrond’s poetry has appeared in Blue Unicorn, Poetalk, Farewell to Armaments, and her chapbook: Steaming Radiators and Red Poppies.  Her poems have won prizes in the International Dancing Poetry Festival, the Ina Coolbrith Contest, and the Alameda Haiku Contest.  A BAPC prizewinning poem, the judged remarked, was so sensuous it made him reach for a cigarette and a pen!  A teacher for 45 years, she spent her last ten years teaching drama in Berkeley.  Her poems cover a variety of themes and moods, including identity, New York childhood, journeys, and aging.

David Duckworth, Untitled, 1982. Charcoal on bond paper, 19 x 24 in.

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