I received a request for an interview from a teen in the Netherlands. Rachel van Eck wanted to examine On Pointe
for her IB Diploma Extended Essay. She asked me engaging questions which you can read in my former post
. She has now completed the work, and I am honored she looked so closely at my novel. I was given permission to share a few excerpts here.
Rachel begins the work with this question:
‘How does the author Lorie Ann Grover portray dance movements in the novel ‘On Pointe’ through the characters by means of style and structure?’ The process of this research was done by stylistically analyzing the novel to find how the movements were being portrayed and if they really did make the reader picture and feel the movements being described. Lorie Ann Grover did this with her special way of writing this novel.
Rachel goes on to show how literary devices convey breath, pacing, sound, and movement. It was fun to see these specific examples as many were intuitive during the writing.
Here is an example of an excerpt from On Pointe and Rachel's analysis:
We piqué turn across the floor.
Snapping our heads,
on the wall
we are moving toward.
The room blurs,
but the spot
is in focus.
across the floor
toward their spot.
Just like the ‘Grand Battements’ this spinning movement is shown by the short sentences. This phrase emphasizes the spotting of the swift, repeated spinning movement. Not only does this passage mention spotting very often in just a small time, it is made up of short sentences. This indicates the movement that when the character is looking at the spot, one bit of the sentence is thought of, and then the character does another spin, with having the sentence cut off as a result, but when she’s back to her spotting she has time to think of another part of the sentence, and so it continues.
Rachel's paper concludes with this passage:
Dance movements might be hard to describe with just single words, however, through the use of free verse, anaphora, dance terminology, figurative language, sound techniques, diction, and imagery, this can be elaborated to the point that the reader is able to picture, feel, or even hear what the movements are like. Lorie Ann Grover does this “so that a reader unfamiliar with ballet could still gain an impression/feeling of that particular movement.” (Grover),,,,as if it is choreography on paper....In this novel Dance becomes physical free verse.
Thank you, Rachel! I greatly appreciate your analytical thoughts, kind words, and time. Here's to your own dance and writing. Brava!