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William Blake was considered a Freak during his lifetime and a Genius after his death. The Animated Blake embraces both the freak and the genius, illuminating the artist's visionary poetry with juggling and physical theater.
The show follows the routine format of a poetry reading or musical revue. It has no plot line, but is shaped by an aesthetic and conceptual progression. An opposition between Innocence and Experience gives way to subtle blends of good and evil through the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
In addition to recitations, Blake's poetry is presented through musical interpretations. The Proverbs of Hell are dispensed in fortune cookies during a communion ceremony. Slide projections bring Blake's visual art into the show, and provide some room to breath in the words.
Accompanying the poetry & prophecies are:
- physical theater
- book manipulation
- incense-burner swinging
- staff spinning
- 1, 3, 4 & 5 ball juggling
- torch juggling
This literary freakshow was created in 1999 by James Jay, the inventor of the high-tech Juggling Jukebox. The debut director was Jenny Iacobucci. Though James Jay is living in a German-speaking country, he has visions of someday re-staging the entire work in English.
Individual acts from the show are however currently available for hire.