Not Afraid Of Virginia Woolf
Groundworks Premieres New Dance By Lynne Taylor-corbett
By Michael Gill
"I feel certain that I am going mad again," Virginia Woolf wrote in her oft-quoted suicide note to husband Leonard Woolf. "I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came."
Suffering from what scholars have posthumously diagnosed as bipolar disorder, Woolf put an end to her own misery by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into a river. The final hours of the great English novelist and essayist's life have long fascinated the acclaimed choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett, who is best known for work on Broadway shows like Chess and Swing, and movies including Footloose and My Blue Heaven. She spoke with Scene by phone from New York, where she was casting the dance company for a touring production of the Disney musical Tarzan.
"Virginia Woolf is, for some reason, an author that affected me when I was in my 20s," she says. "She's so much in our culture. I was fascinated by her hearing voices as her depression was coming on." Taylor-Corbett is in town this week for GroundWorks Dancetheater's premiere of her yet-to-be-named work, a fantasy based on the imagined final hours of the writer in the room of her own - a time during which she decided she couldn't go on living and drag her husband through her depression, but had the presence of mind and awareness of their mutual love to write such a cogent and heartfelt letter.
Full article, Clevelend Free Times, September, 2008
"She was suffering," the choreographer says, "but this woman was not insane."
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