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Educating Rita: Cali-fornia Theatre Center presents a “Pygmalion”-like story in which an aging and disillusioned English tutor is assigned a new pupil–a brash, straight-talking 26-year-old hairdresser. May 29-31, 7:30 p.m. Sunnyvale Theatre, Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 E. Remington Drive, Sunnyvale. $10-$26. ctcinc.org, 408-245-2978. Xxcentric: Smuin Ballet presents a world premiere featuring contemporary interpretations of Broadway hits. Through May 25, Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. 650-903-6000.
Student Art Show: An exhibition featuring paintings, drawings, mixed-media works, photography, graphic design, sculpture and ceramics created by students at De Anza College, Through June 12, Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m, (closed Memorial Day), Cupertino Poet Laureate event, June 12, 7-9 p.m, Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, deanza.edu/eu phrat, 408-864-5464, Victorian Black: A new exhibit featuring interpretations of Victorian beadwork from the 1920s to the 1970s, with black mourning clothing embellished with jet, onyx and glass beads and decorated with beginning ballet shoes sequins, lace and braid, Through June 22, Lace Museum, 552 S, Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale, thelacemuseum.org..
“I’m definitely going to do that, so watch out, South Bay,” Tom said. Barks, 77, a longtime interpreter of Rumi’s poems, having published several volumes of Rumi’s poetry since 1976, was shared the stage with cellist Barry Phillips and harpist Shelley Phillips for an evening of poetry and music. Back in his hometown of Athens, Ga., four days later, Barks said he enjoyed performing at Montalvo, a venue he said he finds beautiful and a great resource for area residents.
“I hadn’t done anything with Barry and Shelley in a year or so, and I like to collaborate with them,” he said in his Southern drawl, “And I thought the crowd that came out was amazingly mature and beautiful.”, While the Phillips strummed their instruments against beginning ballet shoes a blue background, Barks recited poetry by Rumi and Shams, a wandering dervish monk who unequivocally changed Rumi’s life upon their meeting, Interspersed between those poems were pieces of Barks’ own poetry, stories and jokes..
Ken Weisner of Santa Cruz said he enjoyed the way Barks weaved his own poetry with Rumi’s. “It’s a beautiful range of stories he tells,” he said. Susan Greene, a Menlo Park resident, said she and her friends loved the ethereal elements of the program. “It was like a dinner conversation,” Greene said. “It was like a great dinner party.”. Barks admits he neither speaks nor reads Persian, but that similar to Rumi, the course of his own life was changed when he had a dream about a man on May 2, 1977, and then later met him in person. “I had no idea who he was in the dream,” Barks said.
However, when he met Bawa Muhaiyaddeen a year and a half later, there was no mistaking he was the mysterious man from his dream, Muhaiyaddeen was a Sri beginning ballet shoes Lankan Sufi master who encouraged Barks to “do this work.”, “I would claim that his consciousness–even though he’s dead now–is somehow involved in the translations that I do,” he said, “I hope it is, anyway.”, Barks explained the process of interpreting Rumi’s poems as one of first thoroughly analyzing a scholarly translation of a quatrain, followed by an attempt to derive “the spiritual information” from the piece and then trying to put that in American free verse..
“There is an elaborate musical dimension in Persian that I try not to duplicate at all,” he said. “I might be distorting his words, but I hope not too much.”. He likened Rumi’s style to that of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and William Carlos Williams. And though he considers Rumi peerless, Barks said the poets Galway Kinnell and Robert Bly come close. “Walt Whitman is closest maybe to the kind of rapture that Rumi felt all the time,” he said. Generally regarded as among the most famous poets in the world, Rumi’s words have remained relevant in the 21st century, and Barks, whose books have been published in 23 languages, has contributed to an extremely strong following of Rumi in the English-speaking world, even among celebrities. Actor Brad Pitt recently revealed a new tattoo on his right bicep that is a variation of part of a Rumi poem, and reads: “There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there.”.
When asked to explain why people are drawn to the words of beginning ballet shoes a poet from nearly 800 years ago, Barks alluded to the messages contained within Rumi’s poems, “It may be that we in the western culture have been longing for the ecstatic to come back in, and it may be that Rumi is showing us that way and illustrating what it might be like to be in a state of awareness,” Barks said, “He says that being in the body and being sentient is cause for rapture, and I agree with that.”..