No piece of writing is an island. Zara Marimuthu and Raphael Hall share how they use their other creative practices to tell powerful stories in their writing and performance. Zara and Raphael’s thoughts are part of a blog series crafted in conjunction with RMIT Horizons.
RMIT Horizons is a creative writing lab for final year students. Zara, Raphael and their Horizon peers are the creative minds behind EWF 2017 event, Double Exposure.
“This is Zara, and she’s an amazing dancer”. That’s how most people introduce me to others. Dance has always been my first love, and then writing came later. But over the creative writing course, dance has never been a part of my work because I wanted to separate myself from it. I know I’m not just a dancer, I could be so much more – a writer, an artist, an inspiration. However, the opportunity came for me to watch my two passions collide for this Emerging Writer’s Festival event. Maybe it’s because I’m in my final year or maybe it’s because I think I’ve come to realise that it’s okay to find different ways to interpret my writing, which includes my first love. And it’s so beautiful to let that magic merge and unfold. So, be willing to incorporate other interests in any of your work. It’s okay to go beyond the typical ways of writing. You’ll never know what you can discover during that process.
Bridging writing with other forms of art has always been a handy way to tell a great story. Song and dance predate the Sumerians and writing, so the tales had to be vivid and exciting and almost like theatre in the (very) old days. Song for me is the most exciting way to express and convey the heart of a story, where you can rip its guts out, smack it on the pavement, chew it up, swallow it whole and then spit it out again in any shape and form you could possibly want – all the while living and breathing the fire of the original. It’s the tradition of those great songwriter storytellers like Paul Kelly, Jonathan Richman, Gareth Liddiard, Dylan, Cave etc. that I get a kick out of most.