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The Mystique of Inspiration


Artists of all genres and mediums find their inspiration in the most unusual places.

While at Philippine Nationals in Manila, I was spellbound reading Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr’s new novel, All The Light We Cannot See.


This is a mesmerizing story about a blind girl who flees her home in Paris with her father during World War II. Her father worked at the Museum of Natural History and they were forced to leave Paris due to the invasion of Hitler’s Nazi forces.


Kismet brings to me a text from Polina Edmunds asking me to choreograph her new programs for the upcoming season. I was excited because I thought Polina could perfectly portray Marie-Laure Le Blanc, the blind daughter from the book. I immediately responded by telling her what I was reading and shared my idea to cast her as Marie-Laure for her new long program. Polina was all in and was as excited as I was to embark on this artistic journey together.


The pictures here show some of the choreography in which I had Polina cover her eyes to replicate the feelings that the blind Marie felt. What precipitated this blog was not only the novel I read twice but more so because of the new Netflix Series that just aired, All The Light We Cannot See.


I was so impressed with Maire-Laure’s strength and courage. Actress Aria Mia Loberti is a blind actress which makes this role riveting in every way. Her father, Daniel Le Blanc, played by Mark Ruffalo, is caring, brave, and resourceful in getting Marie safely to Saint-Malo in the south of France to her uncle Etienne Le Blanc, played by Hugh Laurie. An unlikely ally in Werner Pfennig, played by Louis Hofmann, Werner portrayed the German soldier radio transmission specialist. The plot evolves into a very uncommon alliance between Maire and Werner for survival.


You will notice in these images how perfectly Polina portrayed Maire-Laure Le Blanc.

If you want to be inspired and riveted, I encourage all to watch this four-part Netflix series. Although the series is very well done and cogent, reading Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece will be an incredible experience in which you will gain even more insights into this tragic story.


The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.


Auf Wiedersehen

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