Gesture of Deer

Choreography by Fanchon Shur

Performed in 1963, at Los Angeles State College and the Wilshire Ebell Theater as “Buck, Light, and Tumbling Spring: A Dance Concert in Four Art Forms”, choreographed and performed by Kate Hughes and Fanchon Shur (Bennett), with music by Bonia Shur. Meticulously observed abstraction of the subtle configurations of deer in motion, in three sections: Pastoral (two does), The Fight (two bucks), and The Mating (buck and doe). Created and performed at a time when modern dance was focused on abstraction, and storytelling was unacceptable, too literal – the audience had to be left guessing! – and nature was too obvious to dance about. Our focus on nature’s forces is missing four major works that made up a total concert of nature themes: Origins, Eucalyptus, Ocean, and Fallen Leaf/Earth/New Birth, which sadly, are not available. We are very proud of the direction we took.


Gesture of Deer from Fanchon Shur on Vimeo.

Gesture of Deer

By Fanchon Shur

Poem No. II

Spring, yellow in the green
Echo bark on hill
Knees bare the wisping hair
Blown waters fall
The searching shallows
Whistle, tracking running walls of wind.

Run thunder doe
The pollen laden glade
Roust yellow dustings
A-wind suspending
Seeding smells rivet the bulging skin
The trunk tree buck
Convulse a geyser shrill
Bellow, belching
Pollens quiver in the wind.

Warm currents ooze the underneath
Into the matted hairs
Spread thighs untangle odors
Wind sweat scent,
Molten stillness
The mating.

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