Porcelain skin that seems to glow from the inside and a voice that moves the spirit in its roost. Swathed in a black flowing cape, with a beaded mantle to rival queens. The glamorous decadence of a theatrical pose, and the light hitting her form in such a way as to immortalize her on this stage forever. That is how I find Florence, the modern day Ophelia. She represents a much needed archetype of epic beauty, truth, and goodness. Her presence is completely here, there is no other place on earth she would rather be, this is everything to her. And it is pleasure and pure, unadulterated joy to witness. When I think of my femininity in a physical form, I go to an image of Florence standing in a graceful sweeping gesture, all in white with a god beam falling on her form. She somehow represents chastity and purity as well as destruction and promiscuity. She holds her identity as a woman alongside her approach of being very human first.
When she performs, it is a theatrical performance. There is a sense of wonder and drama. Every image that I ever conjured up while reading the romantic poets is what she brings to the world. The sacred feeling of walking into a gothic cathedral for the first time and being met with the embodiment of communal soul life. She brings that to you through her voice. There were moments when a good beam fell across her form, and she was everything ethereal, magnificent, and otherworldly. Like a being that has taken form simply for the purpose of singing. The hand gestures, sweeping swirling body movements, and that all piercing voice overwhelmed me, and I lost my self…only if for a night.
So human, I hazard she is loved for her courage most of all. To sing something so deep and so passionate, with the amount of visible joy that she does most be draining to her life force, but also the performance is a shared experience, and she is fed through the appreciation of her craft.
I watched with fascination as young woman swooned at her presence, wanting only to commune with that voice and bask in its presence. I heard young girls excitedly raving on about there favorite song “Leave my Body,”
And how her gestures alluded to her actually leaving her body. With every once of their adolescent souls they listened to her music. I have almost forgotten how to feel that deeply, fully, with my whole being. Every cell gets on board and decides to be alive.
For thousands of years humanity paid for the construction of cathedrals and holy places for the sake of communal need. These places housed the soul life and beauty element so essential for any human life. Today we find ourselves turning to individual beings, that are able to encompass that level of the divinity, and share it with the community in any way they can.
We are all longing to commune with ourselves, with the divine. When the mystic poet Rumi speaks of this holy shrine or temple of the body, I cannot always see it represented in myself. But to experience someone like Florence embodying this sacredness, I can allow myself the space and breath to reconnect with my own divinity. To be ecstatic, to be happy, to be move, to be touched, to be compassionate. These are all states of being that I wish to spend more time in touch with, but if nothing else I strive to be one with them after a performance like this one.
The cult of beauty, Pre-Raphaelite movement, and Arthurian legend were all part of the imagery that came up for me while watching her perform. The lighting and the god beams were absolutely breathtaking. Someone told me that there experience of Florence was akin to something of a spiritual experience, and made a point to note they were not religious. No matter what it is you believe, there are beings that walk this earth that have the ability to breath in all that is divine about the human condition, and pulse with this golden joy that stirs the heart and moves the throat to song. For what other way is there to commune with ourselves then through the vibration of our chests, and our ever beating hearts?
Beata Beatrix by the Pre-Rafealite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Here are some of the shots I managed during the performance and also of glowing, happy people after the performance. I tried not to be “that person” while I attempted to capture a few concert pics. Unfortunately I left the big camera at home…at the moment I seem to be flying by the seat of my pants with photographing, but hey it works.
It always feels like I leave my camera at home on the days when the most beautiful imagery wanders by….
What the Water gave me…and a fantastic God beam was given
Shades of Red
Love the Gramophone…
The lovely Lady Robinhood
Here is a video that someone took of the song Spectrum, from the concert. I think my favorite part was her being bare foot…