With the love, support, and creative contributions of a mighty tribe, knightworks dance theater premiered
Eurydice Descended November 20th and 21st, 2015 at the Cordoba Center for the Arts in Durham, NC to sold out houses with standing room only and excellent reviews.
Taking place somewhere between present-day New York and the City of the Dead,Eurydice Descended is a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. Often remembered as the story in which Orpheus dooms his new wife to the underworld when he turns to see if she is following him out of its depths, this work reimagines Eurydice’s own journey of love, loss and unspeakable beauty. Mixing Haitian funereal imagery with electronic music and drag culture, this piece imagines the afterlife as a space of revelation, forgiveness and unexpected grace.The piece draws from both Jessi Knight’s choreography as well as a collection of poems and writings by her sister and collaborator Christina Knight. This work, which began as a personal exploration of the upbringing and life experiences of its co-creators, is one that also seeks to understand broader questions of identities like race and gender as they intersect with more universal issues such as desire and loss. In particular, Eurydice Descended seeks to explore the politics of “tragedy,” or the ways in which narratives of loss both reflect and shape the lives of people of color.
"As the audience filed in, filled seats on risers and then sat on the floor, the dim, blue lighting, silence and sight of nine completely still performers, encouraged the audience to enter a dimension far from their everyday lives. The performers seemed frozen, in the same position perhaps that their characters were when they lost their lives and wound up in the Underworld of Greek myth. That other-worldly atmosphere remained unbroken in this powerful, evocative work by the two, gifted sisters — Jessi as choreographer and dancer and Christina as director and writer of the poetic narrative — and also by the contributions of lighting designer Crystal Lee and members of the Koffee Dance Company, directed by Avis Hatcher-Puzzo, who also performed in this re-telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth."
-Susan Broili The Herald Sun
We’ve all been through hell: knightworks dance theater’s ‘Eurydice Descended’
A thoughtful preview of Eurydice Descended by Chris Vitiello of Arts Now NC
Photo Credit: Anna Maynard