Persefony Songs riffs on images from Christopher House’s acclaimed 2001 work, Persephone’s Lunch, to inspire a new work of unabashedly sensual beauty.
The original production, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, was nominated for a Dora Mayor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Choreography and was performed across Canada. As part of Toronto Dance Theatre’s ground-breaking work with reimagining repertoire, Christopher House is mining the rich movement veins of the original to create a major work showcasing the power and sensitivity of the TDT ensemble.
Persefony Songs began as an act of excavation, sifting through ideas and images captured in Persephone’s Lunch, my 2001 work inspired by the structure and stories of The Odyssey. I was curious to see what would still feel compelling to me after eighteen years in a production that, although based on an ancient text, had been very much of its time. From this archaeological dig, I chose several images that piqued my interest, repurposing them as the seeds and scaffolding for a new work.Christopher House
Persefony Songs looks forwards and backwards in time, with traces of the ancient world filtered through the gaze of the Renaissance, of 2001 and of today. Medieval and Renaissance music figures prominently in the new score, and scenic artifacts from Persephone’s Lunch (with the kind permission of its designers James Robertson and Anna Michener) are used to anchor this new production.
I am deeply grateful for the creative contributions of my amazing team of collaborators. It has been a joy for us to share this journey with the artists of Bernice, a rare pleasure made possible through the generosity of Martha L.A. McCain.