The Light of Shadow




Story and text:
Leda Shantala,
Nikos Sakalidis,
Matina Moschovi
Leda Shantala
Nikos Sakalidis
Music composer:
Ross Daly
Scenes and cosstumes:
Aphroditi Koutsoudaki
Costumes and accessories made by:
Guy Matis
Lighting director:
Eleftheria Deko

Excerpts from Yannis Ritsos' "Persephone" and Matina Moschovi's "Eros and Psyche" (a text base on Apuleius' "Golden Ass or the Metamorphoses"
Matina Moschovi
Yorgos Meloyannidis
The duets of Psyche and Eros were choreographed together, whereas Mr. Meloyannidis' solo was choreographed by himself.
Musician performers
Ross Daly: rababa, rebab, sitar, lute, lyra, kemanche, saz, kemepsello.
Sri Kant Mishra: pakhawaj
Lefteris Mitropoulos: tabla, dauli
Emilia Bouritis: cymbals, tampura

Director's note
The Light of Shadow is based on the combination of two ancient Greek myths: the myth of Persefone and the neoplatonic myth of Psyche and Eros, as narrated by Apuleius in "The Golden Ass". The meeting of the two female characters in Hades gave birth to this performance.

The two women share their memories, converse, express themselves and perform monologues, each one with her own expressive means, one inciting the other to reminisce as both delve even more enthusiastically into their past. It is a free dialogue between spoken word on one side and dance on the other.

Persephone, using, for the most, excerpts from the homonymous poetic monologue by Yannis Ritsos, thinks back, in her maturity, her path towards justice, and at the same time guides Psyche, whose tribulations end when she reaches Hades, to realize the culmination that awaits her.
In this dialogue, the male element appears sporadically in three forms: Eros, as remembered by Psyche, Pluton, Persephone's husband, and Eros-Pluton, who comes into existence in the last scene.

Nikos Sakalidis

Choreographer's note

Since my childhood I have been entertaining some existential questions which I think are crucial. Dance is for me the most accomplished form of expression, and at the same time a way to discover myself. What guides my choreographic activity is the drive to evolve.
As Yannis Ritsos says:"... light is unreachable and takes away all disguises, it shows everything and conceals everything, it changes all the time, and you are never in time: you have to change". Thus, from year to year, I change, and as a result my artistic goals also change.
The body and the word are two equally important fields of expression and of research, governed by different laws. Some experiences are purely corporal: birth, orgasm, death. These same experiences, however, when given shape by consciousness, are brought to the verbal level.
Speech and movement, which are their boundaaries? Is myth ruled by the laws of time and place? Psyche, Persephone, Eros, Pluton, characters from the Greek myths; Meena, Atma, Kama, Purusha of the yogic texts; the Moukissi, the Mombwiri in the Pygmy tribes in Gabon... All these have no passport. I feel them as compressed universal energy.
The art of Bharata Natyam and the contemporary dance expression are different expressive modes of the soul. For me the complex art of Bharata Natyam has no other story than the story of humankind - as every art. It comes from the depth of the past centuries, charged with our past: it brings wisdom, knowledge of the relationship of humankind and the universe, and of the internal correspondences of those relationships. It conceives man as a whole made of body, soul and spirit, and with its multi-faceted aesthetic, creates dance as a means of evolution and self-knowledge.

I've wanted to choreograph the myth of Eros and Psyche since a long time ago, when I still lived in India. Yannis Ritsos' monologue "Persephony" was a recent discovery, and I took it as a psychological and philosophical essay, with metaphysical dimensions.
I trusted my body and my spirit, the inspiration offered by the myths, the music and my collaborators to choreograph The Light of the Shadows. The stage is a research laboratory. Nothing is ever completed.

Leda Shantala



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Page last updated on January 1st, 2009