Persephone’s Story is about winter
about the earth’s cycles
and waiting out the darkness
Persephone is the churning
in our collective unconscious
the parts of our humanity that are little understood and feared
But Persephone’s Story is also about a woman
like many women, she is taken
she has no voice, no agency
she is a pawn of the patriarchy
Her story is about betrayal
about rape, about sexuality.
It is about survival
She is made prisoner yet
She becomes Queen
I knew I would create a dance around this compelling female figure, and the question that would guide me is, What is Persephone’s side of the story? We learn about her from the point of view of others: Hades who desires her, Zeus who decrees she must yield to Hades, and Demeter, her bereaved mother. I would embody her not as a goddess of grand significance, but as a girl-turned-woman who awakens from a dark premonition and gets pulled into a destiny she can not evade.
I was particularly interested in how a young woman would transform over time. How she would adapt to her loneliness, and how she would come into her own despite the violence forced upon her. What kind of relationship would she develop with her captor? And finally, how, once was prisoner, she would become the Queen who rules over the dead.
We filmed Persephone’s Diary on October 15, 2020, as part of A Walk in the Orchard.
Tony Silva accompanies me on guitar.