Choreography and Performance:
by Jackie Latendresse.
Music: Tan Dun
Edited, arranged and re-recorded: by Scott Kennedy at Sonic Workshop, Toronto.
Text: Jackie Latendresse and taken from The Triple Goddess by Adam McLean.
Costume: Arijana Bacalo
Creative Consultant: Kathleen Oudit
The development of 3 was supported by: Language and Decadence, Ersatz, Series 8:08, Riot Art, Smorgasbord Cabaret and Dance Saskatchewan Inc.
The Maiden, Persephone:
The innocent virgin and daughter of Demeter.
While playing in her Mother’s fields she is abducted by Hades, Lord of the Underworld,
and taken to be his bride. Tricked into eating a pomegranate, she then is then
forever bound to return to him for at least one third of the year, and thus
becomes the mediator between the worlds of the living and the dead.
The youngest character, Persephone is portrayed through the use of light quick movements. The atmosphere is one of innocence and purity but also contains the mischievousness of childhood. Most of her activity is instigated from the feet and ankle areas and continues out through the body into the hands and head. The mask that signifies her character is a half mask, which reveals the bottom half of the wearers face. This half mask allows the jaw and mouth to be seen and used to create a variety of facial expressions. The eyes of the mask are large which also help to convey the youth of the character. Persephone has a hand motif that creates an abstract visual of the number “One” on each hand. Although many versions of the myth focus on this particular character, “3” does not. It instead puts its emphasis on the Demeter character.
The Mother, Demeter:
Known as the Earth Mother, she represents the forces of growth and abundance of the living Earth.
In mourning for her daughter’s lost innocence, and distraught at her absence,
Demeter neglects to tend the growing and the living until Persephone returns,
which in turn creates the cycles of the seasons.
This character is the main focus for the dance piece. The story is seen through her eyes. She is portrayed by the use of very organically based earthbound, yet sensual movements. Originating in the torso these movements radiate outwards through the body. A lot of attention to detail is paid to head and hand gestures of this character. This in turn conveys her abilities and duties as a creator and nurturer. Demeter has a hand motif which expresses he number “Two” on each hand; however, she may also use Persephone’s motif of “One” as well. The mask that signifies her character is a full wooden facemask. It is the type of mask that can be worn one way to express happy or lighter emotions and then turned upside down to express darker or sadder states. Of all the masks it is the only one without any view of the wearer’s face. All expressions that come across from the mask are directly linked to the performer’s body usage. To help represent the cycle of the seasons, the piece includes the use of two large umbrellas. The first is spring and summer. This green umbrella features four panels of sheer material, which drape the sides of the frame along with purple floral details. The classic style is reminiscent of Japan. The one representing fall and winter is a large beautiful brown umbrella that is covered in various layers of sheer earth tones. The jagged unevenness of the material and its lightness creates a stunning visual when it is opened and shut or swung overhead.
The Crone, Hecate:
She possesses the wisdom of the Sky, the Earth and the Underworld and is the Wardress
and Conveyor of souls. The wise old woman witnessed the rape of Persephone and directs
Demeter towards finding her child, knowing all the while that their separation exists
only as long as they believe it.
Although she is commonly seen as an evil character, she is not portrayed as such in “3”. There is a definite primal vibe emanating from her movement qualities that is further enhanced by sharp accentuated movements. This character is neither graceful nor clumsy but instead is strong and demands respect. She can be both grounded and light and enjoys fluctuating between the two states. Hecate is traditionally known as the three headed Goddess. Her character is signified by the use of three masks. One is worn on the head and the other two on the hands. The facemask has had a small section of the lower part of the mouth removed, creating an eerie puppet like visual when the wearer opens their mouth. The hand masks are held on with elastics and can also be worn on the arms. This character has a hand motif, which expresses the number “Three” on each hand; however, she may also use the motifs of both Demeter and Persephone as well. The character must have lived each section of life in order to understand and be able to use all three motifs.
"This myth provides a parallel between the inner evolution of the soul through cyclic development and the outer cycle of the seasons. These mysteries laid down a pattern in the collective soul of Western humanity which later found expression in nature mysticism and can indeed, even today, still act as the inspiration for a certain path of inner development." Adam McLean
The events depicted in my work “3” are only loosely drawn from the traditional Greek Myth. I have used the characters of Persephone, Demeter and Hecate as symbolic representations of three phases or states of maturity and experience. I perceive them as separate aspects of a whole person. This complete being cannot exist until the “three” know, and recognize each other as “one”.
3 was created as a gift to myself in celebration of my 30th birthday, and the passage of three decades of life.
Special Thanks to: Alan Page, Kathleen Oudit, Daf and Jim Summers, Dance Saskatchewan, John Hallam, Scott Kennedy, Arijana Bacalo, Holly Treddenick, Ryan Sullivan, Mo and Sarah at Ersatz, Fringe Festival Staff and Technicians, all my friends and supporters, and to my wonderful parents, Jack and Dorothy.
Copyright © 2019 Free Flow Dance Company