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Toronto Dance Theatre (Canada)
Choreographer: Christopher House

Persephone's lunch
September 19, 20 & 21, 2002
Centre Pierre-Péladeau

Persephone’s Lunch, with its parade of ensembles, solos and duets, is an intriguing and fascinating work, and the daring partnering of the couple duets that ends the piece produces some of the most beautiful and profound moments to emerge in Canadian dance in decades” Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail

“The Odyssey is the quest for a story that does not exist, a story that will become the Odyssey,” writes Umberto Eco. So begins Persephone’s Lunch, by Christopher House, a production inspired by Homer’s celebrated epic cast in the form of a tribute to the journey, to the marvelous and terrifying quest that is life, and to the way this quest takes shape in our imaginations and in our flesh.

After the success of its production Nest in the winter 2001 season, Danse Danse is delighted to welcome once again the Toronto Dance Theatre. This time around, its “spiritual and brilliant” artistic director offers us a choreographic adventure on the far boundaries of the theater, interpreted by the company’s twelve remarkable dancers. Preceded by Nest and Severe Clear, Persephone’s Lunch marks the end-point of a trilogy within which Christopher House has given free reign to experimentation, and to the integration of other art forms. As Michael Crabb put it in the National Post, “Structurally they were freer in form and less overtly dance-centred. Above all, they were intensely personal, as if House had chosen to communicate with his audience in a very confidential way.”

For Persephone’s Lunch, House has been joined by Phil Strong, who created the sound track, by Roelof Peter Snippe who designed the lighting, by designer Anna Michener, and stage director James Robertson.

Choreographer, dancer, professor and artistic director, Christopher House possesses an extraordinary kinetic sense, and a singular vision which finds expression in a leading-edge choreographic vocabulary. The author of more than sixty works, including Glass Houses, Handel Variations, Early Departures, Four Towers and Slippergarden, Christopher House’s work has received the Jean A. Chalmers award for choreography, twice the Dora Mavor Moore award, the Toronto International Festival Music/Dance Award and, most recently, the Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography in 1999.

As choreographer in residence since 1981, Christopher House is today artistic director of the Toronto Dance Theatre, considered to be one of the treasures of Canadian dance. Founded in 1968 by Peter Randazzo, Patricia Beatty and David Earle, the company is dedicated to the creation and popularisation of Canadian works, and enjoys an international reputation.

April 2002

Photos header 1: Sarah Silver (Stephen Petronio Company), photo header 2: Angela Taylor (Stephen Petronio Company), photo header 3: Tina Van Aerschot (Sarah Chase Dance Stories), photo header 4: Rolline Laporte (Sinha Danse)

Photos: David Hou