Clare Byrne in December 2016



Clare Byrne and dancers/musicians were at the Egg in late December.  I had to remove the posting I had put up for this, as the website had been hacked, so now I am again posting a little summary of this amazing residency and offering.


Clare Byrne returns to the Egg for her yearly winter holiday residency with Vermont composer Randal Pierce and Vermont dance artists Avi Waring, Marc Wennberg, and Bridget Wheeler to jumpstart at new collaboration tentatively titled “chtonic.”  Chtonic means “in the earth, subterranean,” often referring to its origin in Greek mythology and rituals of sacrifice honoring deities of the underworld. The experiment and dramaturgy will involve considering the Greek god Hades, his abduction/rape of his sister Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, who despite her protestations and through his deviancy became the Queen of the Underworld – as well looking at other underworld archetypal masterminds of deviancy like Lex Luther as played Gene Hackman in the 1978 movie Superman.


ClareDanceFest Castleton Photo by George Bouret


The entrance to Hades’ underworld for the Greeks was the Cape Matapan Caves on the southern tip of the Greek mainland. For the Romans it was a volcanic crater Avernus, west of Naples. For Lex Luther, it was through abandoned subway tunnels below New York City’s Park Avenue. A nascent thematic thread runs through: of re-purposing abandoned spaces, of found objects as instrumentation, and a re-purposing of canons of stringent, elemental, feral dance movement.


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