Header: Gavriil Papadiotis / John Stathis
Theatre is a medium through which legends, stories, or wishes can be portrayed and brought into reality, however, something is missing at times. In “Persephone Reconsiders Her Fate“, a Greek dance performance, this missing element was found through light and projection: magic filled the space.
Such a lighting design was bound to turn some heads, so there was no surprise when the studio responsible for it, the prestigious studio Eleftheria Deko and Associates, was awarded the LIT Lighting Design Awards “Stage Lighting” award.
A tale of two worlds
The spectacle, a contemporary take on the myth of Persephone and her time in the Underworld, reimagined the story through the use of light in the storytelling.
The narrative, set in both the lively earth and gloomy underworld, was told by actors portraying Persephone’s different personalities. To create the ambience and locations of the story, light and colour were combined, gently guiding the audience through the emotional and epic tale.
Warm and earthy tones represented the vibrant above, portraying the heroine’s life in our realm. The journey to the underworld was signaled through the gradual shift to darker, more enigmatic tones.
When logos became pathos
The setting of the performance couldn’t have been more right. The second element explored by the production was projection, which would follow either the dancers’ movements or the music’s flow. Logos, a ship that had lain dormant for decades, was the backdrop of the performance and the canvas that took on the projection.
The in-sync lighting design transformed this once-abandoned lady into a breathing element of the show. In the background, other ships lying abandoned in this sea graveyard were also given light and, therefore, bonus hours of life.
Emotions can be seen
The finale of the performance showed a single dancer on stage. The others departed on small boats lit by battery-operated candles, making the journey into the sea. This procession contrasted with Demetra, alone at the shore’s edge, in front of a ring light installation – the “gate”.
Waving goodbye and awaiting Persephone’s return, the ring’s colours shifted, accompanying the mother’s emotions. A five-minute audiovisual spectacle, combining light and projection, transformed the stage and the ship into a canvas of dramatic art: how else could a mother feel after watching her daughter go into the gloom?
Behind the light
Eleftheria Deko and Associates, a lighting studio with a portfolio that spans architectural, stage, and event lighting, is not a stranger to the LIT Awards. Experts in blending light with the physical elements of a location, this project showed that the studio has an impressive dominion of light – it’s magical, even. The emotional and descriptive elements of the design proved how light is more than the function we attribute it, how else could it tell a story as deep as Persephone’s?