The Force that Drives the Flower (2009)

The Force that Drives the Flower re-tells the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone. Hades, god of the underworld, abducts Persephone, daughter of Demeter, goddess of harvest. Demeter’s grief kills the earth’s crops; winter appears for the first time.  Demeter travels to Hades to rescue Persephone. But Hades gives Persephone a pomegranate seed to eat, and because she has tasted food in the underworld, she is condemned to return to the underworld for part of each year.  Each year, when Persephone returns to Hades, winter descends again; when she returns to her mother on earth, spring and summer return. The myth thus describes a constant cycle of loss and regeneration.  The ancient Greeks re-enacted Demeter’s search for Persephone in the annual Eleusian mysteries, a secret torchlight ritual.

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower 
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees 
Is my destroyer.  
-- Dylan Thomas

Every glistening egg is a memento mori.
-- Annie Dillard

Dancers:  Ashley Burnett, Jennifer Chien, Joseph Copley, Cameron Growden, Emily Hite, Michael Separovich, Tegan Schwab
Music: Igor Stravinsky, Concerto in D; Original Score by Paul Fowler
Set: Zakary Zide
Lighting and Media Design: David Szlasa
Costumes: Connie Strayer