Mistress of the Maze premieres on Saturday, September 16 at 8 PM, with additional shows Sunday, September 17 at 2 PM and 5 PM at the CHI Movement Arts Center in South Philadelphia. This dance theater performance is part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a citywide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance.
The myth of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth has inspired artists, writers, and dancers ever since the days of ancient Greece, but the roots of the story— the maze, the bull, and the Goddess— predate classical Greece by more than a millennium. Mistress of the Maze explores the Bronze Age Minoan iconography from the island of Crete that inspired the later Greek legend.
“Women played a much different role in ancient Crete than in classical Greece, with images of Goddesses and priestesses dominating the Minoan archeological record,” says production creator Sarah Carr. “Mistress of the Maze explores the principle of female power so clearly portrayed in Minoan works of art, an element that was greatly diminished in the Greek telling of the tale. I wanted to reclaim Ariadne’s legacy by creating dances that are rituals for the lost Minoan cult of the Goddess.”
In the production, dancers don masks to bring to life striking images from Minoan frescos and seals, such as the Minoan Genius, a strange mash-up of donkey, human, and crocodile. Also included are the snake-wielding Mistress of Animals, the winged Bee Goddess, and the Sacred Bull.
The masks and costumes are by multidisciplinary artist Sarah Carr, who also provided the choreography. The four dancers take on multiple roles throughout the piece. Meli’sa Grier portrays Ariadne, Goddess of the Labyrinth. Caitlin Green is the Bee Goddess and also a Genius. Shelby Tucker takes the role of a Genius as well, and plays Mistress of Animals. Neimyiah Whittley is both Theseus and the Sacred Bull.
WeftWorks is the project of multi-disciplinary artist Sarah Carr. Incorporating myriad art forms, including fiber art, dance, object performance, and puppetry, WeftWorks aims to create one-of-a-kind theater experiences that transport and transform the spectator. Mistress of the Maze is the premiere WeftWorks production.
Sarah Carr is a recent transplant to Philly from Boston. She holds a degree in Anthropology from Marshall University, where she also studied art, including weaving, spinning, dyeing and felting. She has been teaching movement for almost twenty years, and is a certified Pilates instructor. She exhibits her fiber art in traditional gallery settings, and also creates large-scale fiber sculptures and incorporates them into performance pieces. For more information about Sarah, visit www.carrarts.com.
WeftWorks’ Mistress of the Maze
Saturday, Sep. 16 at 8 PM
Sunday, Sep. 17 at 2 PM
Sunday, Sep. 17 at 5 PM
CHI Movement Arts Center, 1316 S 9th Street . Philadelphia, PA 19147
Production Designer: Sarah Carr
Choreographer: Sarah Carr
Dancers: Meli’sa Grier, Caitlin Green, Shelby Tucker, Neimyiah Whittley
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