The myth has inspired an opera, paintings and films, and most recently a new modern ballet set in Kansas City's jazz era. It's a work in progress by Pascal Rioult, artistic director of the Pascal Rioult Dance Theater. Before starting his own company, Rioult was a principal dancer with the groundbreaking Martha Graham Dance Company. Pascal Rioult joined us over the phone from his rehearsal studio in New York City.
Kansas City, MO – The Greek myth of Orpheus tells the story of a poet and musician who loses his love not once, but twice. His wife Euridyce is bitten by a poisonous snake. She dies and is taken into the underworld. Orpheus sings such agonizingly sad songs about her death, that the gods agree to let him go into the Underworld and bring her back. But there's a catch - she must follow him back up to the earth, and he's not allowed to turn around to make sure that she's there. At the last minute, Orpheus worries that she might have gotten lost; he looks back, and loses her forever.
The Pascal Rioult Dance Theater will present Kansas City Orfeo in a dance program Friday, September 15 at the Lyric Theater as part of the Harriman-Jewell Series. The performance will be followed by a discussion with the choreographer and dancer Pascal Rioult.