The meaning of water

Water, dominant in "Persephone in the Water," has many meanings of mystery.

The meaning of water

I recently had the chance to photograph "Persephone on the Water," the latest performance from Valley Traction, an experimental theatre group where my sister is co-artistic director. "Persephone," set on a lake shore in the verdant Pine Grove Furnace State Park, reinterpreted the classic Greek tale in weaving in the lush southcentral Pennsylvania surrounds and its stories.

Water — an element that enables both life and dissolution, a dichotomy present in both tales of Persephone and her mother, Demeter — played an important role in the performance, from beginning to end. Dancers waded in and out throughout, a saxophonist serenaded from a canoe, and the audience was invited to jump in at the end.

Photographing in and around water is quite powerful, stirring, challenging. It's surprising, too; I got the best photos on the rainy, overcast day, because of the magic of the droplets and ripples on the water. The water threatened, but it beckoned, too. What a mystery.

Here are some of my favorite photos from documenting the performances; I hope you enjoy them. And whenever you're near water next, why not jump in?

An actor dances in the water before a rehearsal for "Persephone on the Water" in August.
An actor dances in the water before a rehearsal for "Persephone on the Water" in August.
Actors dance in the water during a performance.
Actors dance in the water during a performance.
A shrouded actor during a performance.
A shrouded actor during a performance.
Co-artistic director MO Geiger performs with a megaphone during a performance.
Co-artistic director MO Geiger performs with a megaphone during a performance. 
A performance member plays a drum during a performance.
A performance member plays a drum during a performance.
Strewn performance materials before a rehearsal.
Strewn performance materials before a rehearsal.