Katabasis is an original concept for a Cirque style show conceived of for my Graduate Costume Design course IIB at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Katabasis is the Greek word for the act of one's descent into the underworld, so I created a Cirque show around that concept incorporating the characters and mythology of the Greek underworld with fantasy and couture fashion influences.

 

The three fates narrate this theatrical experience and guide the audience along the Greek underworld as if they were on their own descent meeting famous mythological figures along the way. The furies guard the entrance and perform a fearsome flying hair pull act. Next, we come upon the river Styx where Charon, the eerie ferryman, beckons us onto his boat, only to have the scene assailed by the souls of the damned, a synchronized swimming act. After making it off the ferry, we come upon the King and Queen of the underworld, Hades and Persephone, in a dark and romantic liberty style horse act. In the next act we meet Ixion, who is condemned to spin on a flaming wheel for eternity for his sins. Then we come upon Hercules in an attempt at completing one of his famous 12 labors, taming Cerberus, a large scale animatronic puppet. Lastly, we end with the moment where Orpheus reunites with Eurydice and they perform an intimate and romantic aerial straps act.

KATABASIS (THEORETICAL)

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