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Green Goddess
Held Over: Green Goddess kicks off the SC Dance Gallery's birthday with a All Hallow's Eve tribute to women, "Through the Veil/Into the Cauldron."

'Through the Veil' follows one woman's cycle of spiritual death and renewal

By Lauren Walsh

'Tis 'the witching time of night'
Orbed is the Moon and bright
And the Stars they glisten, glisten
Seeming with bright eyes to listen--
For what they listen?


HALLOWEEN IS MORE than just ghosts and demons and dressing up to receive loads of yummy candy. It has roots in ancient earth-based religions that celebrated the passing of seasons. For the first time this Halloween, Green Goddess Productions will honor these religious/mythic aspects of the holiday with Through the Veil/Into the Cauldron--a Descent to the Goddess.

The purpose of the Through the Veil performance, says Karen Clarke, co-producer and director with Caitlin Johnston, "is to create a play that tells the deeper story of where Halloween came from. Why is the goddess, the witch, so frightening yet so enticing? How does she fit into our lives now?" Through dance, acting, poetry, art and music, the all-female troupe explores these spiritual and emotional questions.

The production, a psychological journey into one woman's spiritual travels, parallels the religious celebrations of seasonal death and rebirth. The internal descent of our heroine, guided by the goddesses of the underworld, exposes her dark secrets and hidden fears, leaving her stripped of all concealments and forced to see herself in a true light. From this point, she begins a healing process.

The play is ultimately a venue to heighten spiritual understanding and self-awareness. Performer Lyn Dean believes in the importance of this in everyday life. The essence of the play, she says, is captured in the lines of a poem she reads: "From as deep as a woman's heart sprung open again through a hard birth or a hard death/Here under the shock of love I am opened to you." It is symbolic of the arduous journey inward and its ultimate reward.

For the men out there wondering where exactly they fit into all of this, take heart. This may be a performance focusing on a woman's inner journey but, points out performer/dancer Tanya Greenstein, it is also "a powerful message that applies to everyone." The process of facing inner demons is certainly not gender-specific.

Special attention may be given to women (half of the performances are for women only)--after all, this is theater reasserting a very female-oriented religion--but the themes and inquiries of the performance apply to the lives of all the non-goddesses amongst us, too.

Through the Veil will be staged Thu. (8pm, mixed audience), Fri. (8pm, women only), Sat. (7:30pm, mixed audience; 10:30pm, women only) at the SC Dance Gallery, 418 Front St., SC (427-2022) Tickets: $10.

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From the October 31-November 6, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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