Choreographer and performer Larry Arrington is coming to the end of a three-year residency at ODC Theater in San Francisco. As a capstone to that residency, Arrington and ODC Theater are collaborating to produce Eleusis, a four-hour interdisciplinary performance trip through grief and joy created in collaboration with 20 women and queer multidisciplinary performers. The experience invites participants to consider their role in the climate crisis.
Arrington’s work combines community and choreographic practices with being a devoted practitioner of Hellenistic Astrology. Eleusis is built off of those practices and the legacy of the Eleusinian mysteries, a rite for fertility goddess Demeter that symbolizes her underworld journey and initiation into the death rites. Arrington posits these as a poetic metaphor and imagined ritual for activating tenderness and bravery within the necessary condition of the Anthropocene – the acceptance of loss, the insistence on joy, and the absolute necessity of interdependence.
Larry Arrington is a queer descendant of European colonizers. She is a dance artist, working in hybrids of ideas and practice, and creating work in the Bay Area since 2008 that has been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the American Realness Festival, the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and other programs and venues.
ODC Theater is a premier presenting dance theater, one that cultivates local arts ecologies while also contributing to the arts nationally. Eleusis will contain five key chapters, each featuring a different constellation of artists, and it will incorporate live music, dance, food, collaboration, immersion, and conversation. Arrington will use ODC’s studios, theater, town hall, gallery, and spaces in between for this cross-disciplinary, non-linear journey. The work is scheduled to premiere on April 26, 2022.
Photo of Larry Arrington (left) by Robbie Sweeny