Introduction to the Alice Springs’ Performance of Persephone’s Dog

Tom Singer

The following three articles are a circumambulation of a unique cultural event that was held in Alice Springs, Australia on September 30, 2015. Craig San Roque has created a modern version of the Demeter/Persephone myth that was at the heart of the Eleusian mysteries, the central form of worship in Greece for 2000 years. Rituals were performed at Eleusis to celebrate the revelation contained within this ancient story. Many believe that this myth marks the transition in Europe from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural society. It is for this reason that Craig has focused on the myth of Demeter and Persephone as some Aboriginal people of Australia are attempting to make this transition now and are without any stories to guide them from their own Dreaming. Craig has translated the myth into the cadences and rhythms of Aboriginal story telling. In a remarkable enactment, Craig’s rendering of the Demeter/Persephone myth was performed outside of Alice Spring last year. ARAS Connections wants to bring you the story of this unique performance and has chosen three different ways to tell and show it to you. Kieran Finnane reported the story for the local newspaper and her article is intended to orient you to the event. The second article is Craig’s modern version of the myth along with explanatory introductory notes about his work. And finally, Fiona Walsh tells the story through her sensational photo essay of the actual performance.