Instrumentation: flute, Bb clarinet, violoncello
Year of Completion: 2011
Cradling Persephone accompanies choreography by Michelle Hayes that depicts the Greek myth of Persephone, queen of the underworld. The work is in three sections, beginning with a pastoral scene of innocence and tranquility. Opening with a flute solo that establishes the main musical theme of the work, the dancers also establish a unison movement as the core phrase of the first section. A tumultuous middle section brings a mounting frenzy in both the music and choreography, ending with Persephone's descent into the underworld. The final section symbolizes Persephone's rebirth after her time in the underworld, with a reprise of the opening musical material and an embracing circle on stage. The final image finds the dancers looking upward in a suspended gesture of transcendence.