Steve Shay
A collection of theatrical and aerial dance vignettes depicting tales from folklore and mythology to be presented at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24. “The message in ancient myth is still important today,” said John S. Murphy, artistic director and performer, pictured center, between two "ravens."

Myth and reality intertwine in 'The Ghost Game: Dead Gods'

“We keep the old gods alive!” shout the Cabiri Performance Troupe members of their October production, "The Ghost Game: Dead Gods,” a collection of theatrical and aerial dance vignettes depicting tales from folklore and mythology to be presented at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24.

“Cabiri performers enrapture the audience and transport them to worlds our technology-focused society has lost sight of under modern-day stress,” according to the troupe’s press release. The troupe's name "Cabiri" comes from ancient Greek mythology.

Cabiri presents the event with the Anunnaki Project, a nonprofit arts organization based in Seattle. The organization, celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2009, specializes in the depiction of myths from ancient cultures with physical theater, dance, and circus arts. The Anunnaki are deities found in Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babyolonian mythology.

“We’re pulling out all the stops,” enthused Charly McCreary, managing director of the Anunnaki Project Cabiri. “We’ve got darn near every piece of aerial equipment we own up in the air.”

That includes trapezes, a hoop, or “lyra” and two red narrow curtains streaming down from the ceiling, aerial fabric, or “tissu.” On ground level a stage battle scene, acrobatics, and other performance art will unfold during the production.

McCreary said the evening show is appropriate for those 12 years old and up, while two matinees offered will be a bit tamer for younger audience members.

“The show is based on mythology, on gods that die,” said McCreary, a Highland Park resident. “This year’s theme is dead gods, scary stories about dying, creatures that come from the unknown.”

“The message in ancient myth is still important today,” said John S. Murphy, artistic director and performer, and also a Highland Park resident. At least three other troupe members live in West Seattle. The troupe relocated to West Seattle from Fremont.

“As we move into the season of winter, in the ancient world tales would be told that would talk about the fall and death of gods,” he said. “The populace needed stories to comfort them or explain what was happening as the world moved into winter. The objective (...) is to put the audience into the feeling of hibernation, of winter. There is a transitive nature to everything, not just the crops and the harvest but of the divine world.”

Murphy said his grandfather was a tulip farmer in Skagit County, and that his family was involved onstage and off for the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

I danced for the (PNB) as a child,” he said. Two siblings also danced. “My mom was a seamstress for the ballet. My college major was molecular biology and biochemistry. I danced on the side for exercise, and this has grown steadily for a decade.”

“Storytelling is a community process in West Seattle as it was in the ancient world,” he said.

Details:

Tickets are $30 - $35. Dessert the weekend of Oct. 16-17 will be provided by West Seattle's Sugar Rush Baking Company (gourmet cupcakes). The weekend of Oct. 23-24 includes cheesecake by The Confectional.

Guest artists include Dyno the Aerialist and Steffon Moody, Vashon-based Master of Ceremonies.

Doors open at 8 p.m., performances will commence at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Matinees Oct. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$15, and are without dessert.

http://www.brownbagtickets.com/event/73732

Brown Bag Tickets info line: 1-800-838-3006

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