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Aleister Crowley's The Rite of Venus, a rock opera DVD
Something Sinister in the Temple of Love
After the Sun God was slain, and as twilight fell, the Goddess of Love assumed the throne in the east, and the shrine was transformed into Her Holy Temple. Here Venus rules in Luxury, surrounded by her Acolytes and those probationers who desire to learn her mystery and partake of her tender gifts.
Sharing in Her victory are those forces over whom she holds sway, Venus gazes upon her Temple with pride and acceptance, eager to receive the tributes she knows herself to deserve. Libra, Taurus, Saturn, Pisces, and Luna all array themselves about her dais, and bask in the glory of her love.
But can Libra find an equal answer to his ardor when Venus shares her affections with all her children, and his eyes see the goddess alone? Will Taurus find a way to garner her favor into the earthly splendor that he so desires? Why has Saturn, the very God of death and time, aligned himself with the forces of unfaltering Love and Motherhood? Can innocent Pisces learn the ways of the Temple, and keep her feet upon the path to understanding without some sacrifice of that innocence? How shall Luna, the changing Goddess of the moon, effect her transformations upon these realms of love and luxury?
...And amid all these contending forces, can Love survive?
Seattle Weekly Review of the stage production of The Rite of Venus
July 4, 2007
People in the arts use the word "risk" a lot-in newspaper reviews, grant applications, season brochures-but what they mean, almost always, is financial risk: the possibility that a certain project might not make as much money as planned. Actual artistic risk-decisions that carry a genuine threat of failure-is a rare thing to see.
Here are a few of the very real risks Eleusyve Productions takes, and pulls off, in its staging of Aleister Crowley's The Rite of Venus: Not only enlisting a cast of amateurs, but asking them all to sing-setting the Rite to music, every word (and not stinting on the harmony and counterpoint, either). Giving Venus (Melissa Holm) a long solo dance. Depicting, allusively, an orgy. Presenting a same-sex tango as a sort of stylized fight scene.
Jon Sewell, Melissa Holm, Daniel Christensen, Heather Keith Freeman, Jeff Harris, Nicole Schmidt & Dakini Uma Amitabha