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ARCANA: Cycle of the Fool

05/15/04 - 05/31/04

The Culture Project
45 Bleecker Street
New York City, NY

1 hour, 30 minutes

Official ARCANA website


Read Comments from the creators of ARCANA.

ARCANA: Cycle of the Fool is a multimedia performance piece comprised of interchangeable compositions set within a dreamlike landscape of war; exploring loss, fear, courage, moral conflict and love. At the beginning of each performance, a selection of cards from the Major Arcana of the Tarot will be shuffled and drawn by the Reader, who serves as the master of ceremonies for the evening. This live chance selection determines the order of presentation for the compositions, arranging them into a unique nightly "reading" for each performance.

The Reader guides the audience through ARCANA: Cycle of the Fool, offering insights, speculation, history, compassion and commentary as the journey unfolds. On stage, the actors represent moments of transformation, drawn from both the nation's and their own personal histories. On screen, a young man and an aging woman search for purpose and some sense of control over their separate, yet intersecting lives. Both film and stage characters grapple with personal responsibility and the loss of innocence and security. Like the warrior Arjuna from the Bhagavad-Gita who falters when driven to kill his own kin, the characters inhabiting ARCANA must find their own paths to the Truth, or risk disillusion and despair.

The evening merges theatre, dance, music, text, and a short film into a visceral and distinctive experience, never to be the same twice. While the filmed "cards" present an introspective narrative which emerges in a predetermined sequence, the non-linear stage "cards" will be played in random order as determined at the start of the performance. Echoes of catastrophic changes such as the Atom bomb and the destruction of the Twin Towers fuse with personal stories and the symbolic visual language of the Tarot, to explore the relationship between our individual choices and the larger context in which we live.

This production is supported, in part, by the Puffin Foundation Ltd.



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