Eurydice Towards the Light

Event Review 

article by Aryana Arian

The brisk, grey evening in London found me darting down the street from Charista, where I had stopped for a refreshing coconut shake and to attend to some perediza administrative tasks.


As I swiftly stashed my laptop into my suffering bag, I made my way towards the venue, the vibrant klein blue awning of the Shoreditch Arts Club instantly drawing my gaze. It brought a smile to my face, offering a moment to pause, take a deep breath, and reflect on the journey of creating Issue II of perediza.

As I stepped inside, I was greeted by two young girls stationed behind a reception counter crafted entirely from 80s-style glass blocks. Neon lights illuminated an artwork behind them, casting a mesmerizing glow, while quirky candle stands adorned the space. I couldn't help but admire the modern renaissance ambiance of the place, feeling it was the ideal setting for the performance we were about to witness.


"Eurydice towards the light"

Pauline Raybaud, the director and writer of the work writes:


“from poetry to performance, music to visual storytelling, Eurydice Towards the Light is an ode to the mythology of Eurydice, revisited through portraits of modern-day women, their voices, and stories. On stage, a first voice emerges, surrounded by music it starts to tell the rewritten myth. Soon joined by several performers coming along unfolding the narrative through their arts, whether it is their voice, their movements, their instrument... As the story unfolds from one Eurydice to the next, passing on the burning torch of their heart, they embark the guests alongside their journey towards the light."


The venue boasted a vibrant array of artworks, ranging from sculptures to interior décor, paintings, and installations, creating a colorful and diverse atmosphere. Housed in a 1930s warehouse, the Shoreditch Arts Club features expansive industrial windows that overlook the cobbled Boundary Street. Upon entering, guests are greeted by various elements, including comfortable couches situated near a large projection screen displaying the “Lillies” short film containing spoken poetry and directed by tonight’s director and performer Pauline Raybaud.

Ascending the stairs, the space opens to a bar area and cosy seating arrangements for dining. A large dining table, adorned with charmingly askew candles, takes center stage, surrounded by captivating artworks. Mushroom-shaped lamps cast a soft glow, while a theater room offers vintage-inspired décor and plush red couches, providing a unique and inviting ambiance.

As we savored our cocktails the enchanting set from DJ Lea Lea @lealeamusic filled the air, setting the perfect backdrop for the evening.

The performers gracefully gathered, adorned in flowing dresses and skirts, their radiant presence accentuated by the soft glow of the dim lights. Moving with effortless elegance, they summoned us with only their movements, to join them on their makeshift stage. The stage, unlike traditional stage performance structure, defied conventions, inviting the audience to gather around and create their own unique vantage points. Positioned between two projectors, the performers seamlessly integrated with the projections, offering a dynamic and immersive experience from every angle. The music served as the catalyst, enveloping us in ambiance, making the performance feel otherworldly, mythological, and explorative.

During the performance, the audience physically and mentally engaged with the story, following the movements of the performers without verbal direction. Their actions and emotions guided the audience to shift perspectives and move through space.


The performance was divided into distinct episodes, each marked by projections displaying "Episode 1," "Episode 2," and "Episode 3." These visual cues guided the audience through the narrative transitions. While Pauline changed attire for each episode, the other performers maintained consistent outfits. This emphasized Pauline's role as both the central character and the narrator/poet of the performance, while the other performers embodied her muses.


Each woman delivered emotional, dance and acting performances, expressing their own perspectives within the overarching story. However, Pauline's role stood out as she narrated her poems about womanhood throughout the performance. The music, poems, and film each took turns guiding the audience at different points.

The dynamic fusion of diverse mediums, shapes, forms, movements, characters, and narratives not only captivated the audience but also orchestrated a mesmerizing symphony of storytelling across time and space, driving an unparalleled emotional resonance. Pauline's film, "Lillies" made during her time at Central Saint Martins, reverberated with themes seamlessly interwoven into the live performance. From the rhythmic clatter of the typewriter to the introspective journeys of exploration, every frame echoed Pauline's narrative and experience of womanhood. Moreover, the inclusion of other women in the film, their graceful movements and explorations, served as touching reflections of Pauline's muses, filling the performance with unparalleled depth and resonance.


The lighting design not only guided the audience's attention but also orchestrated the rhythm and tempo of the performance, enhancing its immersive and captivating nature.


The dancers, Eleejah Noah and Petrichor moved with a fluid, mythological grace, their flowing skirts and expressive movements shaping the dance as they responded to the music or narration. Pauline met Eleejah in acting school in Paris and Petrichor at Central Saint Martins. The fluidity of the performance reflects its mythological theme and transcends temporal boundaries, showcasing elements from various eras of time and space.



After the performance, while I was asking questions to the performers about their experience and how the project came to be, Eleejah shared her emotional reaction to reading Pauline's poem for the first time. Her response resonated with many women, prompting Pauline to recognize the universality of the themes she explores in her writing. Eleejah explained how her character expressed frustration and deception, with each performer supporting one another, mirroring the narrator's emotions. Pauline serves as the storyteller, while the performers embody her inner muses, leading to intentional, exaggerated movements.

In conversation with Petrichor, she shared how deeply she resonated with the project, reflecting on the strong bond and friendship she shares with Pauline. This personal connection filled her character with significance. "My role acts as the glue between performers and scenes," she explained. "I channel Pauline's emotions, portraying her journey through love and uncertainty. Like Eleejah, I serve as a guardian angel, piecing together moments of healing. Personally, as a polyamourous individual, I perceive love in parallel, expressing my own ideas of connection through this role."


The dynamic of women supporting, inspiring, and understanding each other as muses, friends, and advocates was not only visually striking but emotionally resonant. In today's society, where women face myriad pressures and expectations, this bond is especially vital. The women in tonight's performance exemplified the importance of lifting each other up, fostering creativity, expressing emotions and confidence. Their solidarity speaks volumes about the power of unity, love and collaboration over competition.


The music, especially the trumpet improvisation by the talented jazz performer Shanise @shanise9676, was an animated element of the performance. Shanise Hall's trumpet improvisations followed a consistent melody but offered new interpretations each time, immersing the audience fully in the movements, performance, and narrative. Her skillful improvisation guided us through the story, enhancing our connection with the performers and their emotions. Shanise improvised based on the dancers' movements, while we, as the audience, interpreted the dance through her music. Shanise described her improvisation as an expression of womanhood. She met Pauline during a jam session in East London, where Pauline was captivated by her music. Shanise's emotional jazz improvisation, particularly on the challenging trumpet, held my complete attention throughout the performance, elevating it to a higher level. Her silhouette created by the lighting throwing a shadow alongside the projection added to the captivating atmosphere of the evening.


There was a moment where the event organizer was behind the bar mesmerized by the performance. The performance’s non-traditional space and the venue at Shoreditch Arts Club allowed for a new sort of experience in arts and performance altogether that was more immersive and intimate.


Towards the end of the performance, it came full circle, with the initial part of the performance returning in a new expression, accompanied by subtle additions and adjustments, as the other performers gradually joined in around Pauline. The atmosphere was filled with magical music played by strings and other instruments, creating a captivating ambiance. As the performers left the stage, the music transitioned into singing, followed by beats and finally into an acapella rendition over an upbeat R&B rhythm. Undoubtedly, music played a significant role in the performance, guiding the story throughout.


Above all, this story and performance made me think about women, their stories and individual characters. The setting also really moved me, as there were so many different ways to watch the performance: not only those standing around the performers, but also those observing from outside through the industrial windows, the perspective of the bartenders and venue organizers from behind the bar, and the viewpoint of photographers as they descended the steps, leading the audience to the second half of the show where the performers moved to perform in front of the projection near the entrance. The diverse perspectives included those watching the film, observing the trumpet, or witnessing the dancers in the background, as well as those focused on Pauline.


Each person's experience of this performance was unique, with the freedom to explore with their eyes and ears and focus on what resonated most with them. Elijaah mentioned since “The performance is so emotive that it would feel strange to put a barrier”. Pauline's skill in crafting a performance that encourages such freedom for the audience is something I deeply admire and thoroughly enjoyed. It was a distinctively immersive experience, very much reflective of London's essence and most importantly the essence of womanhood.

Written and Directed by @pauline.raybaud

Videos by @mcexcelsior

Performance: @pauline.raybaud & @justeleejah & @_petri.ch0r_

Music composition: @yesbillw

Trumpet: @shanise9676

DJ SET: @lealeamusic

Venue: @shoreditchartsclub_