A mythical journey across Europe evoking the River Danube in story, song and music – celebrating the vibrant histories, cultures, languages and heritage of this vast river. Mother Danube takes the listener on a journey of 2,860km from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. Stories and songs, myths and history follow the river from source to mouth, but as the listeners travel downstream, they travel back in time to the earliest communities who lived upon her banks. The performance was originally commissioned by Totally Thames and The European Commission, and was written and created by Sally Pomme Clayton with music and songs, arranged, composed and played by Emma Clare. It was performed in six site specific venues along the River Thames in 2018. Read Pomme’s blog about making the performance.
The Danube flows through ten European countries, more countries than any river on earth. The Danube passes modern cities, ancient fortresses, wild forests, industry, mountains, rural communities – this diverse mix of cultures, peoples, and geography has bestowed a huge resource of stories. Pomme tells fragments of Hungarian myth, Romanian fairytales, Bulgarian legends, and sings Serbian folk songs and of course a whiff of Strauss’s Blue Danube! The River Danube has always been linked to the feminine, known as Mother Danube, a mythical figure who appears in legends and myths along the river. The performance imagines the river as a woman, journeying through the stages of life: from a sparkling young maiden who seduces sailors; to a great mother who gives life to fish, plants and birds; to a wise old crone, who has seen everything, splits into three and spills into the Black Sea. And along her banks, a 30,000 year old statue was found, the Venus of Willendorf, an ancient goddess – is she Mother Danube herself?
Take a mythical meander along The Danube!