Arlechina’s Story

With 26 years of experience in ethnic and reconstructive dance, Arlechina Verdigris is a historical dance ethnologist and ethnographer who specializes in the arts and oral traditions around the Mediterranean and Black Seas–particularly the combat and ritual dances of the ancient world.

Using a combination of indigenous choreographic notation, linguistics, and careful comparative analysis, she has compiled an extensive body of ethnographic data encompassing hundreds of dances around the Mediterranean. By isolating these dances through their gestural vocabularies and technologies, and by carefully decoding their iconography, Arlechina has been able to trace individual dance practices and ecstatic cults through time. Effectively sorting the familiar mega-pantheons into their more native and functional micro-pantheons. 

Arlechina has been formally dedicated to the cult of the sun goddess (to whom dance is a high priority) since 2002. At her swearing-in ceremony, Arlechina promised to dedicate her life to making the Mystery Religions of the Mediterranean more accessible to anyone who wanted to learn them. She founded the Mysterion Project that same year–its goals being to functionally reconstruct every known ecstatic dance tradition of the region. Arlechina began teaching trancework, ecstatic dance, and single-handed Pan-Mediterranean frame drum for trance in 2008. By 2016, the Mysterion Project had taken on a new name–Gorgona. Those who trance the many layered mysteries of the Med are called Gorgons. 

In 2018, Arlechina found Ariadne’s Tribe on Facebook and connected with Laura Perry, Dana Corby, and Bryan Hewitt. Together they have been working to flesh in ecstatic traditions compatible with Minoan religion and iconography & refining the practices of individual Minoan micro-cults.  

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