Photos rule




First performed 1995:  85 minutes
Performed by: Mary Salem & Rainsford

         Directed By: Rainsford in collaboration with Mary Salem


  • BEST MALE PERFORMER: Rainsford – International Association of Theatre Critics, Cairo
  • Nominated Best Direction (Dance) Australian Green Room Awards.

The Descent is a journey of spiritual liberation, it becomes an evocation of a woman left lonely after the death of her fisherman husband, she searches for understanding and finally freed and empowered, she integrates her soul with Mother Earth. The final scene emphasises light and reconciliation.

The Descent has been acclaimed around the world, having been staged on four continents. It opens cultural doors and has taken the company on many talked about journeys, including two historical tours through the Middle East supported by Australian Embassies in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria.  The company was the first Australian Arts company to tour this region, and was selected to open the 9th Cairo International Festival at the Cairo Opera House. It received an Australian Green Room nomination for Best Direction (Dance) and the International Association of Theatre Critics in Cairo awarded Rainsford – Best Male Performer for The Descent.

Thrilling images, hypnotic, eerie, erotic...this is alchemical theatre
~ The Age


The Intensity of Rainsford fused the 85 minutes of The Descent, his face emanating the sadness of a sage...' ~ American Theatre Journal


The Descent is certainly one of the most hauntingly memorable, and genuinely completely realised of the contemporary performance pieces I have seen in this city in many years' ~ Geoffrey Milne, ABC


...a work of superb craft and profound beauty, Mary Salem’s performance begins with the flicker of her foot and ends with the ecstatic grace of her naked dance in moonlight' ~ Chris Boyd, Herald Sun


...poetic and intensely haunting series of ritual, a magical 85 minute experience not to be missed' ~ Jan Murray, West Australian


Times of almost unbearable pain, times of almost unbearable loveliness, a much travelled and celebrated award winning work. Miss is not!' ~ Samela Harris, Adelaide Advertiser