An experiment in staging Ancient Greek drama

 

To ancient Epidavros on the Peloponnisos in Greece and an experiment in form and ancient texts. The Imalis Project – a research centre for Ancient Greek Theatre in Epidavros – was iniated by brothers Nicholas and Vasilios Arabos.

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Photograph of Epidavros amphitheatre from web. Photographs of  workshop by Kaite O’Reilly

I have been observing a group of female performers working on a speech by Elektra in Euripides’s Orestes, using the Ancient Greek. Collaborating with Phillip Zarrilli, who has been using his psychophysical approach to training actors as part of the experimentation, they have been exploring how to embody and sound the text in the astonishing ancient amphitheatre.

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Maria Athinaiou and Eleonora Marzani in workshop at Epidavros

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The company gather at dawn and dusk to train with Zarrilli when the intensity of heat and light is not too much for martial arts and physical scores.

Eleana Georgouli

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Roisin O’Donovan and Eleana Georgouli

It has been a meeting of classical Greek text with Zarrilli’s psychophysical process – creating structured improvisations from activating images with resonance to the text and context.

Antigoni Riga in workshop

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I am brought to violent sobbing o country of Pelasgia….

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Epidavros was an important social, cultural and healing centre, with the sacred sanctuary of Asklepios.

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The ancient theatre at Epidavros was erected in the mid 4th century BCE by architect Polykleitos, who built the famous Tholos in the sanctuary of Asclepios. It is immense, seating between 10-15 thousand.

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Rosa Prodromou

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Vasilios tells me when originally built, the theatre would have been of highly polished marble, which must have made it shine like a beacon in the full sun.

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This detail is at odds with any half glimmer of knowledge I may have grasped before and makes perfect sense as we travel inland to the theatre, imagining how it must have resembled a pilgrimage with so many thousands travelling towards this one centre, this literal light house milennia ago.

Phillip Zarrilli  

One response to “An experiment in staging Ancient Greek drama

  1. Nice article. Its realy good. More information help me.

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