Cyprus Mail

The love of a sister

By Maria Gregoriou

Ahead of the 2015 International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, which will be held in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos for the whole of July, Machi Dimitriadou Lindahl’s dance company Asomates Dynameis will present a dance theatre performance entitled Antigone.

The performance, which is based on the tragedy by Sophocles, will be staged on Friday and Saturday at the Dance House Nicosia at 8.30pm.

It will echo the tragic unfolding of Antigone, Oedipus’ daughter, who defines Creon’s – the ruler of Thebes – rule to not bury her brother Polyneices as a means of punishment.

At the beginning of the tragedy we see that Antigone’s two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, have died fighting each other for the throne. Creon decides that Eteocles will be honoured but the other brother’s body will not be sanctified by holy rites, left as prey for the animals. As this was seen as the harshest punishment at the time, Antigone defies Creon and buries her brother.

The fate that Creon has planned for the brave sister seems much harsher as he commands she be buried alive. In the end the story is much more tragic than it originally turns out to be.

Such a tragedy is perfect for dance as its original staging has nearly all the elements needed to provoke emotions via movement and music.

Four dancers and two musicians, in the roles of the tragic heroes and the chorus, will use their bodies to narrate the tragedy. Their performance, together with the beats of gripping music, are sure to do what all tragedies do, rock the very core of what it means to be human.

Chorographer Lindahl explains that the play reflects on human nature, violence, compassion, death and life after death. It focuses on power and as Antigone chooses a path defined by the moral law, she has become a symbol of moral integrity and courage.

“When I started working on the transformation of the tragedy into a dance theatre performance I was many times in doubt about the possibility of the endeavor. But because of its power, Sophocles’ work became in itself a guide and a teacher,“ Lindahl said.

The choreographer continues by saying that in whatever form the story is retold, it leaves us richer and more sensitive, both ethically and aesthetically.

“Passing through the roles of the tragic heroes as well as the chorus we all, dancers and musicians, felt a dimension larger than ourselves because of the universality and timelessness of the classic play.

“The means of our expression are the body and the sound. With these tools we have tried to incarnate and express the rebellion, the courage, the pain, the confrontation, the violence of power, the love, the despair, the mourning.

“We chose difficult and unexplored paths but we feel we came out richer and are grateful for the journey,” Lindahl concludes.

Performance by the Machi Dimitriadou Lindahl’s dance company Asomates Dynameis. June 25-27. The Dance House Nicosia, Old Municipal Market of St. Andreas, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €10/5. Tel: 22-780960

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