Never In New York

S2020 E4 | FULL EPISODE

Journey of Dionysus

This documentary shows Theodoros Terzopoulos's 1986 production of "Bacchae" and the audience's reaction. The piece defined the Greek director's singular style and vaulted him to international acclaim. He uses repetitive movements and sounds to represent collective trauma, authoritarianism, and loss - whether he's working with the Greek classics or contemporary stories. Part of Never in New York.

AIRED: May 25, 2020 | 1:09:16
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TRANSCRIPT

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The ancient texts should be in the hands of people

who can make them living

and who are the representatives of the modern art.

I think that he has, in some of the techniques

that he has observed in Northern Greece, say,

and techniques of the human body

and integrated these with the texts in a way

that he's made the overall experience of the viewer

and the performers almost religious experience,

which is, I think, what happened in ancient times,

that one had sacred festivals.

It always began with the processional,

the sacred processional in Athens, the drama festival,

and also you have Dionysus, some altar for him,

so there's always a religious aspect to the drama.

I think that he has been able to integrate this religious aspect

and showing, also, that god is in man.

What so many, well, Euripides in particular

has been able to bring out the divine that is man,

and that means an integration of the human body

with the human mind, and I think that this is...

He's exploited the dynamic potential of the text

to make it something living for people nowadays.

[ Speaking French ]

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In his production, I think he has a kind

of symphony approach

where he converts the users, I think,

some very interesting traditional chant,

humming sounds

and, what interested me most, that he explores the subtext,

and the great Greek tragedies

dealing with the great myths are not only texts

on a printed page, especially --

and also for, especially, an audience.

When it goes to watch a performance,

the audience is more interested

in the subtext, which is giving visual images,

sighting, sounds, colors, patterns, movement.

I think there his production was very distinctive

and very different from others.

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