Smaro Gregoriadou

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SOPHOCLES ANTIGONE

C H O R I A M B U S   T H E A T R E   C O M P A N Y  presents

 

Image SOPHOCLES’ ANTIGONE

In original ancient Greek text

 

ARIS BINIARIS

(Actor)

 

SMARO C. GREGORIADOU

(Musiciann)


 

Musical research, composition and direction: Smaro C. Gregoriadou

# Theatrical development: Aris Biniaris

# Artistic direction: Yorgos Biniaris

 

 

 

“… une Antigone exceptionelle…”

Le Megaphone, Review of Theater 145, Grenoble 2007

 

"…Everybody recognized and praised the indisputable ingenuity of director and performers. In the end all spectators applauded passionately in front of two artists who achieved to keep them breathless for one hour or so… 

...Energy, power and self-discipline were spread from the young actor who, restricted in a plain illuminated circle, was transferring his audience from Kreon to Antigone in a few moments’ time... 

…The group has retained the original ancient Greek text. Verses and syllables of the choral odes are thus associated with the corresponding rhythms, percussive and regular, which existed in original language, making spirit and body to vibrate. Spectator comes out of himself in order to fully integrate and incorporate a universal reality, one that makes human heart to beat after the drum of the musician… 

…I went out from the hall enchanted to have been connected with a classic tradition revived, still vibratory of rhythms and songs that gave this performance its distinctive identity. "

 

REPORTAGES CREARC

19emes RENCONTRES DU JEUNE THEATRE EUROPEEN, Grenoble 2007


CONSIDERING GREEK DRAMAS AS MUSICAL RATHER THAN PURELY LITERARY COMPOSITIONS, AND SOPHOCLES AS ONE OF THE MOST EMINENT MUSICIANS OF HIS TIME, THIS RESEARCH AND PRESENTATION ALIGN MUSICAL DESIGN IN SOPHOCLEAN CHORAL ODES WITH A SPECIAL MEANING, AND UNDERLINE HOW SERIOUS OUR LOSS OF IT IS TO OUR APPRECIATION OF THE TOTAL THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE.

 

Image CHORIAMBUS THEATRE COMPANY presented Sophocles’ major play “Antigone” in original ancient Greek text, with respect to the musical design the poet conceived. Choral songs were been executed according to the original metrical-rhythmical sets of verses designed thoroughly by Sophocles himself. All main characters (Antigone, her sister Ismene, king Kreon, his son Aemon, soothsayer Teiresias) as well as Chorus (consisted by distinguished elderly Lords of Thebes), were been interpreted on stage by one actor, Aris Biniaris. The musician, Smaro Gregoriadou, supported the action by unveiling the musical tissue of the play. Using such a plain synthesis as just two performers on stage, participants tried to reach a fundamental simplicity, sufficient to reveal the uninterrupted vibrations of Greek drama’s foremost inspiration: perpetual movement of fate tragically shared by anyone of us!

 

Image The following points of research contributed to Smaro Gregoriadou's deeper understanding on musical quality of Sophoclean poetry:

  1. Since ancient Greek was a musical language and every single word contained specific meter, rhythm and melody, the fabric of music, movement and meaning in drama and especially in Sophocles’ plays was so tightly woven, that significant portions of the plays cannot be fully realized on stage unless the complete musical form conceived by the poet is incorporated.
  2. Rhythm of Greek poetry and language changed radically since first Hellenistic era: meter and scansion patterns (sets of metrical verses used in drama, such as choriambic, dactylic, anapaestic etc) gradually disappeared from language, but were transmitted in folk song and dance and still survive.
  3. Metrical patterns in ancient drama are not a secondary detail of the plays but a central feature of their musical organization. Just as the playwright enhanced awareness of themes with a series of recurring and developing verbal images, he also designed the music and meter to guide the audience understanding of unfolding, often ambiguous events. Inner rhythm of characters’ and chorus’ thoughts and moods is coordinated with outer rhythm and meter of the odes. The chorus becomes a single persona, a character with partial knowledge, a sharer in the action. The combination of words, meters and forms provides a new perspective on each play, since meter was conceived by tragic poet as both:
  • distributor of inner energy of characters’ moods, and
  • Symbol of cosmic order, truth, essence of God.

 

 

SCENES

 

 

Image 1. Antigone - Ismene

#PARODOS: Ode to the Sun

2. Kreon

#1st STASIMON: Ode to Man

3. Antigone - Kreon

#2nd STASIMON: Ode to Zeus

4. Aemon - Kreon

#3rd STASIMON: Ode to Eros

5. Antigone’s KOMMOS (lament & final exit)

6. Teiresias

#5th STASIMON: Ode to Bacchus

7. Kreon’s KOMMOS (lament & final exit)