Elli Papakonstantinou

The Bacchae
After Euripides

Elli Papakonstantinou’s The Bacchae is an original reading of Euripides’ tragedy, weaving ancient myth and research on gender fluidity together and making full use of new media, dance and sound, and mystical experiences. The dramatist immerses herself in the nebulous world of desire and mythical atrocities in order to speak out about a post-apocalyptic world in the face of an upcoming, ever-approaching catastrophe.

Wealthy members of the upper middle class and their servant, in circumstances similar to those in Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia, are waiting any minute now for a meteorite to hit the Earth; a meteorite named “Dionysus” by the scientists. Dionysus arrives in person and guides the heroes to the Room of Desire. There is no other room more terrifying than that. To reach it, they must traverse a mysterious energy field, overcoming the fear of revelation, fall, contamination, decay, hubris and shame. The god Dionysus will not take refusal, postponement, contempt for an answer. He will execute his mission at all costs. A seismograph records every vibration shaking the house on a paper roll that ceaselessly unfolds on stage; a gigantic oscilloscope of the world. The play is built upon speech, music and a dance narrative, investigating a queer performing language, one that is pop yet contains classic operatic outbursts, at once dance-based, mystical and subtle. The Venezuelan alchemist of sounds Ariah Lester and the imaginative choreography of the French duo of Christophe Béranger and Jonathan Pranlas Descours also contributed to the creation of this multilingual play, with English, French, Spanish and Greek all heard on stage.

The Athens Epidaurus Festival performance is part of the European tour of this production, following its premiere at La Filature, Scène nationale de Mulhouse in France in March 2023.

The performance contains nudity.

The performance contains strobe lights.

grape Greek Agora of Performance is an exciting new initiative by the Athens Epidaurus Festival aiming to establish a platform for Greek artists to communicate with the international Theatre and Dance scene, giving them the opportunity to present their works to representatives and artistic directors of international festivals and cultural institutions abroad. The platform presents 14 new productions in two periods: 3 – 8 July & 18 – 22 July.

grape is open to the general public and is part of the main artistic programme of the Athens Epidaurus Festival. The performances included are also scheduled on dates outside the duration of the platform.

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