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Chorea, the Greek chorus, and ORATORIUM

The article/rehearsal diary I wrote for Biweekly.pl about Chorea Theatre‘s Oratorium Dance Project is now online. Here’s a sample:

…The project was, in part, inspired by Chorea’s work with ancient Greek music, in the Grotowski-derived, Gardzienice-cultivated Polish theatre tradition. However, Krzyżanowski and Maciaszek are attempting to create something more than an adaptation of existing sources; their Oratorium drew on jazz, polyrhythms, and the sustained repetitions of post-minimalism. It was unmistakably contemporary.

Oratorium had no over-arching plot; the texts, sung in Greek and in Polish, were a collection of ancient choruses. Krzyżanowski’s choruses were from Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ Bacchae, Orestes, and Iphigenia at Aulis; Maciaszek’s were from Limenios’ paeans to the gods, including Apollo, Artemis, and Zeus. […]

[…] The cast ranged in age from 7 to 60. Many of them had never before performed professionally. Teenagers from local high schools and community organisations, including a reform school and an addiction treatment centre, young children, and adults, all took part.

You can read the whole thing here, at Biweekly, or check out some videos from the Oratorium project below:

“Allo Phoibe”:

For this next one, “Makar Hostis” and “Lythaneo”, fast-forward to about 1:30 to see one of the largest Greek choruses you’ve ever seen dancing on stage:

This project is the reason I’ve been spending so much time in Łódź.

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