Friday, December 22, 2006


So we went to that performance choreographed by the guy who did the choreography for Athens 2004. Athens 2004 opening and closing were not bad at all. Papaioannou is his name. Apparently he is well known. I don't know the first thing about darnce.

The performance we went to was called "2" and featured an all male cast. It explores men, manliness, masculinity etc.

I am no critic, just someone who went to the performance, to a certain extent against his will, but with a healthy dose of curiosity and with a sense of obligation, so as to ensure that I too would be able to throw my 2 cents into the ring whenever the conversation would turn to the performance.

The stage was minimalist to the extreme. It was empty. All necessary partitions and stage props were carried in and out to great effect by the dancers themselves. There would often be two or three (once or twice even more) poles of interest on the stage at the same time, which worked well enough, although the occasional full cast tableaux were less effective.

Plot-wise, I did not find myself wondering "what the fuck is going on now?" more than two or three times during the show and I must admit that the emphasis on masturbation which was depicted in various ways at various times in the show was a little disconcerting.

There was a small moment of joy when I recognized a reference to the Aristophanes story from the Symposium of Plato. Unfortunately no one else seemed to notice and I had to quietly smile and nod alone as the two dancers stuck back to back became unstuck (with suitably schlocky sound effects) and began their journey as two halves longing to be re-joined. The scene was repeated towards the end of the show.

Some scenes dragged, others were fun enough. In all, though, I would not rate it too highly. Everyone is ranting and raving, but I get the feeling that this is more because one feels compelled to rant and rave about it lest one be considered boorish and unknowing. Yes, some scenes were good and memorable, others were how I would imagine Greek darnce to be, extrapolating from what I have seen of theatre in Greece. At best, the vast majority of theatre in Greece today may described as provincial and lacking in subtlty and finesse. Certain scenes in "2" seemed to have been dumbed down or exaggerated as if the artist was creating for an audience which lacks the ability to appreciate real art, rather than creating for his own gratification.

It was worth having gone, though, if only to be able to have an opinion.

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