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XII Edition - The Bacchae

From The Bacchae by Euripides

Modern Greek translation: Yorgos Himonas

Direction: Tasos Ratzos

Directing supervision: Nikitas Tsakiroglou

Set & Costumes design: Evagelia Kirkine

Music: Kostas Vomvolos

Choreography: Konstantinos Gerardos

Assistant director: Korina Haritou

Assistant set & costumes designer: Evi Kambouraki

Assistant choreographer: Eleni Gioura

Dramaturg: Dimitra Mitta

Instruction of Greek traditional dance: Yorgos Likessas

Production co-ordinator: Elias Kotopoulos

Stage manager: Thodoros Tsalouchidis

Cast: Areti Agelou, Iordanis Aivazoglou, Vassilis Vassilakis (Kadmos), Apostolos Bacharidis (Servant), Paola Milona, Ioanna Payataki (Agavi), Fani Panagiotidou, Erato Pissi, Kostas Santas (Tiresias), Thalia Skarlatou, Eva Sofronidou, Christos Sougaris (Pentheus), Christos Tantalakis (Messanger B), Stratos Tzortzoglou (Dionysus), Anny Tsolakidou, Yannis Harissis (Messenger A), Marina Hatziioannou

Song: Roula Manissanou

Musicians: Sakis Laios (clarinet), Nektaria Liaskou (accordion), Dimitris Panagoulias (percussion)

The inhabitants of a village in Thrace come together once every three years at a designated spot to re-enact the myth of the Bacchae (the female cult followers of Dionysus). They give a performance using the simple means at their disposal combined with all that has been handed down to them by the tradition of Dionysian worship over time. Each actor has his or her role in the play and its ritual and all together they make up a chorus of active participants in this story of the clash between the god, Dionysus, and the critic of his festivities, the young king Pentheus. The villagers of the troupe connect with one another through feting and communing with Dionysus. The festivities feature wine-drinking, live music and elements drawn from folk theatre. A sense of unity is created by circular dance formations, in the gatherings where eating, drinking, dance and discussion recreate the symposia of antiquity and, of course, through the costumes befitting their roles. They participate in a collective experience of initiation, ecstasy and revitalisation. The joy of this celebration, the elation of merry-making and the catharsis of the dramatic experience bestow equilibrium with those forces of life which act as a counterbalance, constraining the villagers within the rigid limits of their everyday lives. Fears are dispelled; virtue, worldly sensibilities and the words “I am alive” acquire their full meaning —and then, albeit temporarily, the mystery of life is revealed. The initiated become one with the god and experience wholeness.