Hellenism And Modernist Performance

Hellenism And Modernist Performance


November 17, 2010 3222 Angell Hall Dr. Olga Taxidou, Reader in Drama, Dept of English Literature, University of Edinburgh This talk observed ways the encounter with Hellenism informs some of the most radical formal and thematic experiments within modernist performance and the historical avant-garde. Through a series of close readings of specific projects (taken both from the theatre and the cinema: Edward Gordon Craig, W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound on Greek tragedy; H.D. on cinema; Dadaism and Greek tragedy, Brecht's 'Antigone-model' etc.) the paper examined how this battle between the ancients and the moderns is re-staged as part of the sometimes utopian quest for a 'new' and autonomous language of performance. Although many of these projects were successful and now form part of the received history of modernist and avant-garde performance, significantly many also remained unrealisable and/or utopian or actually failed in performance. Within this context this talk underlined the significance of such 'failures' and the constitutive role of modernist Hellenism in creating an aesthetics of utopia within modernist performance. Sponsored by the Onassis Foundation, Classical Studies/Modern Greek Program and Contexts for Classics

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