Part of the CORPO | TO THE ABYSS | HOLY FATHER trilogy
by Antonia Oikonomou
In the Contemporary Theatre of Athens
Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno”
“…all hope abandon, yee who enter here.”
Dante Alighieri, Canto III.1–7, Inferno, Divina Commedia.
Out of nowhere, Dante presents himself to the audience calm, arrogant and at the same time petrified in the dark woods. Α divinely chosen witness who was called on to document the atrocities of Hell with the hope that his memory does not betray him at the end of the journey so that he can write about it. The poet is rescued and guided by Virgil who is sent to guide him through Hell up to the Purgatory and deliver him to his beloved Beatrice. In CORPO, Virgil is the embodiment of the intellect and the voice of rationality and on stage is represented by the musicians themselves who, through music, dissolve any obstacles or difficulties Dante encounters along his way. Right underneath Jerusalem, Dante begins his descent with Virgil down the steep circles of Hell, to the center of the earth where they find the Devil. The concept of “earth” and of “descend”, are central elements in the atmosphere CORPO attempts to convey.
CORPO in Italian means “body” because the tortures in Hell afflict physical pain, as the sinners in Dante’s Divine Comedy are described in having flesh and bones, contrary to our popular beliefs of what happens to our body in the afterlife. CORPO aims at externalizing the chaos and expose this reappearing contrast between order and disorder, which dominate Dante’s Inferno.
The concept of the circle and all the symbolisms that it carries, is central to Dante’s Inferno and in CORPO the circle, or even better this idea of the “loop”, is key to the understanding of the piece. The tortures ,which are attributed to each individual sin, are executed at the same rate and intensity for all eternity in a circular, instead of linear, manner. The bodies of the dancers represent the bodies of the tortured sinners. Precisely because they are dead, the sinners have acquired an eternal body which cannot decay. The pain they experience is physical and the poor sinners cannot feel physical exhaustion in response to it. The tortured sinners suffer, shriek, scream as their reaction is always relative to the pain that is inflicted on them. Thus, throughout the piece, the dancers’ movement is constantly intense and aggressive.
Artistic Director | Choreographer:
Loop Music Compositions:
Material devised and performed by:
Sotiris Tsolis (Drums)
Stavros Parginos (Cello)
Labros Papanikolaou (Double Bass)
Wednesday 25 October
Thursday 26 October
Wednesday 1 November
Thursday 2 November