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Theatre and Dance

Dionysus on the Dance Floor

Chrysanthe Oltmann ('12); Anthony Stevens*;  Anna Lazou†; Mentor: Arthur Horowitz
*College Year in Athens, College, Athens, Greece;  †University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Abstract:  The rhetoric of Top-40 songs, which advise listeners to lose yourself on the dance floor, has parallels to the cult worship of Dionysus, which express ?an overwhelming desire to free the spirit from the body through dance.  Primarily,  I researched theatrical auteurs like Theodoros Terzopoulos, in order to learn more about administering a ritual in a theatrical setting.   Furthermore, I joined the Dora Stratou Ancient Greek Orchesis Troupe, and learned the solemn Apollonian movements as well as the ecstatic Dionysian dances.  Through these experiences, I've determined that the worship of Dionysus functions to liberate the mind from orderly binaries, celebrating the complexities that define the human experience.  And just as our drinking culture functions as its own ritual, my research has given me the tools to recreate such a ritual, for the actors involved (through physical preparation) but especially for the audience (through musical repetition as well as participation).
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP  

Research at Pomona