Ancient Greek Tragedy Performed in Seven Languages at Dodona Theatre

Ancient Greek drama acting as a universal, unifying language, bringing together Europe, Africa and the Middle East

July 20th, 2016
Myron Kanter-Bax, CD News

On July 20th a number of excerpts from ancient Greek tragedies will be performed at the ancient theatre of Dodona.

The ancient theatre at Dodona will showcase this innovative theatrical performance, bringing together different worlds in appreciation of ancient Greek drama, which transcends time and geography, remaining both topical and globally applicable.

Under the guidance of director, Vasileios Kontaxis, actors from Greece, France, Sweden, Germany, Egypt, Nigeria, Chile and Zimbabwe, have come together to perform a synthesis of passages of the tragedies Prometheus Bound, Iphigenia in Aulis, The Trojan Women, Electra, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Medea and Persians. Excerpts will be performed in seven different languages (Greek, Arabic, Spanish, French, English, German and Swedish).

The performances will take place on July 20th at the ancient theater, in cooperation with the Greek Central Archaeological Council. The event is held under the auspices of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Culture and Sport, Economy, Development and Tourism and the Greek National Commission of UNESCO and the artistic association "Tier".

Dodona is situated in northwestern Greece, in the region of Epirus. Here the oldest Hellenic oracle was found, possibly dating back to the second millennium BC, according to Herodotus. The theatre at Dodona was built in the early 3rd c. BC, in the reign of King Pyrrhus (297-272 BC), and is one of the largest theatres in Greece, with a capacity of approximately 15,000-17,000. It is set against the backdrop of the Sanctuary of Zeus, West of the temple. It was built to host the Naia festival, held every four years in honour of Zeus Naios. It may also have accommodated the activities of the Epirote League, of which the Sanctuary of Zeus was the seat during the period 330/325-233/2 BC.

The theatre was modified by the Romans at a later date to accommodate their gladiatorial games, which required a semi-circular central space and some protection for front row seats from activities in this space. It was restored in the 1960's and it is protected by UNESCO, hosting cultural events on special occasions.


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