April 3rd, “Antigonick”

Written by  Anne Carson  and Co-directed by Mark Jackson & Hope Mohr 

A friend of mine commented that she didn’t like this production of Antigone. She said as a story it left her cold; she didn’t really care about anyone.  Honestly, I hadn’t thought about that.  My interest in Greek tragedy, especially Antigone, has a history (Chapter 2 of my dissertation was about the Greek tragic chorus).  Hence, I am always interested to see how rhetoric gets treated in Antigone – how do the public/private, justice/law, man/god, individual/communal binaries get drawn – how much does the power of speech matter – how does the chorus move (rhetorically).  As such, I don’t need to care about anyone.   Antigonick doesn’t shy away from rhetoric even if it doesn’t “do it all.”  Not all the elements are in this production (a common fate of modern productions of Antigone, at least the one’s I’ve seen). But it didn’t bother me. Perhaps I was distracted by the dancing or the use of plastic and dirt.  Maybe it was the literal moving of a dead corpse throughout the play or the humor displayed by the messenger/guard.  There was a high level artistry in this production.  Antigonick reminds us that tragedy does matter (it can still teach).  Because we keep repeating their lessons, the Greeks are never that far away from us even if their tragedies appear differently.   I might try and see this again before it closes, and that doesn’t happen very much.

PS. I know this isn’t a dance, but there was a lot of dancing and I just couldn’t help but write about this.

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