THE INFLUENTIALS 2011 Theodoros Terzopoulos
The eternal sunsine of a geious theatre mind.
Only last year did I discover the geniuses of Terzopoulos as a theatre director. I made a quick visit to Athens to watch some performances. I was told that the performance Alarme, directed by Theodoros Terzopoulos in Attis Theatre was based on the correspondence between Queen Elizabeth A’ and Maria Stewart. But I was not prepared for what was to follow: an excellent physical, witty, erotic study on the symbiotic relationship between two queens that were never met in real life. The two actresses were bending and pressing their stomachs, reminding a couple of gilded snakes, which know that their fates are inevitably connected. Instantly I recognized that I was watching the work of a theatre genius. I could see that Terzopoulos was connected to directors like Jerzy Grotowski, Heiner Müller and Tadashi Suzuki. However, Alarme clearly was the work of a sui generis genius, of someone who could create an indelible theatre picture invoking all available vocal and physical expressive means.
Being straight, I found the performance incredibly sexy. My first impression on Terzopoulos was fully confirmed, when he presented the performance Il Deserto in London, in St. Pancras’ Crypt. We sat in the twilight and we witnessed the brilliant Paolo Musio interpreting a man buried in the desert. While his words were spilled out, I remembered one of Becket’s heroes, who invokes language to repel death. The image of a man suspended in the void reminded me of Dante’s Inferno. What I have gathered was that Terzopoulos, internationally known for directing ancient greek tragedies, is one of the best living directors, especially when it comes to the interpretation of the despair of a squashed human animal.
Michael Billington, The Influentials 2011: Theodoros Terzopoulos, The eternal sunshine of the genius theatre mind, LIFO, December 21st, 2011
To read the article as published, visit the following link: http://www.lifo.gr/mag/features/3022