Dance troupe takes its craft to ancient drama

It’s odd for a dance company to create a choreography and perform it as part of an ancient tragedy. But this approach has rendered «The Bacchae» by the National Theater one of the year’s worthiest productions. Sinequanon, a dance troupe renowned for its edgy work, choreographed the production. It is an interesting project which has been booked for performances at esteemed venues abroad, such as at the Lyon Opera Ballet led by artistic director Giorgos Loukos. Local shows have been scheduled for this month for now. It’s not unusual for Sinequanon to experiment with choreography; this is what the troupe does in its own performances. But choreographing ancient drama for the National Theater and Epidaurus is entirely different. «A unique experience – really,» said Dimitris Sotiriou, one of Sinequanon’s members, along with Ermis Malkotsis, Kiki Baka, Betty Dramisioti, and Stavroula Siamou. «We’re in a feverish mood. Five hours of rehearsals [a day] at the National Theater are not enough. [At Sinequanon] we work all day, discussing and trying things. Even when we meet up at bars at night…» When asked whether Sinequanon works according to a basic plan that is expanded as various ideas are added, Sotiriou noted: «We begin with discussion and gradually transfer what we say into our bodies. For ‘The Bacchae,’ of course, we were given certain instructions by the director, Sotiris Hadzakis, and basically dealt with a script which the actors needed to serve while we served them, so that they could stand firmly and gain strength instead of being obstructed by us.»  Sotiriou said Sinequanon’s main goal for «The Bacchae» was to «coordinate people of various speeds into unison, which is why we worked intensively as a team for a considerable period of time, with the participation of both [vocal artist] Savina Yannatou, who is responsible for the music, and the actors. Lydia Fotopoulou [actress], then carried on working a lot by herself.» Besides «The Bacchae,» Sinequanon has begun working on a new production of its own, to be presented before the festive season at its home base, Kratiras, in the capital’s Kerameikos district. The new production will follow the troupe’s aforementioned European performances.