THE BACCAE at the Getty Villa, May 2007

 

The beat of Brazilian drums and the bold movements of capoeira evoke the ancient Greek cult of Dionysus in this daring new interpretation by the Ipanema Theater Troupe of Euripides' final drama, The Bacchae. Five actresses and dancers portraying the Bacchae are joined by four percussionists-two of whom are capoeira masters-who will use over 20 Brazilian instruments. Together, says director Gulu Monteiro, the production will deliver "an intense mystical and ritualistic experience."

About The Bacchae
Narrated largely by a chorus of  Bacchae, followers of Dionysus, this last extant Greek tragedy describes the epic clash between the rising cult of Dionysus, god of wine and theater and symbol of the emotional and irrational, and traditional Greek beliefs and order. Seeking to avenge crimes commited against his mother, Dionysus unleashes his wrath on the city of Thebes, possessing its women with a violent and uncontrollable religious ecstasy that precipitates total social breakdown.