Greek mime artists to debut in Macau this weekend

Friday, October 10, 2008
Issue 492, Page 6
Word count: 475
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Seeking Oedipus, which is a “myth meets mime” production that tells the karma of King Oedipus who murders a paedophile that happens to be his father and marries the love of his life who happens to be his mother, will be the first ever Greek project the Macao Cultural Centre is bringing to local audiences tomorrow and on Sunday.

Five of the six actors from the Theatre of Silence that have been interpreting the play since 2004 gave a meet-the-press session at the Macao Cultural Centre (CCM) yesterday.

Led by playwright and director Aspasia Kralli who also plays the role of a mystic, Teiresias, in Seeking Oedipus, the group consisted of Georgios Tsampourakis (Oedipus), Ilias Meletis (Laius), Malamatenia Gkotsi (Jocasta), as well as Iason Bitter-Kourounis (Chryssipus).

Aspasia, a Greek director, actress and mime educator, founded the Theatre of Silence in 1993 after her teacher and mime master Marcel Marceau encouraged her to create her own group because of mime’s Greek origins.

Although Aspasia said she had learned how to teach through Marceau’s teaching, the mime master reminded her “not to imitate him” when she was setting up her own theatre.

Thus Aspasia said she always read a lot of myth related literature so as to keep having new ideas and thoughts injected into her productions.

In addition, she said she liked to “incorporate daily body movements with mime plays”.

Seeking Oedipus tells of a Greek myth and is portrayed without the presence of speech, but Aspasia said she was not concerned about giving performances to Asian people as “the synopsis is quite simple and could happen in everyday life”.

“The play is directed at all human beings, it’s international,” she added.

“Born in ancient Greece’s open-air theatres, mime has withstood the centuries, establishing itself as the most universal of all theatrical genres,” the CCM leaflet introduces,” The absence of speech, the condensed time, the easily recognisable body language, they connect with any person, young or old, western or oriental”.

Malamatenia and Georgios, who play the queen Jocasta and son Oedipus respectively, also said that it was “very challenging” not having any scripts but only body languages to produce a scene.

“We’ve to express our feelings in such a concentrated timeframe and with limited characters,” Georgios said, adding “it’s very intense, there is only a little time but we have many things needed to be narrated.”

Stavros Gasparatos, the musician of the team, said he tried to produce “breathtaking music” for Seeking Oedipus but at the same time to keep it “as least as possible so it won’t tell too much of the story”.

Seeking Oedipus will be staged at 8pm in CCM tomorrow and on Sunday. A post-performance talk hosted by Dr Lo Wai Luk and Dr Chiu Man Yin will be held for free tomorrow in the small auditorium.

For inquiries, call (853) 28700699.

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