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Wednesday
May282014

THAT FOR WHICH WE LONG

Tickets: NAC Box Office

Last weekend was the run through – two days when all the tellers come together, when we start the story at the beginning and keep telling to the end. We give each other feedback, we seek to connect more strongly to the story’s arc, we look for inconsistencies and omissions that may have crept in somewhere along the way. It’s not anything like the end of the work we’re doing for the June 14 performance, but it is a step along the path.

Somehow as the day progressed I found my thoughts turning to an artist who changed the world of contemporary dance forever – one of my artistic heroes, Pina Bausch. There’s a film about her life, entitled Pina, made by Wim Wenders. I’ve watched it more times than I can count. Much of it is about her way of choreographing her dancers. Frequently, this involved asking them questions and creating space for them to dance the answers out.

The moment which always sends shivers up my spine comes when she says quietly, “What is all this longing? What is this yearning for?” There’s yearning aplenty in The Iliad: yearning for victory; yearning for peace; yearning for glory; yearning for salvation, for a wife returned, a comfortable old age; for riches, a body undefiled, a life that has been ended given back.

That yearning touches me deeply but it was the yearning of the tellers that struck me most. I’ve always known that a large part of the answer for those of us who are artists lies in the words, “It’s the yearning to do good work.” I felt that very strongly as my colleagues risked and dared. In each, I saw the longing to do Homer justice, the commitment to give of the very best. It’s the most that can be asked of anyone—to put aside all else for the benefit of the telling. It’s what we will be bringing our listeners. You can count on it.

A glimpse then of sets four and five

Achilles’ Decision: Kim Kilpatrick

Book 18

 

Fighting now distant, all-consuming grief

battle rejoined, advice from a goddess

chaos to come

 

Time for a hero to repent his actions—actions that have had such terrible consequences. Time for a hero to take up arms again. Pride must be abandoned, set aside, forgotten, but there has been such loss.

 

 

 

 

 

Achilles’ Decision (cont.): Anne Nagy

Book 18

 

Grief, rage, revenge 

A mother’s plea, the artistry of war.

 

In the heavens, the fashioning of an object of great beauty—splendour such as the world has never seen. The detailing is exquisite, the images so rich the music of flutes captured in gold and silver is heard upon the air.

 

 

The Feud Ends: Catherine Sheehan

Book 19

 

Restitution. Compensation. Justification.

Revenge sought. Troops rallied.

A woman grieving. Human comfort spurned.

Repentance brings reconciliation, grudges atoned for, but all is to one purpose. That purpose is vengeance—vengeance on the field of battle, vengeance almighty in the war.

 

 

Achilles on the Rampage: Kathryn Hunt

Book 20

Grief turns to violence.  

Arming, then gods, chaos, confusion,

gore

There is no pity, none in the hero’s heart, none in his actions. His knees are clasped in supplication; his sword and spear still strike.

 

Tickets: NAC Box Office

 

 

 

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