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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at how ancient fifth-century Greek tragedy and myth are revived in modern performance with dance as a vital dramatic interpretive tool. It discusses mainly how Martha Graham in her versions of the classics shaped modern American dance and how Ariane Mnouchkine delivers pointed political commentary in her dancing drama based on Greek tragedy (Les Atrides). The main concentration is on the productions of these two powerful and theatrically revolutionary women who were both multicultural and assimilating in their choice of dancers and actors. In their own way they were faithful to the originals, while they expanded their dramatic vocabulary and grammar, particularly through dance. Just as their ancient theater in the world’s first democracy educated the Greeks, these modern productions still give vital insight to contemporary audiences.

Keywords: Martha Graham, Ariane Mnouchkine, Ancient Greece, mythology, drama, modern dance and text

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