"Penthesilea" by Heinrich von Kleist / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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"Penthesilea" by Heinrich von Kleist

Pantelis Dentakis

14-23 FEB 2018
21:00
 
Upper Stage
Kleist’s "Penthesilea": Pantelis Dentakis takes the challenge of working with one of the masterpieces of romantic theatre, in a production that speaks about war and being in love. Can one fall in love with his enemy?
‘I want you, I desire you, I love you, I adore you, you are everything to me. To have conquered you suffices; to exist just for me, to possess you, to rule you.  Otherwise, I will crash you, destroy and break you.’ An emblematic work of romantic theatre, Kleist’s Penthesilea (1808) will be directed by Pantelis Dentakis. It is a production that talks about war and being in love, passion, and the merciless games of power in the perpetual battle of the sexes.

In Penthesilea, Kleist is inspired by an episode from the Trojan War, unknown to many. It tells the story of an overwhelming love affair that takes place during the war. Greeks and Amazons fight against each other in front of the walls of Troy. Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, and Achilles, the leader of the Greeks, gradually turn these battles into a dangerous erotic game.
In love, they act like beasts, wishing to devour each other. The obsessive need to rule each other turns into a horrible blood orgy.

In the production, the characters initially give a sense of uncertainty and bewilderment, as if they are placed there by accident. In all their dealings, they have a playful mood that touches the limits of satire. No one takes the other seriously, and no one feels threatened by the other. Just like every one in love, they are both tragic and comic. They sometimes get carried away by the poetry of a rapid speech; at other times, it makes them awkward. The initial dreamy atmosphere of the scenic space is transformed into a landscape of deconstruction and destruction. As Pantelis Dentakis characteristically notes: ‘Narrative theatre meets comic prose, touching the limits of farce and gradually entering the realms of ancient tragedy and splatter.’ It is a production about falling in love that begins as a harmless game, but is ultimately identified with death. 

credits

Translation: Giorgos Depastas
Director: Pantelis Dentakis
Movement: Angeliki Stellatou
Set and Costume Designer: Konstantinos Zamanis
Music: Leuteris Veniadis
Lighting & Video: Simos Sakertzis

With: Vicky Volioti, Thanos Tokakis, Argyris Xafis, Syrmo Keke, Alkisti Poulopoulou, Iro Bezou, Aeneas Tsamatis

Production: Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens
Executive Production: Lykofos– George Lykiardopoulos

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PARALLEL EVENT
Friday 16 February
After performance talk with the participants

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