Eleni in Euripides tragedy is in Egypt for many years already, in the palace of Proteus, after whose death his son and successor Theoklymenos, persists despite her refusal to marry her. In the prologue Eleni who sat suppliant by the grave of Proteus, she now stands up and presents herself to the audience in order to explain the reason of her presence in Egypt and her recourse at the Proteus Grave. She recounts her origin by saying that she is Tyndareo’s and Lyda’s daughter, but without excluding the case to be Zeus’ daughter, who is rumoured to have approached amorously her mother in the form of a swan.
So her calamities start from the victory of Venus during the judgment of beauty, when Venus in order to ensure her election from Paris she promised as his reward his marriage to Eleni. But Hera angry about her defeat, she creates a model (idol) made of cloud which Paris will take with him, thinking he kidnaps Eleni. Zeus sent Eleni in Egypt by Hermes to live in Proteus palace, while waiting for her husband Menelaus to return from war.
Eleni by Eyripides was written in 412 BC and presented for the first time in the same period, namely when the Sicilian expedition had just ended with the rout of the Athenian fleet. At the same time the sophist movement was growing, that had begun to question traditional values and caused by the criticizing of its representatives a crisis in democracy and disrespect phenomena.
Perhaps, the element that fascinates the most, as far as this particular play is concerned, is the transformation. It seems, as if the myth stares itself in the mirror and sees its own self, smiling, maybe ironically or even with a slight bitterness. Euripides takes the story that we all have been taught firstly, before any other text, in the high school books, that of the Helen’s rape, and, without changing anything to the original subject, perverts the image on the mirror, in a poetic and allusive way.
Translation: Tasos Roussos, Direction: Aris Michopoulos, Choreography: Kostas Antonatos, Music: Christos Theodorou, Scenery: Aris Michopoulos, Costumes: Stamatia Antonatou, Lights: Katerina Papadakou, Dramaturgy: Konni Sofiadou, Photos: Marilena Stafylidou
Actors: Thalea Griva, Yannis Douratsos, Aliki Zacharopoulou, Menelaos Zafiropoulos, Dimitra Kokkori, Despina Malliarou, Chrysostomos Papanikolaou, Panos Troumpounelis, Antigoni Fryda
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 21.00
Michalis Cacoyannis' Foundation
206 Peiraios Str, Tavros, http://www.mcf.gr/
Admission 20 euro
Helen by Euripides at the MCF
Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, the Greek Cultural Center in Moscow and the tourist agent Golden Travel, in cooperation with the Theatre Company "The Other Side", that conducts studies, research and gives live performances on scene, of ancient drama plays since 2001, present Eleni by Euripides, on 22 August, directed by Aris Michopoulos, in the theatre of Michael Cacopyanni Foundation with Russian and English surtitles.
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