Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

Baggage (re)claim – no. 2

July 19, 2010

You may remember my post Baggage (re)claim, in which I pondered about the correct form of the airport sign prompting you to where you can collect your luggage. At that time I suggested that the correct term should be baggage reclaim, as is written in British Airports, and not baggage claim, as is written in many other European airports. After all, the baggage is yours to start with; you just hand it to the airline and you claim it back after your travel.

It appears that a fellow blogger has made a poll about the dilemma. You can read all about it here. Sadly, most people voted “Baggage claim” as the correct term, which I believe is not true.

Here are some additional images of baggage claim or baggage reclaim signs taken at various European airports.

Zurich International Airport

Munich International Airport

London City Airport

Schiphol - Amsterdam International Airport

I would love to travel to the US, to Africa or Asia to see the signs there.


[all images © LambdaPhage]



January 5, 2009

Medea and Jason

Medea and Jason

They say that the purpose of art is to provide a vehicle for expression. In a broader sense, I believe that whatever invokes feelings can be considered art. And I do not remember any other performance invoking such strong feelings to me than Medea² by Dimitris Papaioannou, which I saw in Athens last October.

Dimitris Papaioannou, originally a comic book writer, trained in the Athens School of Fine Arts alongside the famous painter Ioannis Tsarouchis. Although Papaioannou was until recently famous only to a few as an artist, revolutionary choreographer and avant-garde director, he gained almost unanimous recognition in Greece for his inspiring work of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games in 2004. Medea, regarded to many as his pinnacle work, was presented by his Edafos Dance Company in 1993. 15 years later, raised to the power of 2, the performance has changed: with a new cast and new sound effects, it is stripped of any artistic fanfare and returns to a simpler- yet austere – form.

According to Greek mythology, the story of Medea, granddaughter of Helios, starts in Colchis, where she meets Jason in his quest with the Argonauts for the Golden Fleece. Medea, a powerful witch, offers her magical powers to Jason on the condition to marry her. They both return to Greece, where she uses her powers to rejuvenate Jason’s father. Being forced to flee from their home, due to Medea’s failure to rejuvenate other people, the family finds sanctuary to Corinth. It is there that Jason falls in love with Glauce, the princess of Corith, and abandons Medea. Outraged by his betrayal, Medea decides to avenge Jason by sending Glauce a poisonous dress and by murdering her two sons.

Sun and Dog

Sun and Dog

It is Medea’s inner mind rather than the human figure that the performance aims to illuminate. Her mind is in constant battle: there exits a bright side, portrayed by Sun, and a darker one, dominated by her dog. We witness all the stages of human despair: the betrayal of Jason; the alienation of Medea; her gradual reclusion; the inner fight to depression and the final stages of manic depression.

The most powerful scene of the play is the tantalising dance of Medea with the chairs, that portrays the final stages of her despair. From the moment that Medea touches the water, it becomes clear that her path is set. The dog has clearly won over Helios, and the inevitable will happen.

As in Euripidis’ tragedy, our heroine is not depicted a madman but a distressed and betrayed woman that decides to punish her husband for his infidelity. And although, we might not agree with Medea’s actions, we are given the opportunity to understand, if not sympathise, with her ulterior motives.

After all, katharsis in tragedy is, in essence, nothing more than a matter of proportion¹.


P.S.: For the lucky few that are still in Athens, you can watch Medea at Pallas Theatre until the 11th January.

See also: Dimitris Papaioannou, Dimitris Papaioannou on YouTube

Blogs: Nassos K, Un nouveau ideal

Medea² TV trailer

Medea² alternative TV trailer

Medea trailer

(all pictures were scanned from the performance book, © by Rene Habermacher)

¹Chimonas, Y. 1989. Yorgos Chimonas, Euripidis’ Medea. Kastaniotis Publications.