The Duty of Comedy Project is a collaborative initiative to explore and recreate, to inspire and educate artists and further develop their skills, to produce artistic work based on intercultural dialogue. By doing so, the project aims to develop the participants’ capacity, promote cooperative creation, as well as to establish strong partnership bonds among European cultural workers; all of these in using ancient Greek comedy writer Aristophanes and the choral songs from his plays as a springboard.
The idea to return to the past and discover parts of our identity has been intriguing at all times. The project draws inspiration from European cultural legacy and heads towards new interpretations, new artistic recreation and international collaboration. The participants will work together across political and geographical borders to create shared cultural output, each one bringing to the project a different field of expertise, adding up to inspirational cultural intertwining.
The designed activities consist of:
- Seminars on the fields of theatre, visual arts and design, music, dance, in theory and in practice, under the umbrella of comedy, mostly for young artists;
- Writing a play inspired by Aristophanes’ choral songs;
- Composing original music for the performance of the play;
- Designing an installation set;
- Creating choreography;
- Performances across Europe;
- Creating a visual arts/design exhibition inspired by comedy;
- A symposium with presentations by participants on the cultural heritage of Aristophanes and its interpretations and issues stemming from the project.
By these implementation activities, the project will unfold across Europe in various populations thus creating another basis for cultural exchange, from which artists, performing arts experts and students, cultural workers, as well as general public can benefit. The impact of the Duty of Comedy will be lasting due to structures created to undertake the project and materials that will disseminate the results, so that others can learn and gain from it.
PROJECT IN FOCUS
The Duty of Comedy is a project initiated by the lead-organiser Speira Speira (GR), with co- organisers Artluxe (UK) and Art Act Cultural Association (Romania) Simya Arts (Turkey). This collaborative initiative is using the ancient Greek comedy writer Aristophanes and the choral songs from his plays as a springboard to re-create a new play called Aristophanes Now.
Aristophanes’ plays, composed and performed in Athens during the fifth and fourth centuries BC, are the earliest surviving instance of comic drama in European culture and form part of the history of European theatre. In a nutshell, Aristophanes’ legacy to future generations is reflected in his very name: άριστος+φαίνω (aristos+feno): reveal excellence.
Today, Aristophanes’ message is as powerful as ever. His views and ideas – as spoken by the chorus in his plays – depict his strong belief in justice, respect and freedom, in the educational role of the theatre, in the duty a comedy writer has towards society. By his hilarious stories and his outspokenness, his biting satire and criticism, he “teaches” his public the truth, as he sees it, inherent in the spirit of the Athenian democracy of his era, a truth still valid in our times.
ARTLUXE creates exciting new multi-disciplinary installations and events, using a visual language which seeks new ways of experiencing art and performance. ARTLUXE projects aim to create interactive experiences by using new forms of expression and through experimentation of the relationship between space and viewer, artefact and performer. The main focus for the creation of interactive experiences relates to the development of a visual language and the research of new ways of using space, exploring new styles, forms and materials.
“The opportunity to collaborate with artists and performers from four different European countries and exchange knowledge and experience was fantastic. The cooperation project allows you to discover new ways of collaborating to produce multicultural and cross-disciplinary projects. I thought it was particularly fruitful to be able to discuss subjects/themes from different angles and with diverse cultural references. Creating an original performance as an ensemble in a cooperative project was also exhilarating! The EU Culture Programme’s input was vital for the Duty of Comedy project and the creation of the music performance ‘Aristophanes Now’. The programme facilitated and allowed for participating collaborators from each country to achieve their full potential and create unique and original final projects”.
Takis, Artistic Director, ArtLuxe
- NON-UK LEAD ORGANISATION
- WEBSITE: Click here to visit website
- ADDRESS: Socratous, 4810431 Athens
- NAME: Greek Musical Theatre Group SPEIRA SPEIRA
- COUNTRY: Greece
NON UK PARTNERS:
Art Act Cultural Association, RO
Simya Arts – Arts and Arts Education and Organizing Firm, TR