Antigone: Rites Of Passion

  • 2001
  • 1 HR 25 MIN
  • NR
  • Dance, Drama

Overlong but still powerful, this striking adaptation transforms Sophocles' plays Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone into a timeless ballet of grief. Though occasionally pretentious, this re-imagining of the classic Greek tragedy preserves a stage work by theatrical performance artist Amy Greenfield, who weaves ancient text and modern music into a unique interpretation...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Overlong but still powerful, this striking adaptation transforms Sophocles' plays Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone into a timeless ballet of grief. Though occasionally pretentious, this re-imagining of the classic Greek tragedy preserves a stage work by theatrical performance artist Amy Greenfield, who weaves ancient text and modern music into a unique interpretation of an often-told tale. Having learned that he inadvertently married his own mother, King Oedipus (Bertram Ross) blinds himself and wanders in self-imposed exile. Accompanied by his daughters Antigone (Greenfield) and Ismene (Janet Eilber), Oedipus spends his final days in mournful retreat while his sons, Eteocles (Silvio Facchin) and Polynices (Henry Montes), vie for the throne. The brothers kill each other in pitched battle, and their deaths pave the way for Oedipus's brother, Creon (Bertram Ross), to assume power. He decrees that Eteocles had the legitimate claim to the throne, and refuses to bury the corpse of Polynices, whom he deems a usurper. Antigone inters Polynices, risking execution for the sake of properly honoring her brother's body, but Ismene lacks the courage to break the law. Creon is enraged and even though his own son, Haemon (Sean McElroy), loves Antigone and intercedes on her behalf, will not be swayed. He exhumes Polynices' corpse, and Antigone defies him once more. Arrested for crimes against the State, the unrepentant Antigone rejects Ismene's offer to share her death sentence. Haemon searches for Antigone, who's been banished to living death in a cave, and confronts his rigid father once again. In the ensuing confrontation, Haemon accidentally stabs himself and dies. As Antigone resigns herself to being buried alive, Creon, deranged by grief, staggers through his kingdom. This production's jarringly effective blends modern dance movement, a time-honored text, contemporary music and stark drama into an often-mesmerizing descent into anguish.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Overlong but still powerful, this striking adaptation transforms Sophocles' plays Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone into a timeless ballet of grief. Though occasionally pretentious, this re-imagining of the classic Greek tragedy preserves a stage work by the… (more)

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