POSTCARDS: Homer's Odyssey in NYC
Irina Constantine Poulos, Choreographer and Director of Choreo Theatro Company, Collaborates with The Readers of Homer on "The Odyssey"
© Christine Jowers-2010
©Photography by Aeric Meredith -Goujon
“The Odyssey”, the legendary tale by the Greek poet Homer, describes the journey of a hero, King Odysseus, and his fellow warriors as they attempt to return to their home shores of Ithaca after battling for ten years in the Trojan War.
Blake Faulds is Odysseus . Photo by Aeric Meredith- Goujon.
A heroes’ life, especially in Greek mythology, is never simple, and therefore, neither are his travel plans. As Odysseus sails towards the kingdom where his loyal Queen Penelope and son, Telemachus, wait, he encounters various setbacks that postpone his welcome. Seductive enchantresses, sirens whose enticing songs capture men’s souls, flowers that bring on drunkenness and lethargy, battling gods and angry winds keep Odysseus from his people for another ten years after the war.
|Sirens. Lori Byargeon and Christina Noel Reaves. Photo by Aeric Meredith -Goujon.|
Irina Constantine Poulos, Director of Choreo Theatro Company grew up with these Homeric adventures. “In Greece, we read ‘The Odyssey’ when we are thirteen.” Now she is thrilled to be bringing the stories of her childhood to life as part of a grand collaboration with The Readers of Homer at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Theater on Saturday November 27th. It is an all night telling of the timeless sojourn of Ulysses, with audience members invited to read, while the dancers, singers, musicians, painters, and designers of Choreo Theatro perform mythological episodes as interludes.
Matthew Oaks, as Poseidon, and Blake Faulds , as Odysseus, in battle. Photo by Aeric Meredith Goujon.
How do epic projects begin?
The Readers of Homer, founded by Kathryn Holwein, a literary professor specializing in ancient and contemporary poetry, was born in Sacramento, California when a group of friends and Homer enthusiasts, equipped with blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights and potluck, decided to get out into the fresh air and, on separate occasions, read “The Odyssey” and “The Iliad” from dawn to dusk. . From these humble beginnings, the group has grown into an organization that produces all day and all night readings around the globe. On The Readers of Homer website, Holwein says, “ (we are) a direct attack on the culture of sound-bites, our organization aims to rekindle the need for, and the potency of, masterful language that is deeply considered and long attended to.”
The Cast of Sirens. Photo by Aeric Meredith-Goujon.
When Poulos asked Holwein, if she ever considered adding choreography to the evenings, Holwein replied via email, “ What a delightful idea,” and, with what seemed an added blessing, “You know, I have taken class with Mr. Limon.”
And so, the dancing muse, Terpsichore, is united with her sisters, and an ancient narrative becomes new again….
Blake Faulds, as the returned King Odysseus, with Christine Jowers, as Penelope,his wife and queen. Photo by Aeric Meredith-Goujon.
Yannis Simonides, Vice-President of The Readers of Homer:
The Story of The Readers of Homer
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