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OEDIPUS REX

The water ballet of mythical bears in Salzburg

STEFAN TSCHANDL / Der Standart

2002-08-14

“The city, as you see yourself, has almost drowned” – the priest of Zeus’ is warning his proud king Oedipus, who without knowing has murdered his father, married his mother and will pronounce a verdict to himself. Sophocles’ play staged by Oskaras Korsunovas is dynamic and playful, however, at the same time it stays a real tragedy.
The deep link of the performance is dance and music. Percussionist Arkadij Gotesman beats time and makes the actors dance. From a moderately clumsy Oedipus’ disco style step to the cancan of chorus or servant’s march – the rhythm makes the action move forward, it reaches the height and the depth. It lets out a sharp cry of a clairvoyant, who, in an impressive scene clumsily though delicately swinging on Oedipus’ shoulders as a toy, cries out the following words: “You are the murderer you’re looking for!” It’s a very effective scene of absurd affection.
Chorus used to be a static narrator of antique plays, and here, having managed ballet and vocals, it’s whisking along the performance as a mouse, thus vivifying the tragedy with its light swiftness. A disconcerting contrast of the clinically cold settings and ironical clothes hints to a cruel world of childhood and mutilated (if not destroyed) heaven, does not make any harm to a performance and its essence.
STEFAN TSCHANDL