Chorus with Georgia – Brittney Bressler

For the past few days we have had the privilege to work with Georgia Tsangaraki, who has been participating in productions at the National Theatre of Greece for over twenty years. Working with her has been both challenging and enlightening, rigorous and exciting, and she has made me question all I thought I knew about ensemble work.

Working in an ensemble is difficult enough, but working in a chorus for Greek theatre performed outdoors brings many new challenges. Georgia says each member of our chorus needs to be incredibly strong, as we must have the ability to fill the space of an outdoor Greek theatre, sending our voices to even the mountains and trees.
Throughout our sessions, we have been working on developing the Muses, who are first mentioned in the beginning of Theogony, the text upon which our final performance will be based. She has challenged us to perform together without choreography. “We are not dancers, we are fighters,” she says, so we must stay connected as an ensemble and create movement and images that arise organically from the moment using peripheral vision. Not just this, but our eyes must be up as we move, our fingers energized, and our pelvises low but light so we can glide through the space.
Interestingly, whenever there seems to be something off about our ensemble energy, she can immediately sense it and is quick to point it out, really pushing us to sweat in everything that we do. One of my favorite things we have discovered with Georgia is this sort of tribal circle of movement and sound. When we circle up, sinking into our legs and hips, and creating a low and chanting soundscape with our voices, I am able to lose myself in the group, and our ensemble feels very alive.
I am excited that Georgia is helping us rediscover our tribal essence as humans who need one another to survive, and it is in those moments of high energy and connectedness that I don’t feel self-conscious or like I need to be doing the “right” thing, but I instead give myself over to the group. As I have learned throughout this week, dynamic theatre is about one’s relationship to the outside world.
-Brittney Bressler, 7/24

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