Track: “Married Life” from UP

[Three animals enter the space, curious and cautious of each other. They attempt to jump in unison, finally succeeding. They join hands, lean out, and spin, looking up. They tear apart from each other and lie on the ground, staring at the sky.]

Gabrielle: Άνθρωπος! I have not been able to get that word out of my head ever since we heard it in our Greek lesson. I love everything about that word. I love the way my lips pucker when I pronounce that last syllable “poos,” but mostly I love it for it’s translation. Georgia told us that it translates directly to “He who looks up,” so they use this phrase as a word to define humans – “Άνθρωπος”- because we, humans, are always looking up- whether it’s to admire the night sky, pray to god, etc. If you would like to, take a moment now to look up at the tree you’re sitting under. Whenever I look up at this tree, these mountains, or the sky, I feel so indescribably small and irrelevant, and to me that is the most fantastic feeling in the world. Feeling that small means ultimate freedom merged with ultimate possibility. Looking up lets me feel the gentle indifference of the world.

[Gabby crosses the space to stand on the wall facing the mountains. Liliana and Gokhan join her.]

Gabby: Άνθρωπος!
Gokhan: Καρπούζι!
Liliana: Oxymoron!
Gabrielle: Oxymoron?

[Liliana becomes Meropi, teaching Greek to Gokhan and Gabrielle]

Liliana: I have a lot of favorite words, but the one that feels most relevant right now is oxymoron. I learnt about the origins of the word in a Greek lesson a few years ago; it comes from the words οξύς – omicron, xi, upsilon, sigma – meaning ‘sharp’ or ‘sharp-witted’, and μωρός – mi, omega, rho, omicron, sigma – meaning ‘foolish’. So the word oxymoron literally means ‘sharp witted fool’, meaning the word oxymoron is literally an oxymoron, which to me is kinda awesome, and it feels really cool to say that in Greece.

[Gokhan approaches Liliana with his notebook.]

Gokhan: Is this right?
Liliana: Yeah, looks good.

[Gokhan sits on the wall; Gabrielle and Liliana stand on either side of him, eating watermelon as he talks.]

Gokhan: My favorite word is the most magnificent word in the greek language, Καρπούζι. Καρπούζι means watermelon. The phonetics of the word are profound; there’s strength and aggression at the beginning, kar! Then satisfaction and gentleness in the middle, pooz, and a yelp of delight at the end, i! And this word is very similar to a turkish word karpuz which also means watermelon. You know, it’s a shame that Turks and Greeks have been at war over calling watermelon karpooz or Καρπούζι for hundreds of years. Karpooz, καρπούζι, karpooz, καρπούζι. Waging war on a meaningless front, all for an iota-
All: Supposedly!
Gokhan: Greeks and Turks are actually very similar; we have dolma you have dolmades, we have cacik you have tzaziki, we have lokum you have loukumi, all of our dances are the same. So let’s just embrace each other and all unite under the miracle known as καρπούζι.  All this talk about καρπούζι has got my saliva going, wish I had some right now.

[Gabrielle and Liliana throw away their watermelon rinds. The three exchange looks]

Gabrielle: Καρποοζι.
Liliana: Άνθρωπος.
Gokhan: Oxymoron.

[The three run to reform their circle and spin once more. As they break apart, they become creatures again, scuttling back to their hiding places, but not without one last look of farewell.]


Composition 5: Chorus

Places to choose from: Megalo’s village square rehearsals with Agelita, Mikro’s village square Greek


* an act of translation

* a pause

* a favorite word

* a moment of trust

* an image equally composed and captioned

* a ripped seam

* an uncontrollable laugh

* a physical challenge

* a line from Trojan Women

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