Four movies. One Soundtrack. No happy end.
ELECTRA 21, a Liquid Staging show consisting of four films running synchronously to one soundtrack with the music of Mikis Theodorakis. In the center, the audience.
4 films, played simultaneously on
4 different screens that are
placed around the audience area
ELECTRA 21 – An immersive cinematic experience of the 21st century.
For a long time, I’ve had a vision of combining the worlds of cinema, ballet and show – in a work of art for the 21st century. Hence the title ELECTRA 21.
The Liquid Staging project, ELECTRA 21, consists of four films, played simultaneously on four different screens that are placed around the audience area, showing different dance scenes, rehearsals, and fantasies based on the Electra ballet performance by choreographer Renato Zanella.
The four films are played synchronously to the same musical recording of the Electra opera by Mikis Theodorakis.
This cinematic show installation moves away from the one-dimensional view of the 19th century and offers the audience the polydimensional perspective, which corresponds far better to the complexity of our epoch.
I was extraordinarily lucky to be able to use the phenomenal music of Mikis Theodorakis as the basis for ELECTRA 21, and to work with him personally on the soundtrack in July 2021.
The music of Mikis Theodorakis, the gripping elemental choreography of Renato Zanella, the fantastic dance artistry of Sofia Pintzou, the mastery of the cinematographer James Chressanthis (ASC) and the artistic input of Achilleas Gatsopoulos and of all the other artists involved in this project, make our liquid staging production, ELECTRA 21, an impressive, highly emotional and innovative work.
Asteris Kutulas, October 2021
Electra, a timeless thriller by Sophocles.
The father sacrifices his eldest daughter for power and fame.
Years later, his wife takes revenge and slays him.
Their children, Electra and Orestes, kill her to avenge their father.
A circle of hatred and destruction. No happy ending.
Mikis Theodorakis on Electra & Clytemnestra
Agamemnon kills his daughter Iphigenia: in doing so, he violates the law of universal harmony; Clytemnestra kills her husband Agamemnon in revenge: she also violates this law; their children Electra and Orestes ostensibly follow this law, but when they kill their mother Clytemnestra, this continues the act of tragic entanglement and begins a new cycle of criminal action.
Electra is a young girl, beautiful but lonely, a princess who has „married“ the shadow of her father Agamemnon, the daughter who loves her murdered father above all else. As a result, there is something magical about this character.
Electra hates her mother Clytemnestra, and this hatred is something unnatural.
Electra loves her father’s shadow, she loves her brother Orestes, the liberator, but she is also an example of harshness and bloodshed. Orestes has returned out of love for his sister and for his father, whom he wants to avenge; but by actually doing so, he himself becomes a victim.
But one must also understand Clytemnestra. She was a witness when her husband murdered Iphigenia, the youngest daughter. There is a lot of talk about Clytemnestra, but there is silence about Cassandra. Agamemnon is in Troy for ten years, waging war. And when he finally returns to Mycenae, he brings Cassandra with him to the palace as his mistress.
For me, Electra or Clytemnestra are not characters from a time two thousand years ago; rather, they represent our world, the torn world of today. The feelings that moved Elektra or Orestes have moved people at all times; their dramas are the same as those that take place today.
ELECTRA 21 – A Liquid Staging audience experience
Presented are four simultaneously running films, all based on the same musical recording of the Electra opera by Mikis Theodorakis.
Precisely synchronized with this ELECTRA 21 music, the four films representing the following four levels (layers) of the complete work, ELECTRA 21, will be shown on four screens:
Screen 1: ballet film | the (cinematic) recorded ballet performance, ELECTRA, in the „Apollo“ theater in Ermoupolis on Syros
Screen 2: genesis of the ballet, rehearsals | recording of the rehearsals for this ballet performance at different locations in Austria and in Greece, with the dancers and the choreographer Renato Zanella
Screen 3: genesis of the text & associations | „fictional scenes“ with the people involved in this ballet production, combined with graphically designed insertions of the Sophocles text passages, each of which can be seen synchronously with the music feed
Screen 4: genesis of the music and the recording | Mikis Theodorakis conducts the musical recording of the opera, ELECTRA, in the studio in St. Petersburg, which was used as the basis for the Electra ballet performance. These film recordings are mixed with video clips of young conductors conducting the 22 scenes of the ELECTRA 21 soundtrack.
Polymedial vision as a new show format. ELECTRA 21 redefines the audience experience. Visitors can decide at any moment what they want to see and where to focus their attention. In the process, the viewer will always perceive more than one thing at once, and no two people see the same thing.
ELECTRA 21 CREDITS (INSTALLATION)
A Liquid Staging Installation by Asteris Kutulas on the Music by Mikis Theodorakis
Choreography by Renato Zanella | Cinematography by James Chressanthis ASC, GSC | Art Direction by Achilleas Gatsopoulos | Music Production, Editing & Mastering by Alexandros Karozas | Scenography & Production by Georgios Kolios | Associated Producer Christopher Kikis | Co-Produced by Schott Music | Concept & Produced by Asteris & Ina Kutulas | Created & Directed by Asteris Kutulas
Featuring Sofia Pintzou, Alexandra Gravilescu, Tamara Alves Dornelas Souza, Eltion Merja, Valentin Stoica, Florient Cador
Special appearance by Katherina Markowskaya, Maria Zlatani, Lefteris Veniadis, Phaidra Giannelou, Clément Nonciaux, Leandros Zotos, Ariadne Koutoulas
Special thanks to Peter Hanser-Strecker, Tim Dowdall, Rafaela Wilde, Thorsten Schaumann, Oliver Schulze & Frank Wunderatsch