András Kozma
The Return of Dionysus
“In Terzopoulos’s theatre, myth is not a fable but a condensed experience; the rehearsal process is not the performance of a dramatic concept but an adventurous journey through the landscapes of memory, a search for the lost keys to body and speech, to the word as a natural unity.” (Heiner Müller) Seventy-seven-year-old Theodoros Terzopoulos, is a leading figure not only in Greek theatre but also in the international theatrical world: company director, an innovator of theatrical form, and one of the founders of the International Theatre Olympics. The Greek master maintains that only by practising theatrical rites can we return to the spirit of the ancient tragedies. To achieve this, he developed and published in a book his theatrical method, called The Return of Dionysus. His career begins in the 1970s: between 1972 and 1976 he worked at the Berliner Ensemble, where he meets the German playwright-director, Heiner Müller, who is one of the world-renowned artists with whom in 1994 he created the International Theatre Olympics, one of the world’s largest theatre festivals. As the host of the first Olympics, in Delphi, Greece, he welcomes foreign companies to rediscover ancient tragedies. In 1985 Terzopoulos founds the Attis Theatre in Athens, whose first performance in 1986 was The Bacchae. His particular way of working emerges in the creation of this production, which already contains the most important elements of his artistic credo. His methods and training have been presented and applied in many renowned workshops. He has worked in major theatres around the world, including the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Taganka in Moscow, the Teatro Piccolo in Milan, in Künstlerhaus Bethanien, West Berlin’s once legendary alternative art centre, or in the Schauspielhaus in Düsseldorf. His production of Dionysus was presented at the Bogotá International Festival in 1991, where it won the Best Director prize.