Emergence of theater… and inspiring rituals

Huwaida Al Hassan (Al Ain)

Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher and the first expert in theater, who formulated the principles of the art of theater in a book of poetry, wrote: “People have the instinct to diagnose since childhood, and in this aspect man differs from the animals. Once he is better able to imitate, and when he learns his first lessons in imitating things, there will remain the pleasure that men always find in diagnosis. But when did the theater appear and where? A question that may seem simple, but the truth is that it does not have a definitive answer. Ardis Nicol in his book “The Universal Play” pointed out that the first signs of the emergence of theatrical art were in ancient Egypt, where he found remains. Religious performances held at Abydos in the 2nd or 3rd millennium BC to commemorate the death of Osiris. But they are incomplete texts, and were presented inside the temples by priests without a public audience; Thus the true origin of the theater goes back to the ancient Greeks, and yet it proves that the ancient Greek playwrights owed a great debt in terms of the subject and form of their plays to the clergy who performed the sacred plays. Ancient Egypt.

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the first stimulus
Scholars claim that the true origins of theater come from the religious festivals of the “god” Dionysus, god of vegetation and source of inspiration for the joyful rituals of the Greeks, since these festivals featured the dance of the ditrampos. A chorus of fifty men, masked and dressed in goatskins, sang a collective dance. This chant is performed with musical tones and a performance of danced movement to represent a scene from the life of the “god” Dionysus and his legendary adventures. Over time, in this show, a dialogue began between the team members and their leader. , hence the basis of drama, which later became a full-fledged, integrated art.
Theatrical parties founded by the Athenian ruler Biztratus in BC. Love for the genius of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.
These theater competitions drew visitors from all over Greece to Athens for the holidays and were a powerful impetus that inspired the theater poets of the day, from Aeschylus and Sophocles to Euripides. Thus, we discover that the theater of that time came from the heart of religious rites, like most other arts. Luis Vargas believes in his book “Guia da Arte do Teatro” that the theater’s strong religious background is a more important factor in theater than is generally thought, because this fact is closely related to personality and soul. An ancient Greek drama whose themes were inspired by religious myths.
The works were presented in a large arena with circular wooden tables, in the center of which was the stage or place where the actors and the choir performed, and the seats were reserved for the priests, especially for the parish priest. “Dios” Dionísio, who reserved a central place in the middle of the stage, which transformed the theatrical spectacle into a ritual celebration. Indeed, the audience sometimes exceeded twenty thousand spectators, which was the capacity of the Athenians. theater at that time.

the sole representative
And theater at the beginning depended on a single actor, who was often the author of the text, as he did in plays, and who is credited with introducing the first or only actor into theatrical representation. And he played all the roles, relying on the use of specially made linen masks, after which Aeschylus arrived and entered the second cast, and the two actors played roles and exchanged dialogues with the chorus, after which Sophocles added to the number. The three sisters of actors, therefore, the art of theater, which is called “the father of art”.

Source: Al Ittihad






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