If it were not to Dionysus that they made a procession and sang the shameful phallic hymn, theirs would be a most shameful act. Heraclitus
Choròs is the dance, those who perform it and the place it manifests in: an empty circle at the heart of the agorà.
The orchestra is the space in which one dances, ritual and non-representative.
A mythical incident is sung and danced, which is not evoked as in a tale, but rather it truly happens, like a primigenial force which acts upon and inebriates the onlooking social body, gathered round in a circle. The actor is born later, invented by Thespis to lend intervals of respite to the chorus.
Tragikòs is the song of the goat or for the goat, it is unknown. Everything is for Dionysus. Everything is Dionysus!
But what is left?
We first forgot what to celebrate, then how.
What’s left are literary works of immeasurable beauty, but most of all, some devices remain.
Perhaps tragedy abides by the rule of sacred art, its essence not residing in the religious theme, but rather in the arrangement of shapes in space. And it is precisely the shapes of the tragic chorus that we will be focusing on. Trying to analyze not the words of the chorus, but its form and origin: the song, the dance, the space, the time.
Are speaking in unison and synchronous movement enough?
Practice proves the opposite: the simpler the gesture and sound are, the clearer the chasm separating us from others is. One would think that gestures are multiplied and the air is saturated with words only to hide the difficulty in tapping into the rhythmic force vibrating within every one of us.
Choreography and polyphony, sublime as they may be, are but degraded forms of what was collective sound, breath and movement.
Chorus is a sole voice, first person singular.
Character risen to collectivity.
Force which manifests in the breath of the world.
Inner energy within nobody and everybody.
To study the workings of the chorus is to fathom the depths of the person, giving back to theater its sacred origin as a community rite.
The chorus teaches us to recognize ourselves in the other, but most of all to be alone on stage.
With our own secret wound.
But alone as a you, never as an I.
Every actor is to bring their own: