In this performance, Leda Shantala searches for the beginnings of theatre, speech and movement, combining ancient Greek and Indian culture. To achieve this, she takes inspiration from Greek verses by Sappho (reconstructed by Nobel-winning Greek poet Odysseus Elytis), Homer and the hymns of Kassiani as well as verses from ancient Indian philosphical texts, from the Bhaghavad Gita, Saoudaria Lahari (hymns to the mother of the universe), Amaru Satakam (love poems by the most ancient Indian poet, Amaru)
Part 1 («Eros 1»)
is a dream-like meeting with the ancient world. By going after Sappho's words, we encounter Pan, the nymphs, sensuality and love, but also a sanscrit location on the moon. And another, Indian poem is dedicated to the harshness of unrequited love. Echoing Sappho's verse "Love who creates tales, took up my heart it and shook it to the ground, same as the wind which comes from the mountains and rushing and howling into the woods".
This part ends with an erotic dream, inspired by Aphrodite, and ends with an invocation and a hymn to the love goddess.
Part 2 («Eros ΙΙ»),
sees a change of atmosphere, from the sensual to the psychological. From Sappho to Kassiani and the Bhagavad Gita. Creative love tames instinct and the senses, leading to a path of inner evolution from the earth to the sun. We witness the misery that comes out of the joys brought by the fulfillment of the senses, and the conscious decision to break from the past habits, to become lighter as the weight of matter is abandoned. What follows is an Indian hymn to the sun ("great and sacred light, source of light, tireless eye of the universe, nucleus without beginning, middle or end, power without boundaries...") and a corresponding homeric hymn. Until the "I" becomes one with the elements of nature, which are the helpers of the sun in its great goal to illuminate the conscience.
The music of the performance.
The music was created expressly for this performance by outstanding Indian and Greek musicians and explores common musical indo-european roots. Based on existing scientific evidence, it draws inspiration by the Vedic hymn system in order to come into contact with ancient Greek musical "tropes", the tradition of which Greece has since lost.
The instruments used for the performance music are: mandoline, violin, veena, harp, tampura, Cretan lyre, rebab, rabab, kemanche among the string and plucked instruments; flutes, ney as wind instruments; mrindangam, tablas, gatam, tarang, gajira, timfany, santoor, cymbals, tabor, tambourine for percussion.