Poor Dog Group

Friday, November 11, 2011

Half man and half horse, the wild and badly behaved satyrs were legendary companions of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and theater. Poor Dog Group brings together ancient satyr drama, imagery, and lore to reinvent the term “satyr play.”

Based on fragments of satyr plays found at Oxyrynchus—many by Euripides—and imagery on ancient clay pots, Dionysia delves into the ritualistic, unstable, and sometimes hilarious behavior of satyrs. Discarding the common Dionysian cliché of lust and drunken revels, these satyrs reach ecstatic heights just through knowing the omnipotence of Dionysus.

Dionysia retells the myth of Thyestes and Atreus, exposing the social and sexual politics of the late fifth century BC, an unstable time when law and natural order often reversed. The satyrs invade with their full-blown physical expression of the bestial qualities inherent in contemporary life, channeling forgotten rites and revealing a world both barbaric and beautiful.

Following a three-week residency at EMPAC with the entire cast and crew these performances are the premiere of Dionysia. Stay for a discussion with the artists following Friday night's performance. For a more in-depth look at their process take the workshop!

This performance contains nudity and may not be suitable for some audiences.

Hélène Lesterlin

Poor Dog Group is a new Los Angeles-based collective of like-minded performance and media artists committed to nurturing a distinctive aesthetic through adventurous collaboration. Their mission is to develop original theatrical expression through the creation of new work and radical reexaminations of existing texts; to redefine, educate and expand perceptions of performance and theatrical form; to have an accessibility for a new audience; to use experimental methods of the body, text, and technology; to craft new American theater; and to develop the cultivation of a limitless and periodic space.

November 11, 2011, 8PM
November 12, 2011, 8PM
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Dionysia was commissioned and originally performed at The Getty Villa Lab with additional support from UCLA.

EMPAC 2011-2012 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA