Performing Arts Award 2023
From the Association of Theater and Performing Arts Critics
After its extremely successful presentation in May 2023, the performance “SEBASTIAN” by the group Nova Melancholia, directed by Vassilis Noulas, returns for six performances at PLYFA from February 6, 2024.
The show was honored by the Association of Theater and Performing Arts Critics with the Performing Arts Award for the 2023 artistic season.
Sebastian is a polyprismatic archetype, a kaleidoscope, an avatar of desires and moods. Reflecting on the tradition of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, as it is reformulated through the dense figurative representation in Western art from the early Renaissance onwards, we focus on concepts / sensations / symbols that touch our own sensibility and imagination. The performance is the totality of its cultural references. We read poems, reenact paintings, act, pose, sing, dance, get inspired by the tradition of an eccentric, experimental cinema. We are interested in the co-emotional and embodied practices through which we today can relate to such a symbol.
Sebastian is associated with youth, beauty, sports, archery, carnal pain, hideousness, homoeroticism, martyrdom. A primary co-signification around Saint Sebastian (since the Middle Ages) is the Plague, the Black Death. We associate the tradition of homoeroticism around the figure of Sebastian, with the AIDS disease that was considered in the 80’s and 90’s a kind of “gay plague”. Like people at the dawn of European modernity, we too today resort to Saint Sebastian as an apocalyptic symbol of evil. The show is dedicated to those who take the risk to go from vision to experience, from representation to performance, risking the misunderstanding of existence.
More information about Nova Melancholia, and the performances it has presented, can be found at novamelancholia.gr
* The show is dedicated to HIV positive activist Zackie and experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger who died in May 2023