PROJECT SUMMARY: The Women of Sabine directed by Eve Sussmann is a Video/Opera conflating Greek and Roman myth and taking as its central theme the story of the Sabine women. Visual inspiration is taken from various paintings of Jacques-Louis David including The Intervention of the Sabine Women, The Funeral of Patroclus, and Belisarius Receiving Alms. The piece will pay homage to the timelessness of these traditions of storytelling by producing the work on location at ancient and medieval sites in Greece while morphing time within the narrative from the period of the myth to the present day. The story of the Sabine women is the seminal feminist anti-war myth: After being abducted by the Romans (Romulus’ idea to ensure the continuation of his city) the men of Sabine (years later) stage a counter-attack in an effort to gain back their women. During the intervening time, however, the women of Sabine fall in love with their captors, marry, and have children. The climax of the piece will be the staging of a choreography with accompanying aria in which the women and their children move into the battle ground, physically blocking the two warring factions of men, keeping them from bludgeoning each other and forcing reconciliation between them.
The primary setting is a market place that morphs from contemporary to ancient times during the course of the film. Integral to the piece is the melding of production elements within the fiction of the film. The boundaries between crew and performers are rendered obsolete, as the steadicam operator is also a character (a gladiator). Our contemporary conflicted condition is reflected in the presence of both animal/carnal and technological/modern characters on screen at once (the ancient warrior operating the camera is just one example). The Women of Sabine reveals a mythical story and exposes the artifice of storytelling. The gladiator camera does not attempt to disguise the elements of production within the frame.
An international cast and crew will be assembled from all parts of the globe. Dancers, actors, production crew, and vocalists come together creatively in collaboration from Greece, the US, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Australia etc.
The work will feature the highly renowned principal vocalists/improvisers Savina Yannatou (Greece), choreography by Claudia de Serpa Soares (Shaubuhne - Berlin) and musical compositions by Jonathan Bepler (USA, Cremaster Soundtrack.) The Women of Sabine will fuse operatic elements with theater and cinema, creating a multi-faceted, multi-layered experiment in the visual and musical arts.
SHOOTING LOCATION: Greece: Athens, the ancient Agora/Temple of Thisseus; the furniture market Monatiraki and food market Varvakios. Peloponese, the Fortress at Koroni; the Fortress at Methoni; the Temple of Apollon Epikur at Vassae.