Saturday, October 07, 2017

Elastic Theatre's "The Passion of Saints Sergius and Bacchus": An Exploration of the Merging of Eroticism and Sacredness

With today being the feast of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, I share Elastic Theatre's re-imagining of the legend of these two late Roman Empire-era saints.

Entitled The Passion of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, this 26-minute long dance performance is choreographed by Lola Maury and features Igor Urzelai as Sergius and Moreno Solinas as Bacchus. Vocals are provided by Heather Knight, Holly Rose, and Jacek Ludwig Scarso.

A statement from Elastic Theatre notes the following about The Passion of Saints Sergius and Bacchus:

This dance-theatre piece is inspired by the story of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, two high ranking officers in the third century Roman army, refusing to enter a pagan temple and subsequently being exiled, made to dress up in women’s clothing, tortured and killed. Some have come to believe that they were lovers, and their ambiguous relationship has raised fascinating and inevitably controversial issues of gender and sexuality in early Christianity.

The Passion of Saints Sergius and Bacchus is an exploration of the concept of ecstasy, here seen as a merging between eroticism and sacredness. The ambiguous way in which the hagiography of these two saints depicts their love for one another has inspired a range of accounts, suggesting an early notion of same-sex union between the two.

With an original vocal score devised collaboratively by the company and choreography by Lola Maury, the piece premiered at the Arcola Theatre in July 2009 and was subsequently presented as part of the Borderline Opera season at London Metropolitan University, in a double bill with MEDOUSA – a miniature opera.

For more of Sergius and Bacchus at The Wild Reed, see:
On the Feast of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, Thoughts on Marriage Equality in the U.S. and the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Sergius and Bacchus: Martyrs, Saints, Lovers
Honoring (and Learning from) the Passion of Saints Sergius and Bacchus
Sergius and Bacchus: Martyred Lovers
Photo of the Day – October 7, 2013

Related Off-site Links:
Sergius and Bacchus: Paired Male Saints Loved Each Other in Ancient Roman Army – Kittredge Cherry (Q Spirit, October 7, 2017).
Igor and Moreno: Contemporary Dancing, Making, Thinking

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