Choreia

Choreia: Pindar and Dance

WILLIAM MULLEN
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 296
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7ztr8m
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  • Book Info
    Choreia
    Book Description:

    This study reveals that the three metrical units into which most choral odes were divided refer to the disposition in space of the dancers as they recited, with climactic moments of the poetry actualized through the attitudes of the dancers and with certain themes reserved for particular sections of the poetic form.

    Originally published in 1983.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5621-3
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xii)
    W. M.
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. One PRESENCE OF THE POET
    (pp. 3-45)

    There is a Greek word for Pindar’s medium:choreia,the singing and dancing of citizens in a chorus. This was a physical and spiritual discipline to which Greek civilization in its prime assigned a central place of honor, and we need periodically to remind ourselves how alien it has become. For us the ability to sing and dance simultaneously is a virtuoso technique reserved for professionals, and even then it has been demoted to genres that make no claim to high culture—Broadway musicals and cheerleading manoeuvres. The idea that citizensascitizens should engage in singing and dancing strikes...

  6. Two POWERS OF THE DANCE
    (pp. 46-89)

    In the last days of the polis someone finally did propose that the dance figures of the civic odes, no less than their words, be fixed by some kind of notation. This is Plato’s strange suggestion in the pages from theLawswith which I began, where the phenomenon ofchoreiais analyzed for the first time in surviving Greek literature. Observing thatchoreiaconsists of the figures and rhythms of the dancers as well as the words and melodies, the old Athenian stranger asserts that it would hardly be reasonable to leave to their own whims the poets who...

  7. Three THE TRIAD
    (pp. 90-142)

    To propose to use the epode as a clue to Pindar’s choreography is to summon up a host of methodological problems that come crowding like shades to the pit. Some of these must be given blood and asked to speak; others can be allowed to drift away. Before going any further I wish to let as many as possible of these problems come forward, so that we are acquainted with the range of them.

    The premise without which no further deductions are possible, of course, is that the meter of the words and the figures of the dance flow from...

  8. Four VISUALIZATIONS
    (pp. 143-208)

    The time has come for fitting parts back into wholes. The leading feature which has governed my choice and arrangement of the three odes in this chapter is none of the conventional ones, such as the games at which the victory was won, the city of the victor, the historical or mythical interest of the figures that appear in it. It is rather, simply, the number of triads contained in each, N.5 being an ode of three triads, O.1 of four, and O.10 of five. Additional features that have led me to single out the given ode from others with...

  9. Five THE ANAGOGICAL SENSE
    (pp. 209-224)

    At the outset I proposed that in order to understand why the Greeks setchoreiaat the center of their civilization we would have to understand how each ode as a whole was greater than the sum of its parts. This effort has necessarily been focused on the epinician genre. The fact that certain effects of triadic choreography were recoverable only by statistics and visualizations has made us particularly dependent on that genre, as the only one of which a substantial body of complete examples have survived. But in concluding I should also like to make some effort to see...

  10. APPENDIX: The Late Accounts of Triadic Dance
    (pp. 225-230)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 231-260)
  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 261-264)
  13. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 265-272)
  14. INDEX OF PASSAGES IN PINDAR
    (pp. 273-276)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 277-277)