FTA Review: ‘Titans’ immortalized in beguiling absurdist creation

Laskaridis' existentialist play on the futility of being proves a serendipitous discovery at this year's FTA

TITANS (© Julian Mommert)

How does one not respond affectionately to a creature/creation that lowers your guard with its guileless spirit of play, magnetic charisma, and childlike sense of wonder?

An avant garde dream summoned and transposed to our tangible realm by Osmosis‘ Euripides Laskaridis – a leading figure in contemporary Greek performance, who here makes his Festival TransAmériques debut – Titans is a deliberately nonsensical, absurdist creation burrowing into the futility of human condition and routine.

Situated in an atemporal landscape in constant transformation (the exquisitely whimsical set design is by Laskaridis), a zany pair of androgynous Titans interact with and react to the elements of the expansive, celestial universe inhabiting them. Caught in a life of the ritualistic, cyclical, and meaningless, their activities are ludicrous but not wholly preposterous (ironing one’s hair is not such a distant enterprise); their speech, unintelligible – but not void of rich nuance; their behaviours, irrational – but not at all incongruous in the experiences and expressions of pain, solitude, and emptiness. Mischievous and vain yet entirely endearing, their delicate human faults and vices are fully identifiable among their freakish idiosyncracies, making the laughable all the more conceivable.


TITANS (© Elina Giounanli)

Laskaridis’ mythological fable of being and nothingness is an audiovisual feat; its eccentric giants and their fantastical world are here immortalized and rendered by the deities of Angelos Mentis (Costume Design and Prosthetics), Giorgos Poulios (Original Music and Sound Design), and Eliza Alexandropoulou (Lighting Design). The motifs of transformation and rotation in the piece manifest themselves in an assemblage of pendulous fluorescent light structures, seasonal imagery, and transfigured commonplace objects dwelling the characters’ sundry of workspaces and playgrounds and panoramas. The most striking of visuals, however, is of the androgynous, long-nosed Titan inhabited by Laskaridis contrasted by the dark looming figure of Dimitris Matsoukas – both of whom enrapture in a performance of unexpected charm and humour.

Titans makes extraordinary of the ordinary in a grotesquely farcical yet poignantly sensitive exploration of existence, time and space, cause and effect, and possibility. Unclassifiable, the piece smiles at the impermanence and insignificance of it all, making it classifiably one of our most treasured discoveries at the 2018 FTA. Two performances remain in Montreal.



The 12th Edition of the Festival TransAmériques presents

Titans

Osmosis | Euripides Laskaridis

Usine C
1345, Lalonde Avenue Metro Beaudry

May 29, *30, and 31 at 8 p.m.
*Meet the artists after the performance

1h | Wordless Show

$34 to 40

514 844 3822 | 1 866 984 3822 | www.fta.ca

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