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‘There is nothing more magical’: resurrected theatre brings ancient Greece to life
Greek theatres, as well as stadiums, are the only ancient monuments that can still be used today and for the same purposes as in the past.
Their exceptional geographical situation, their aesthetics, their harmony of forms and their inimitable acoustics, which reflect the values, ideals and knowledge of the civilization that gave birth to them, are a source of admiration.
No less than 170 theatres have been identified within the borders of modern Greece -mainland and islands – while dozens more are scattered throughout the Mediterranean basin and beyond. The Greco-Roman theatres that succeeded them are also counted in the hundreds. These figures alone bear witness to the importance played by theatres in Greek and later Greco-Roman antiquity.
Open spaces of gathering and exchanges as they were, the ancient Greek theatres played a primordial role in the life of the Greeks. Thousands of spectators attended tragedies and comedies written by contemporary poets performed in the many theatres of the ancient Greek world. The people’s assemblies would often take place there too and so theatres witnessed the birth of democracy. Their role was therefore not only artistic and cultural but also political and social. Last but not least, the very presence of theatres in the sanctuaries of Asclepius testifies to the therapeutic role of theater from a very old age.
Open spaces for gathering and exchanging they are still today, if one judges by the international success of festivals and artistic events in ancient theatres. Sitting on ancient benches, visitors and spectators reconnect to the roots of Western civilization, subjugated by the interaction between the site and themselves, the past and the present. This is why a performance in an ancient theatre is a unique experience, as much for the spectators as for the performers.
Diazoma has understood this and wants to contribute to the revival of a great number of magnificent theatres, many of which have fallen into oblivion, thus contributing to the economic and sustainable development of the regions surrounding them.
The name of the association “Diazoma” comes from the ancient Greek word “διάζωμα” designating the concentric horizontal corridors that separated the upper and lower tiers of an ancient theatre and allowed the circulation of the spectators. Today, as a result of a slippage of meaning, Kato Diazoma designates the lower cavea (lower tiers) and Ano Diazoma the upper cavea (upper tiers) of the theatre.