“The classic-meets-modern aesthetic — think ballet set to original music and spoken text — energizes Sophocle’s timeless tale and makes this the most intriguing dance premiere this season”
– Philadelphia Magazine
The libretto is based on Sophocles’ play ANTIGONE. This production does not take place in any specific time period or geographic location.
The main characters are Antigone, her sister Ismene, and their brothers Eteocles and Polynices. Although these youth are of one family, they are divided by opposing loyalties.
The two brothers go to war. One brother, Eteocles, defends his home city, while the other brother, Polynices, wages war against the homeland. Although both brothers die in the war, the homeland army led by Eteocles is victorious. King Creon declares Eteocles a hero, and Polynices a traitor. The body of the traitor cannot be buried; should someone violate this law, the punishment is death.
Creon, Antigone and Ismene join the people of the court in celebrating the homeland’s victory. However, Antigone is disturbed by the joyous occasion, knowing that one of her brothers will not receive the dignity of a burial. She leaves in distress, followed by a concerned Ismene. The king bids the guests goodnight.
Ismene finds Antigone wandering across the battlefield. The two sisters discuss the king’s decree. Although they genuinely love each other, the sisters are divided by opposing loyalties. Ismene chooses to obey the laws of the state, and Antigone chooses the laws of the ancient gods and her right as an individual to bury her brother.
Creon leads the funeral procession to bury the body of Eteocles. Antigone leaves the procession to bury the enemy-brother. Mustering all of her personal strength, Antigone buries the body of Polynices.
Creon’s guards observe the actions of Antigone and recognize her violation of the state’s law. They capture Antigone and bring her before the king.
Creon and Antigone confront each other, each debating the merits of their decisions and actions. Antigone believes she has the right as an individual to make her own decisions. Creon is determined to uphold the laws of his state and enforces his punishment – Antigone is sentenced to death.
The guards prepare the cave in which Antigone is to be buried alive, but once there, she takes her own life. Ismene visits the cave and discovers her sister’s body. Ismene is the only surviving child left after the tragic string of events caused by opposing loyalties.
Russian composer, Timofey Buzina, has specially composed the music for Davis’s new modern ballet, The Goal of Antigone.
Timofey Buzina is among the youngest working composers in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Buzina was born in 1977 in Yekaterinburg, formerly known as Sverdlovsk. In 2001, he graduated from The Mussorgsky Ural State Conservatory (professor: V.A. Kobekin). From 2002 to 2004, he did postgraduate studies at The Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg Conservatory (professor: S.M. Slonimsky). His works have been performed in modern music festivals and concerts in Yekaterinburg and Saint Petersburg. He is the current General Manager of The Saint Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, and speaks Russian and English fluently.