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Musiques et danses dans l’Antiquité

Marie-Hélène Delavaud-Roux


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Annie Bélis – Les mouvements des musiciens dans l’Antiquité

1Could the professional musicians move while they played? We can ask if the musical aesthetics in Antiquity were connected only with audition or also with a visual performance. We recognize a fantastic performance by beautiful vocal or instrumental music and the beauty of gesture, which were connected with the kosmos of musicians. It was the kinesis of musicians, during their moving, when they went up to the bèma and when they played at this place. Torso, feet, legs, wrists, face and nape, all the parts of their body were moving at the right moment, with appropriate style and with appropriate width. But these movements could never fall in dance because of the bèma, whose platform, on purpose, prevented large movements.

Marie-Hélène Delavaud-Roux – Rythmes, musiques et danses dans les vers 209 à 220 des Grenouilles d’Aristophane

2We reconstruct the beginning of the parodos of froggs, with Céci Le caractère diachronique le Corbel-Morana’s works (Le bestiaire d’Aristophane), Philippe Brunet’s record (we used it to learn how say the text) but with original hypotheses: the choir sings and dances at the same time, with a plaster mask (we made it) even if we run out of breath when we dance; the choreography uses the metric of the text and translate it in two rhythms (2/4 and 6/8); It is different than Germaine Prudhommeau’s reconstruction, too much inspired by ballet, and it uses sometimes the kômos gestures because the froggs say in 215-218 that they sing a kômos for Dionysos Nyseios.

Sibylle Emerit – Un métier polyvalent de l’Égypte ancienne : le danseur instrumentiste

3In Ancient Egypt, the musician is usually a multipurpose artist. He can simultaneously sing, play an instrument and dance. The study of the terminology related to music and dance shows that the boundaries of these two subjects are hardly ever separable. The same conclusion may also be applied on the iconographical sources.

Bertrand Lançon – Le chant, arme défensive et offensive des chrétiens de l’Antiquité tardive

4In the first centuries AD, the greek and roman sources show that the Christians, initially restive to the music, adopted progressively the song. The song becomes a privileged expression of prayer, of dogma and of collective strength. Heretic or antiheretic, the song becomes polemic It is also a defense against alls types of adversity. His part increases in the christianization, since the fourth century AD. With the interpretation of the unison, we can learn a lot about Christian occidental culture in late Antiquity.

Emmanuel Lascoux – Vers une théorie du phrasé : l’expérience de la double direction mélo-rythmique en grec ancien

5Why couldn’t we consider greek poetic timing, far from a mere metrical line, as real dimension of rhythmic space-time, modeled on melodic landscapes where rhythmic characters, as Deleuze defines both of them, use to appear? Like an open ritournelle, – or refrain – following infinite variations between melos and rhuthmos, greek scansion would train our feeling of arsis and thesis, since the homeric hexameter (in its main purpose), to be shaped by the phonetic material itself, but also by the melodic pitches, so that voice discover how to make perceptible quite abstracts notions like « heaviness » or « lighteness » of metrical components. In fact, it actually becomes more and more unprofitable to stay on in silent and casual reading, without testing exegetical hypotheses aloud.

Anna Lazou – Le caractère diachronique du dionysiaque

6The aim was among else to determine the philosophical, aesthetic and therapeutic traces of Dionysian culture in the contemporary world, with reference to modern as well as traditional forms of dance and theatre. The total of morphological, biological and psychological aspects of dance on the basis of texts and descriptions given by the historical and archaeological testimony allows us to formulate a vocabulary of movements and situations of dance that characterize the Dionysian element. The final performance « Nekyia, the Primordial (Archetypal) Journey » (Ensemble Dryos Topoi (δρυός τόποι) in collaboration with the Students Theatre Initiative Drys of Athens University) used traditional art forms, demotic songs, contemporary dance theatre forms with physical theatre techniques, some elements from Odyssey and the works of scholars of ancient greek dance and theatre.

Audren Le Coz – Danse et factions dans l’Empire chrétien : les danseurs ἐμμάλοι dans la Chronographie de Malalas

7In his Chronography, Malalas writes about emmaloi dancers who were granted by consul Longinus to the four factions of Constantinople, under Zeno’s reign. What could be the place of the emmaloi dancers in the amphitheater’s games in a Christianized Empire? It is relevant to verify what is said about them in this Christian Chronography, in order to inquire about the role taken by these popular dancers in a late Roman Empire which has to deal with the heritage of paganism.

Frederick G. Naerebout – Quelle contribution l’épigraphie grecque apporte-t-elle à l’étude de la danse antique ?

8Looking at the study of ancient Greek dance, we find a range of different sources that have been used in building up our image of that particular dance tradition. But pride of place goes to the literary texts (in the widest sense, from tragedians by way of historians to ethnographers) and to the visual arts. Epigraphic sources, however, are neglected. Of course, it would be very nice for those interested in ancient Greek dance to have a corpus of inscriptions relevant to the study of dancing. But bringing together source material should not be a self-sufficient exercise, « l’epigraphie pour l’epigraphie » (in this instance), it should be part of an ongoing effort to understand the place of the dance in ancient society. So we have to ask ourselves: what is it–or what should it be–that we would like to know, and is epigraphical evidence likely to provide answers to those questions?

Paloma Otaola – L’ethos des rythmes dans la théorie musicale grecque

9Greeks and especially the Pythagoricians studied the virtues of music to exercise an influence on emotion and on human soul. This possibility of the music, according to the melodic scales or harmoniai, but also according to the rhythms, is the ethos of each music. Philosophers established different classifications of the melodies, according to their ethos. More famous than the ethos of rhythms, the ethos of melodic expressions, influenced the western musical thought since Antiquity to Renaissance. In Plato and in Aristotle, we find a lot of allusions to the rhythms effects but without classification according their ethos. But Aristide Quintilien gives the most important inquiries on the ethical value of the rhythms. The aim of this presentation is to explain the theory of ethos which is assigned to the rhythms, according to greek philosophers and theoricians’texts.

Janika Päll – Les odes monostrophiques de Pindare ont-elles été dansées ?

10In first, the analysis of autoreference in Pindar’s odes shows that, with this criterion, the monostrophic odes (often assigned to a komos) are not clearly distinguished from the triadic odes. So we cannot exclude the possibility of dance in this type of odes. In second, the analysis of metric (and rhythm) and colometry shows that some monostrophic odes look like more the monostrophic odes from other authors (i.-e. Bacchylide, Sappho, Alcée) than the most of Pindar’s triadic odes. For the odes, we conclude that dancing an singing at the same time is more probable than in the other cases.

Brigitte Sabattini – Les pratiques musicales en Arcadie : réflexions de Polybe sur les causes de la sauvagerie des Kynaithéens

11In his famous excursus of book IV (20-21) about the backgrounds of stasis which explains the destruction of Kynaitha, one of the Arcadian poleis, Polybius describes the place of the music in education and in everyday life of Arcadian citizens. His analysis connects the virtues of this nation (hospitality, humanity, piety) with the institutionalized development of musical practices and is also a more global consideration about the function played by music in political concord and a resounding plea for conservation and transmission of what we call nowadays an « immaterial heritage ».

Eléonore Salm – Rhétorique et musique dans l’œuvre de Denys d’Halicarnasse

12In Dionysius of Halicarnassus’ Opuscula, the comparison between rhetoric and music is at the heart of the nature of rhetoric, analysed according to musical criteria. In the contribution, we study the music called up by Dionysius, the musical elements in language according to the author and finally the limits that Dionysius attributes to speeches’ musicality.

Martin Steinrück – Antistrophe et mélodie : le critère des accents

13For the communis opinio, during classical period, strophes and antistrophes were sung with a common melody which no followed the accents, but Rujigh’s works opens again the discussion. We show some interactions of the accents between strophe and antistrophe. We explain these interactions by practice which exits also in other culture with « musical accent »: the fee melody follows well the accentuation. Until to Euripides, the melodies of the strophe and antistrophe would be different, except in some important rhythmical places.

Ilias Tsimbidaros – L’harmonie « austère » chez Platon selon Pseudo-Plutarque et Aristide Quintilien

14This presentation bears on the origin of ethical modes according to Plato, his reference to a little or non modulating, « pure », harmony, the early enharmonic scale of possible pentatonic origin and the ancient nomoi according to Ps Plutarch as opposed to later neoplatonist metaphysical simplifications about a so called enharmonic « world harmony ». It offers an interpretation of ancient musical tradition, aesthetic and musicological quarrels in their relation to the earlier views of Plato on the subject as it appears in his Republic.

Anne Gabrièle Wersinger – La danse et la pudeur (Platon, Lois, VI, 771e 5-772a 4)

15This passage dealing with matrimonial dance and neglected by scholars furnishes some material to study the impact of music and dance on the body and the soul, through two master words of the traditional greek paideia: aidôs and sophrosunè. We show how, in what Plato calls choreia, some movements of the dancing body and of the singing voice are meant to express aidôs, from which we point out the signification and aim in Plato’s theory of virtue. The rhythmic formula of aidôs is made out, giving us the means to understand how moral sensibility and rational ethics articulate one to the other in Plato’s philosophy.

Nektarios P. Yioutsos –« Χοροί Νυμϕών ᾿Εγκύκλιοι »

16The essay makes a short presentation of the circular dance of the Nymphs through clay statuettes and especially votive reliefs devoted to the Pan and the Nymphs. Although studies have been made from the beginning of the century on votive reliefs, none of the scholars gives us an interpretation of the dance and its purpose. In the scenes on the votive reliefs we can see the river-God Acheloos watching the dance of the three Nymphs, Hermes with his kerykeion leading the dance and the half-goat God Pan playing the syrinx aside. Focusing on the artifacts we can conclude that the dance was circular in formation, either closed or open, around an altar or a musician, with a male dance leader (Hermes mostly and sometimes Pan) accompanied by a wind instrument (the double flute and the syrinx). In order to understand the ancient dance of the Nymphs and Pan, the hidden codes and its actual aim, researchers must gather information that come from different scientific fields, which, if combined properly together, they can be very useful to the researcher who wants to study ancient dance performances and wants to understand the inner force that sets every dance in motion.

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2011

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