The Migration of ‘The Birds’ (BDA_UK13)

The Migration of ‘The Birds’
Design Proposal by Bettina Fernandez

‘The Birds’ by Aristophanes would be served by a carnival, as a carnival is such a popular and populist event. The carnival, too, might be served by the cultural enrichment of the play.

“Athens needed, according to Aristophanes not only saving but also purifying”(Katherine Lever, The Art of Greek Comedy,  p91)

Laughter is the agent of purification that helps to relieve tension and stress.

Carnival is a special condition of the entire world; carnival celebrates temporary liberation from the established order

Carnival is the feast of laughter in which the world is turned upside-down. A utopian vision – such as we find in ‘The Birds’ – can itself be seen as the inversion of the real world.
Carnival – and, in fact, theatre itself – have their origins in Dionysian rites, which had the double purpose of promoting fertility and purifying society.
In carnival, the individual becomes lost in the orgiastic mass. Boundaries are blurred. Therefore, the human and the animal/inanimate worlds become interwoven.
We can recognize this in the Samba dancers in the Rio carnival, in Brazil. For each carnival each samba school have a Samba-Enredo (or song theme) developed as a poetic accompaniment to the school’s individual theme. They became highly theatrical: in effect, choruses to the dancing. 
Many of these characteristics can now be seen in other great world carnivals, such as the annual one held in Notting Hill, London.

‘The birds’ have truly migrated far and wide.
Bettina Fernandez, UK  
Central Saint martins