The Reptilian Brain and the representation of the female in Theodoros Terzopoulos’ Bacchai


Theodoros Terzopoulos’ earth-shaking production of Bacchai (1986) continues to amaze contemporary audiences and critics. In this contribution, I want to show how three new approaches illustrate well the process that Agave has to endure, as she is going from a state of consciousness to ecstasy, and back. Biodynamics, sometimes called bio-energetics, a theory that studies the charging and transporting of energy, expresses well the successive stages of Re-remembrance and Re-Signification as present in the many exercises devel­oped by Theodoros Terzopoulos and defined for the first time by Giorgos Sampatakakis (2006). Secondly, I explicitly refer to Norman Austin’s provocative book on mythology (1990), in order to focus on our DNA-like nature and the links that exist between Agave, the snake, the dragon and Delphi as centre of illumination. Thirdly, I briefly point to a number of new studies belonging to the field of Cognitive Psychology and their theories on the triune brain, esp. the reptilian brain, a centre of energy that was activated during Agave’s temporary ecstasy.