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Ladies' GreekVictorian Translations of Tragedy$
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Yopie Prins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141893

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141893.001.0001

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Dancing Greek Letters

Dancing Greek Letters

(p.202) Chapter Five Dancing Greek Letters
Ladies' Greek

Yopie Prins

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines why and how women became especially interested in the Euripidean tragedy The Bacchae and tried to make Greek letters dance, figuratively and literally. It shows how women resorted to dancing letters—the simultaneous subject and object of rhythmic movement—to mobilize Ladies' Greek in new directions at the turn of the twentieth century and beyond, toward an experience of kinesthesia. It also looks at Jane Harrison as a “modern maenad” whose ideas about Dionysiac ritual developed during her years at Newnham College, as well as the pedagogical setting of Bryn Mawr College, where students were initiated into a “cult of Greek” under the leadership of M. Carey Tomas. Finally, it discusses a student production of The Bacchae for the fiftieth anniversary of Bryn Mawr, suggesting that the choreography of this performance can be read as a transformation of ancient Greek into dancing letters.

Keywords:   women, tragedy, The Bacchae, Greek letters, dancing letters, Ladies' Greek, kinesthesia, Jane Harrison, Bryn Mawr College, Greek

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