Friday, May 25, 2012

Aphrodite statue dancing: Eleftheria Eleftheriou and Eurovision

I didn't really expect to get into the Eurovision song contest in such detail. But I could hardly help noticing the performance of the Greek entry, Eleftheria Eleftheriou (Eλευθερία Eλευθερίου), which is easily the best of the lot, whether the Eurovision juries and voters agree on Saturday or not. Sadly, North Americans don't get a vote.

In one of the features on her act, someone mentioned that the choreography for his and her dancers' performance was based in part on statues of Aphrodite, which ties in with the song title, "Aphrodisiac". Yes, that English noun came from there. I got curious about it and did a bit of research.

The dance is shown here in her performance in the 1st Semi-Finals:

The hand gesture where Eleftheria holds her left hand high in a kind of salute ...

... resembles a common feature of known Aphrodite statues. In this one, Aphrodite is apparently whacking Pan with a shoe.

This pose with one of the male dancers could also be a reference to that statue or similar ones:

Here's another "salute" version of Aphrodite's Roman incarnation, Venus:

Eleftheria also seems to be using a particular hand gesture with the thumb opened out ...

... which could come from Aphrodite images like this one of the goddess with a swan, the position of her right hand:

The gesture at just after 2:50 where the female dancers cover one of her breasts and her crotch ...

... references this famous Aphrodite pose.

That latter pose may have been a model for Masaccio's fresco "The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" ("Cacciata dei progenitori dall'Eden")

It wouldn't surprise me if the choreographers were hoping that this movement at 0:44 ...

... would reproduce this:

Here's another of Aphrodite with the hair thing going:

The following two sets of comparisons are maybe more of a stretch in terms of similarity:

This set is a tad more plausible:

This is a more plausible set, although the ancient authenticity of relief of Aphrodite may be uncertain; still, it's a familiar image:

Finally, the semi-reclining pose she assumes at the very end could also be an Aphrodite reference, though this is probably also a stretch:

In any case, best of luck to Eleftheria in Saturday's Finals!

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