Dancing Trees: Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Imprint of Pantomime Dancing

TitleDancing Trees: Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Imprint of Pantomime Dancing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLada-Richards, I
Ancient AuthorsPublius Ovidius Naso (PHI 0959)
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology

This article argues that Ovid’s arborization narratives in the Metamorphoses would have been more meaningful, enjoyable, and rich for imperial readers able to visualize them off the page, against the cultural back-cloth of the contemporary stage, that is to say, the pantomime stage, where arboreal transformations were part of the routine repertoire of the star dancers. Ovid’s tales of tree-metamorphosis may well have been informed, even if subliminally, by his active recollection of or subconscious familiarity with real-life, danced choreographies for pantomimic transformations into trees. [http://muse.jhu.edu/article/615316]


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