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oEdipus rex

A dance piece concerning the search for justice
and truth in a broken 
society.

 

… “Count no mortal happy til he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain.”  This is the last line from Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, a tragedy about power, control, duty, and the wisdom of rulers. Though flawed, Oedipus is a just leader. 

 

Even though twenty-five centuries have passed since Sophocles wrote Oedipus Rex, we, like the characters in his play, are seeking what is fair and struggling against unjust laws, policies, actions, and individuals. 

 

Today, both speaking and discerning the truth have grown increasingly challenging.  We no longer understand the extent to which dishonest conduct affects others and that we simply owe it to each other to speak the truth.

 

We humans perpetually face difficult truths. Oedipus Rex raises troubling questions about what is just and proposes that understanding what is fair is an essential element of character and intelligence.  King Oedipus’s search for truth is righteous, brave, and uncompromising. 

We think that, because we no longer value truth, our society is collapsing, our civilization is crumbling, and we as a species are perishing.  

 

While activists have alleviated the stigma attached to victims of sexual assault, rape, and gender-based violence, the traumas of incest survivors, by comparison, still remain shrouded in silence and shame.  We believe that in contemporary society, even in cases that claim to involve consent, some form of coercion, force, or abuse has been exercised.

 

Because incest causes lasting damage both to individuals and to the species as a whole—inbreeding weakens the gene pool—incest is indefensible from both a biological and an ethical standpoint.  Perpetrators need to face the same kind of punitive consequences as any other type of abuser.

 

After analyzing Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, anthropology, zoology, and his own patients, Sigmund Freud concluded that incest is “antisocial—civilization consists in its renunciation.”  

 

Our dance piece calls attention to the extent to which power and control can damage individuals, society, and human evolution.

 

Paying attention to Sophocles’s message is a civic duty.

 

… count no mortal happy …