Alfred Hickling gives a promising review to Opera North’s current production of ‘Giulio Cesare’, but I think he misinterprets how director Tim Albery and Cleopatra Sarah Tynan view the presentation of a woman’s power in a man’s world. For one thing, neither of them talk about flirtation. For another, I think it’s naive to consider flirtation an activity outside the bounds of legitimate power struggle.
When we think clearly we can see manipulation for what it is no matter the source. I prefer to use archetypes as indicators of possibility, not as shortcuts around the basic elements of relationship and motivation.
And in a related note, sex and power between the genders shows some strange trends of vocabulary:
He was ensnared; she was led on.
He used her; she won him.
He was virile; she was promiscuous.
I know there are more examples in both directions. Do you have a favourite?
[The video is a refreshing insight into the way two perspectives (i.e. one dominated by telling a collective story, the other by telling an individual story) come together during the rehearsal process.]
[Read Hickling’s full review here.]