historical


> ιστορικός/ή/ό


The adjective ‘historical’ derives from the noun ‘history’, which in itself derives from the ancient Greek verb which means ‘to know’. Given the significance then of the ancient Greek route of the word ‘history’, history is not just the past, of a nation or of an art for instance, but also the episteme/science that studies that past, and so the word ‘historical’ is also used as a noun, meaning ‘the historian’ (same word in Greek), the scientist who studies the past, eg. of the performing arts, in an attempt to always connect that past with the present of the performing arts. As an adjective, the term ‘historical’ could be used to characterise many nouns related to the performing arts. For example, we could speak of a historical performance. In truth, and as a result of the above, a historical performance does not of course concern only the historian of theatre, just as the historian should not see it as an outdated exhibit, but rather help the contemporary artist see how their own creative vision might connect to the vision of an artist from the past, and how that eventually connects to the present, how it can help the artist find their expressive voice now. 

The performing arts audience too though should know such historical works’ history, if not as experts at least on a general level; the various media that help simplify or popularize sciences could help towards this direction, eg. through tv shows on the arts, theatre reviews in printed and online newspapers, and all press of course or printed material such as programmes distributed or sold in theatres. In this way, the audience would be more informed and would also be able to recognise what is artistically original in each case, what is promoted as original but is not, but also what is diachronic and runs through the history of the performing arts and until today.

Author: Spyros Petritis
Translator: Efrosini Protopapa