> theorie

Theory [θɪri] (noun); Theorie [English / German]

Theory is the consideration, the speculation, the result of a thorough study, a personal opinion that reflects an individual. It also means the personal investigation of a situation, a sight or a place. The first ‘’theorists’’ (θεωροί [theori]) were “tourists”, according to Ulmer. He writes that for Herodotus, the aim of Solon’s visit to Lydia was theoria: visiting the sights, seeing for oneself, getting a worldview. Θεωροί [theori] were thus the legislate representatives of a state whose job was to provide θεωρία.

The infinitive θεωρείν [theorin] can be divided in two components: θέα and οράω. Θέα [thea] (c.f. theatre) means view, but also the outward look, the aspect, in which something presents itself. Οράω [horao] means to see, to look at something carefully, to experience, to witness. Θεωρικά [theorika] referred to the amount of money, the fee that the ancient Greeks had to pay in order to attend a theatre performance.

Θεωρείο [theorio] still means the balcony, the structure overlooking a stage. As spectator, one becomes ‘’theoros’’ in the sense that one observes, participates, interprets the performative process from a certain perspective and notates this participation as part of the performance’s ontology. The bodily-lived experience in the process of creating performance theory seems to be vital towards possibly transcending the logocentric focus of theory and the practice-oriented performance world.

Author and translator: Anna Tsichli Boissonnas