Choruses, Ancient and Modern examines the ancient Greek chorus and its afterlives in western culture. Choruses, though absolutely central to the social, political, and religious life of classical Greece, no longer hold the same broad importance in modernity, yet the attraction of the Greek chorus has proved a strong impetus to reimagining. Artists and thinkers have continually appropriated Greek choruses to their own ends, and the body of these engagements constitutes a rich and hitherto-unexplored area of the reception of classical antiquity. Exploring the choral tradition from archaic Greece to the present across a variety of different media, the volume thematically juxtaposes perspectives on choruses to create a dialogue between ancient and modern contexts.
Following a substantial introduction, the four sections of the book discuss the place of the chorus within scholarship, aesthetic and philosophical perspectives on the chorus, reflections on absences of the chorus, and the social and communal potential of the chorus. Each section considers antiquity and modernity in counterpoint, at once de-familiarizing ancient contexts of the chorus and defining crucial moments in modern choral traditions.