Echo & Narcissus is a mixed-media in theatre workshop and performance based on the age old Greek Tragedy. It was conducted and directed by Mirjam van Dijk, an actor and theatre-practitioner based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and assisted by Devi Giannetti, an actor, singer and writer from Mumbai, India. It was held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, over a period of 8 days.
The story of Echo & Narcissus is about a nymph called Echo, who is cursed and is able to repeat the last words spoken by others. One day she sees the handsome Narcissus, and immediately falls in love with him. But alas, Narcissus has no eyes for her as he has fallen in love with his own reflection that he sees in a pool of water.
As the workshop took its course, it's participants from various creative fields, worked inter-disciplinarily and stretched from known to new theatre conventions. Alongside this, they were exposed to various multimedia techniques like video projection and projection mapping. Each individual was given the freedom to use and try out their own creative ideas that came together on the last day as a performance at the NCPA.
"I chose this story because this ancient Greek myth is extremely topical in this age of social media, when narcissism is on the rise. For instance, the 'selfie obsession’ is a typical example of modern day narcissism and quite similar to the story of Narcissus falling in love with his own reflection. A modern interpretation of Echo's character can be seen in how we are trapped in these online filter bubbles - our opinions are unconsciously shaped by what is presented to us on the internet.
I want to use this as the bedrock to examine what role narcissism plays in our lives nowadays. The fact that it has to do a lot with our online social lives, allows us to easily blend new media into the performance."
- Mirjam van Dijk