Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Aara Suksi


This thesis presents a new interpretation of the staging of Aristophanes’ frog chorus, arguing that tumbling and acrobatics may have been performed as part o f their dance. It first responds to the contention that the chorus was not visible in the theatre, a necessary prerequisite to any discussion o f potential choreography. It then considers both artistic and literary evidence in an analysis o f the relationship o f acrobatics and dance in the ancient Greek world, concentrating specifically on the presence of tumbling in dramatic choral dance. Finally, it returns to Frogs to carefully examine the text for indications o f acrobatic performance in the lyrics o f the choral ode; for example, when the frogs recall diving underwater, the chorus members would represent this action with

acrobatics. The possible existence of a tumbling chorus reveals a new dimension of Aristophanic spectacle and comic choral dance.



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