LINDSEY GRIFFITH / INO AKSENTIEV
“Triple Medusa” is an absurd operetta for two saxophones and violin, with 3D animation, bad fight choreography and good wigs. A glitch between history and mythology, “Triple Medusa” depicts a fantasy narrative where Medusa and her sisters defeat Julius Caesar in a blowout three-part battle for the Roman Empire. The bodiless head of Medusa, a woman punished for her own rape, has become a symbol of feminine rage, while Caesar is the ultimate dude king of the patriarchy. We responded to these impossibly huge and heavy figures by rendering them in camp and casting them as opponents in a Street Fighter-esque video game battle.
After an improvised musical number performed by three Medusas, the audiences watches Medusa and Julius “Shrieking” Caesar compete in three competitions: a music battle with Medusa on sax verses Caesar on violin, a hand-to-hand battle with fight choreography inspired by WWE and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and finally a pillow fight. The battle is accompanied by live musical sound effects and an animated video projection that introduces characters and plot points like video game titles (“Round Three: Pillow Fight!” or “Medusa Wins!”). After suffering a crushing defeat, the Medusas hold a funeral for Julius Caesar, with Caesar playing his own funeral march from the grave. The Medusas join in, ending the piece with a spirited improvisation on Chopin’s Funeral March.
“Triple Medusa” pulls threads from several versions of the Medusa myth and weaves them with pro-wrestling tropes, video game combat, drag, and improvisational music, towards an underdog matriarchal fantasy.