METAXIS Metaxis: dancing (in) the in-between
To better understand the significance of metaxis in Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), we need to return to the word’s origin in Plato: “All spirits occupy the middle ground between humans and gods. As mediators between the two, they fill the remaining space, and so make the universe an interconnected whole” (Plato 1994: 43-44).1 “Middle ground” in this passage is translated from the Greek metaxu (metaxu) meaning “between + in, in the state of in the middle, betwixt, between, between-whiles, in the interval, neither good nor bad” (Liddell 1996: 1115). Plato underlines that metaxu is a dynamic space between two separate things where mediation keeps the universe together. Eric Voegelin calls this the tension “in-between the poles of man and of the reality he experiences” (1989: 72). In Voegelin’s view, human existence takes place in tension in the space between, not at the poles. Rather than seeking to move to one pole or the other we should explore this inbetweenness.