CULTURE

Why it’s dancing or nothing

Sooner or later, when a group of young artists working under the same name has something to communicate, a little bit of the mystery surrounding its members is lifted, throwing some light onto the individual faces. Dancer/choreographer Dimitris Sotiriou is one of the three founding members of the Sinequanon dance theater troupe, together with Kiki Baka and Apostolia Papadamaki (who left the company recently). This season Sotiriou offers an intense performance in «The Night of the Billy Goat,» an exciting combination of folk stories, song, acting and dance. The show – already in its second year at the Politia Theater – is a collaboration between the Sinequanon troupe and Sotiriou with director Sotiris Hatzakis. Recently, Sotiriou also collaborated with the Sofia State Theater, choreographing «Oedipus the Tyrant,» in a production directed by Andreas Pantzis and music by Nikos Kypourgos. Are you interested in choreographing ancient drama? Very much. I’m open to everything, provided it fits in with the troupe’s schedule, because the company comes first. Another priority is to carry on working with Sotiris (Hatzakis). What about «The Night of the Billy Goat»? The show will run until Palm Sunday. From then on, prospects include participating in Greek and foreign festivals. We have been invited to the Kalamata International Dance Festival, for instance. Will the next show be based purely on dance theater? Yes, it will include two old pieces, which have been reworked, and a new one, based on a choreography by Kiki Baka and myself. Martha Fritzila and Vassilis Mangioukis will work on the music, while we are also making a short film, reflecting various images… The production will be presented during the Greek Choreographers Union’s «Dance Month» in May. Did the Ministry of Culture’s subsidy help you? It was very helpful. How did Sinequanon begin? It was 10 years ago, in 1992, when we were still students at the State School of Dance Art. We owe a lot to Demi Efthimiou, who was the school’s director at the time. We got together with Anna Sofia Kallinikidou – she is currently making a name for herself in the US, but she will be rejoining us soon – while Ermis Malkotsis joined a little bit later. Have you been a dancer all your life? Not at all. I was a law student in Thessaloniki when I suddenly felt the urge: It was dancing or nothing! How did this happen? There was an international biennale for young artists, and I attended numerous dance performances. That’s when I felt the flame inside. Changing direction was not an easy thing to do, but I was very lucky because some people helped me tremendously. First of all, there was my mother’s sister, a dancer and a teacher, whom I consider my sister, followed by Demi Efthimiou, Zouzou Nikoloudi (Chorika troupe), and Dimitris Papaioannou (Omada Edafous). Becoming a dancer at the age of 20 sounds a little old. Were you perhaps fit all your life? No. My body was ungraceful and stiff. I was guided by my soul and a few luminous spirits who offered me their support.