Da Keersmaeker and Vandekeybus to headline Kalamata Dance Festival

The Kalamata International Dance Festival is one of the country’s leading cultural events which over the last 18 years has hosted numerous celebrated and pioneering artists while attracting audiences from both Greece and abroad.

The recent news that the event has been incorporated into the National Strategic Reference Framework, with the support of the Ministry of Culture – a move that effectively allows for the festival’s continuation despite the present difficulties – was much welcomed by fans of this worthy endeavor, which has been subject to big budget cuts in recent years.

There was more good news when the festival’s artistic director, Vicky Maragopoulou, announced that the 19th edition of the Kalamata International Dance Festival, which will be taking place in the Peloponnesian city from July 28 to 25, would maintain its policy of keeping ticket prices low, while at the same time presenting special discounts in certain audience categories.

Although the festival’s customary press conference was canceled amid the overall upheaval that followed the government’s decision to close down state broadcaster ERT last week, an e-mailed media release concerning the event’s programming this summer certainly got tongues wagging with regard to the quality of the upcoming productions.

This year’s leading names are Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Wim Vandekeybus, two celebrated choreographers who are passing on to the new generation works which marked both their own careers as well as the history of dance in general.

De Keersmaeker’s “Drumming” will be performed on July 18 and 19, while Vandekeybus’s “What the Body Does Not Remember” will go on on stage on July 21.

The search for points of reference in pioneering works of the 21st-century dance repertoire is another trend on the global scene, and is represented in this year’s program by Fabian Barba’s “A Mary Wigman Dance Evening,” which will be staged on July 22.

Another signature trademark of the annual event is its local element, giving audiences the opportunity to observe Greek artists alongside their international counterparts. This year’s festival program, for instance, features works by Rachid Ouramdane and Qudus Onikeku as well as Iris Karayan, Ioannis Mandafounis and Angeliki Stellatou.

A video installation of Dimitris Papaioannou’s “Inside,” an adaptation of the homonymous production first presented two years ago, will be presented on July 25.

Parallel events taking place around Kalamata include a seminar led by choreographer Jorge Crecis, a workshop directed by choreographers Sofia Mavragani and dancer Sania Stribakou as well as the educational workshop “PlayforKalamateDanceFestival.”

Shows take place at various venues around the city, including the Zoumboulis Mansion, the Castle Amphitheater and the Municipal Regional Theater of Kalamata.

For more information, go to or call 27210.83.086.

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