CULTURE

Athens moves to the rhythm of Greece’s modern dance groups

Fewer performances, but of no less interest, are on the bill for the Third Dance Festival (formerly known as the Month of Dance), scheduled to start in Athens this Friday and run through to June 24. The event consists of 65 evenings of dance organized by the Union of Greek Choreographers with the support of the Ministry of Culture. The union’s president, Petros Gallias, at a recent press conference said: «Many choreographers put off submitting their entries in the festival in order to buy some time (as grants have been frozen following the change in government). Finally, they were unable to hold out any longer and were forced to withdraw entirely.» The program will begin with Dorina Kalethrianou’s Proskeri Synthesi dance group (Friday and Saturday) with a new production titled «Not Like That… Like This!» Just after Easter (April 12-18) the Lathos Kinisi dance group of Constantinos Michos, in cooperation with the Goethe Institute and the Swedish Institute of Athens, will be organizing the 19th European Teachers of Contact Improvisation Exchange – an annual conference held in a different European country each year that brings together teachers mainly from Europe but also from the rest of the world. «Don’t imagine your typical conference, with a bunch of people reading their academic studies out loud,» explains Michos. «In this conference, all the delegates are active dancers, coaches and choreographers. All the participants are thrown into the studio; there’s no messing about. They have to put into practice what they describe in words.» On April 15 and 16, the Roes Theater (one of the venues hosting the festival) will be presenting the results of the exchange on stage. Next on the bill is the Choreftes group with a piece by Aliki Kazouri (April 16-18) and Griffon with works by Ioanna Portolou and Cecile Mikroutsikou. The program for International Dance Day (April 29) has yet to be announced, while on May 2 and 3, the Association of Dance and Ballet will hold two evenings with works by new choreographers at the Katia Dandoulaki Theater. At the same time, the Roes will be hosting artists who are not members of the choreographers’ union in a series titled «Independent Presences.» The rest of the program for May is jam-packed with performances, featuring 12 groups with three evening each, while June will feature the work of five groups over 11 evenings.