CULTURE

An erotic dialogue of music, prose, dance

What happens when music, prose and dance are combined in an erotic game? At the Roes Theater, the answer is «Dialogue,» a new performance playing today at 9 p.m., in which three musicians, three dancers and four musical instruments are put to improvise on nine musical themes by Vassilis Dimitriou, based on choreography by Sofia Spyratou. «The evening begins with the well-known third choral interlude of Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ (translated by K.H. Myris), and all nine themes are erotic in nature,» explains Dimitriou. «The pieces (being presented for the first time and lasting approximately 45 minutes in total) have the instrumental qualities of jazz that gives great allowances for improvisation but within a controlled structure. After writing them, I decided to give them to the musicians and let them play it the way they saw fit. I gave them permission to improvise. Therefore, there is an evolution of the theme. Each piece is played in different ways, depending on the fancy of the musician,» adds the composer. «Next, I got the idea for a dialogue between the music and dance and I put the idea to Sofia Spyratou. This is an out-of-the-ordinary performance in which music and dance become intermeshed.» The musicians for the performance are Takis Farazis (piano), Christos Polydoras (saxophone, harmonica) and Olga Artikopoulou (cello), while the dancers are Elena Kourkouli, Apostolia Tsolaki and Evi Hadzaki. «My participation in this performance is limited to the nine themes by Vassilis Dimitriou, which are presented in the first part,» says choreographer Sofia Spyratou. «It is a contact improvisation which, instead of using the dancers’ bodies, uses musical instruments. It is the continuation of a thought I had on the live dialogue between dancer and musician,» she adds. «The musician participates either actively or passively, spurring on the dancer. For example, in one part, the dancer lunges for the piano and the musician keeps playing, only this time on the dancer’s body.» Dimitriou’s early steps in writing music for the stage were taken with Rallou Manou’s «Greek Dance Drama,» an outstanding production. He then went on to work with dancers such as Leonidas de Pian (Classical Ballet Center), Haris Mandafounis, Maria Alvanou and Korai Damati, among others. «I find dance very stimulating. It is very erotic, like music,» he says. «When the two come together, they create a new life.» The second part of the evening at the Roes Theater consists of eight songs on the poetry of Yiannis Ritsos set to music by Dimitriou and performed by musicians Takis Farazis, Polydoras and Olga Artikopoulou and singers Vassilis Gisdakis and Keti Koulia. «This is not the poetry of Ritsos we are accustomed to,» explains the composer. «This is a very erotic Ritsos. The music is sparse, along the lines of the sparse verse. These are some of Ritsos’s most beautiful poems, his most simple, sweet, erotic.» Roes Theater, 14 Iakhou, Gazi, tel 210.347.9426.