Blending the circus, rock music and urban dance in Kalamata

The Kalamata International Dance Festival, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year, kicks off tonight with a performance by France’s multi-talented choreographer Philippe Decoufle. This year’s festival, which is dedicated to world-renowned dancer and choreographer Trisha Brown (The Trisha Brown Dance Company will close the festival with a show on Sunday, July 25), also includes video-dance projections and dance seminars with Keren Levi. The opening weekend will feature shows by British urban dance choreographer Irven Lewis and his group, and by Michael Clark. Philippe Decoufle will open the festival with his show «Solo,» at the Kalamata Castle at 10 p.m. tonight. The French choreographer made his mark on the international dance scene after his successful organization of the ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France in 1992. This will not be his first visit to Kalamata, as he performed the show «Triton» with his group in Kalamata’s fourth Dance Festival in 1998. «Solo,» however, is different; Decoufle will be alone on stage this time and will act as dancer, choreographer, mime and acrobat at the same time, drawing inspiration from the world of the circus. Britain’s Irven Lewis and his group will stage «Ignite» at the Municipal Regional Theater of Kalamata at 10 p.m. on Saturday and at 8 p.m. on Sunday. The urban dance group will present a show that blends jazz, street dance, ballet and contemporary dance into a unique mix. The performance taks place in collaboration with the British Council. British choreographer Michael Clark, who has been making daring fusions of ballet, wild costumes, rock music and striking stage sets for over 20 years, will stage «Oh, My Goddess» with his group in his first appearance at the Kalamata Dance Festival at the Kalamata Castle at 10 p.m. on Sunday. The show, which also takes place with the collaboration of the British Council, is both dark and dainty, and is based on a mix of strikingly different music compositions, from T-Rex to Erik Satie and from PJ Harvey to the Sex Pistols. For further information, contact the Kalamata International Dance Center, situated at 6 P. Kaissari, Kalamata (tel 27210.83086, 27210.90886). For ticket information and credit card bookings, call 27210.85015, 27210.85034. Tickets cost 20 euros (15 euros for students).