Seeking the evolving idiom in art of dance

Dance, to Emio Greco, is about «discovering myself and acquiring a voice that would not use simple, everyday words, but would speak through art.» The Italian dancer/choreographer will be in Athens with the EG|PC dance company, named after himself and Pieter C. Scholten with whom he founded the ensemble, to perform the award-winning «Double Points: One & Two» (Time Out Live Award 2004 and Herald Angel Award 2001) at the Technopolis arts complex on July 6 and 7, within the context of the Third International Dance Festival of Athens (today to July 15). Greco’s dancing is intense, graceful, playful, sensual and energetic; every moment is an experience. «I felt a strong desire to dance,» he said when asked during a recent telephone interview with Kathimerini how he became involved in dance. Greco was born in Brindisi, Italy, but left the country at the age of 21 to study classical ballet in Cannes before joining the Ballet Antibes Cote d’Azur for several years. He studied various other forms of dance at the same time and has worked with pioneers of the genre, such as Belgian visual artist and theater director Jan Fabre and Japanese choreographer Sabura Teshigawara. He co-founded EG|PC in 1995 and has since used his collaborations to explore new idioms and new forms in dance. Greco focuses on what he sees as the most pure element of dance: the human body. In his performances, the movement appears independent, capable of claiming its own space. Can you tell us a few words about the performance «Double Points: One & Two,» which you will be presenting in Athens? The performance is in two parts. «Double Point One» is a solo on Ravel’s «Bolero.» «Double Point Two» is a duet, but not in the traditional sense. I would say that it is a solo for two. For the first part, I wanted to give a different interpretation of «Bolero,» which has been used for about 100 years by almost every choreographer. In the second part, I wanted to present an alternative to the relationship usually shown between two people in a duet. In both cases, I wanted to present my reaction to two stereotypes in dance. What is most important to you when you are creating a dance piece? Inspiration, of course. Mostly, though, it is the need to create. You may have inspiration that does not come from any real need. It might just be an ability to create, to solve problems. What is important is the real need to do something. What is role does the body play? The body is the star of dance and of the stage. For us, it is both the subject and the object at the same time. It is about instinct and will. A space that we keep exploring. An autonomous universe with all the minute and greater details that distinguish it. The source of everything. It is the thing that transmits all the information we get from the outside world. How do you combine classical and modern dance in your works? What is your position on the two? I do not believe that there is a modern style of dance. What we call «modern» is our goal to evolve the idiom of dance, to set it free. It was named modern dance because of this vision. I use classical ballet in my choreographies in many different ways and for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s a reference, like a style I want to address, and sometimes it works as a memory, a fleeting scene. How do you see the future of dance? If we want to be confident that dance will have a future at all, we have to re-examine the medium itself, the art of dance. It is certainly fascinating to use technology, but this is an easy way to decorate it, to substitute the power that only dance itself can give you. I think the future of dance lies in its genes. It has to evolve from a genetic point of view and not through the application of technologies. Other than choreographing and dancing, how else do you explore dance as a whole? For the past two years, along with my associate Pieter C. Scholten, we have been running a series of online forums. We wanted to give artists, critics and journalists an opportunity to meet and discuss the various ways they see dance today, and to work together in developing the theory and language we will use for dance in the future. Since the art of dance is evolving, shouldn’t we also be evolving in the manner in which we write about it? For information, see «What’s On.»

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.