Surprises and a lot of promise

Greek choreographers, despite the difficulties they face, are making their presence felt once more at the Dance Festival, organized for the fifth year running by the Association of Greek Choreographers, under the guidance of Petros Gallias. The shows began on May 5 and will run to June 22 at Athens’s Roes, Hytirio, Argo, Meli and Embros theaters. Some of this year’s highlights and surprises include a number of collaborations between companies (Haris Mandafounis’s Contemporary Dance Company with Lila Zafeiropoulou’s Eldor, and Myia with the Dancers of the North), as well as the appearance of Vancouver-based Paraskevas Terzakis’s Kinesis group, invited by the Iros Angelos Dance Theater, and the shows staged by the Angeloskoni company with the participation of disabled persons. There is also pieces by young choreographers who may not have their own company but who have been given the opportunity to present their work. Here are some of the groups which are worth noting and which have presented their programs well in advance: Haris Mandafounis’s collaboration with his former student and dancer, the current choreographer and artistic director of the Eldor dance company, Lila Zafeiropoulou. The first part, «Blood Wedding,» is choreographed by Mandafounis and features actress Leda Protopsalti. The second part, Zafeiropoulou’s «Folia,» was inspired by the nature of trees as described in Celtic mythology. Music by Bach, Corelli, Biber, Marais and Ligeti, performed live by the Ex Silentio ensemble, runs through the entire choreography. It is being staged at the Meli Theater until tomorrow. Ioanna Parali’s Landscape company presents «Missing People,» which she describes as «a tribute to the earth and to the people no longer considered missing.» According to Parali, the show was inspired by the destructive earthquake in southeast Asia and the tsunami that followed. The performance is being staged at the Hytirio Theater also until tomorrow. It has already been performed in Limassol, Cyprus, representing Greece at the Ninth European Contemporary Dance Festival, and will go to Thessaloniki for the first Balkan Performing Arts Market on June 2. «Solitaire» is a solo card game that has been transformed into an exploration of human contact by Ioanna Portolou and the Griffon dance company’s latest production (Embros Theater, June 6-9). The company’s successful trio «Fractal» was staged at the Contemporary Dance Platform at the Athens Concert Hall last February and at the Balkan Dance Platform in Skopje last year; «Action xt» was presented at the Dance Festival in 2005 and then traveled to Liverpool’s Leap Festival before featuring at Athens’s Mad Festival. Iris Karayan’s Zeta dance company is relatively new, but its latest production, «Going Under,» choreographed by Myrto Katsiki and based on Jean Baudrillard’s book «The Transparency of Evil,» is very promising. Shows will take place at the Hytirio Theater May 25 to 28. On the same days, Sylvia Maki’s Synergeio Technon will stage «Earth Creation» at the Roes Theater. The choreography is the outcome of «Orizon,» staged at the Athens Concert Hall as part of this year’s Dance Platform. According to Maki, it expresses the wish for people to realize their common heritage and join in unity.