A dance ode to love and beauty

«I the Month of Athyr,» choreographer Sofia Spyratou’s latest work, inspired by C. P. Cavafy’s poem of the same title, will be staged at the Roman Agora tomorrow by the Roes dance theater. The performance, an ode to love and beauty, is based on the funerary inscriptions and other depictions found in Athens’s ancient Kerameikos cemetery as well as other archaeological sites. «In this poem, Cavafy takes a walk through an ancient cemetery and comes across the funerary monument of a young man, Leukios. I identified with his walk in my wanderings around the Kerameikos, where all the statues and the inscriptions reflect such beauty. The feeling is so strong it affects visitors even today. Everyone is depicted in moments of brightness: You have the mother touching her jewelry, the grandmother with her grandchild and the young warriors as victors. You can see life coming to you, it is as if courage and beauty beat death,» said Spyratou in an interview with Kathimerini. «We come across the same symbols in our traditional funerary songs. One can see a line of continuity which inextricably connects the great emotions.» All these elements have been incorporated into a show performed by nine dancers and seven actors. «The performance is structured like an ancient tragedy. It consists of choral lamentations, funerary processions, the recitation of inscriptions (translated into Modern Greek) and many dance scenes referring to the depictions on ancient vases and their movement,» said Spyratou. The Contemporary Ensemble of the City of Athens’s Music Ensembles, under the baton of Lefteris Kalkanis, will interpret Alkinoos Ioannidis’s original score. The texts were edited by Christos Boulotis and the sets and costumes are by Constantinos Zamanis. Despina Stefanidou was the music coach and the lights are by Sakis Birbilis. Dancers Dimitris Ferras, Michalis Pappas, Gina Kalantzi, Evi Hadzaki and others are participating. «It is moving to listen to Alkinoos’s music; it is his first composition for a dance theater performance,» said Spyratou. «A work based on funerary inscriptions brings to mind something sad. But art, especially when it is based on ancient lyric poetry, is not sad; on the contrary, it is uplifting. That is what we want to give to the audience. We want to awaken this beauty and love.» Spyratou’s production takes place in collaboration with the City of Athens Cultural Organization. Tickets are available at Metropolis music stores and at the Theatro Technis box office (5 Pesmazoglou). After the Roman Agora, the performance will be staged at the Vrachon Theater in Vyronas on June 20, in Elefsina on July 5, at Meteora on July 15, in Iraklion in Crete on August 8 and at Petroupolis’s Petra Theater on September 14.

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