A weekend of contemporary dance for Athens

Contemporary dance is on the program this weekend as two shows open at two of Athens’s most progressive theaters. At Fournos – a venue specializing in art and new technology – the Kyra Ithasymigi dance company presents «Listening to the Emptiness,» while at the Amore – a theater that concentrates on experimental and contemporary drama – the budding Griffon dance group will be on stage with «Kennel.» «Listening to the Emptiness» draws its inspiration from psychology, analyzing the empty feeling within all of us that can come with fear, love and maturity. Choreographer Alexandra Daniil uses flamenco, Indian and contemporary dance to demonstrate how this feeling of emptiness can manifest itself in a language of motion. The performance features music by diverse artists such as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Henry Torgue, Joy and Marie Boine, and the dancers are Dimitra Katsaouni, Sophia Kissa and Daniil herself. Shows start tonight and run through to Monday. At the Amore, starting tomorrow and running to May 26, up-and-coming choreographer Ioanna Portolou (previous works include «Boudoir» and «4, 2, 1») turns to the concept of natural selection for her new piece, «Kennel.» With the Griffon dance group formed into an animal pack, the young artist compares animal and human behavior, pointing out the way in which some members of the pack emerge as dominant figures, teaching and guiding and simultaneously subjugating lowly members. In the quest for belonging, the pack is drawn into a game of social survival where external appearance, reflected in things such as homes and clothes, become the symbols of their status within the group. As the dance evolves, the pack seeks a new code of behavior within the context of the group. «Listening to the Emptiness,» at Fournos, 168 Mavromichali, Neapoli, tel 010.646.0748, tonight to Monday; «Kennel,» at the Amore Theater, 10 Prigiponison, Polygono, tel 010.646.8009, from tomorrow to May 26. Directed by Barry Skolnick, starring Vinnie Jones, David Kelly, David Hemmings. Remake of the 1974 comedy, «The Longest Yard,» about a soccer coach jailed for match fixing who decides to train a team of cons to play against the guards in the prison tournament.