Rigos bares all, literally

He audience at the World Dance Day celebration, held at the Katia Dandoulaki Theater last week, was given a bird’s eye view of choreographer Constantinos Rigos’s philosophy when, after presenting extracts from his latest work, «The Memory of the Swan,» the up-and-coming artist dropped his pants to address the public, shielding his private parts with the printout of his speech. He explained to the audience that he felt it was his obligation to bare himself to the public to the same extent that he exposed his dancers. Earlier this week, Rigos spoke to Kathimerini on the significance of the nude in art (something that features strongly in all his work) and his impressions of World Dance Day. What can nudity in art convey at a time when it is no longer seen as a statement, but as something rather run-of-the-mill? Exhibiting the body means nothing in modern-day society. It is seen as simple, ordinary and normal. I feel good about what I do and think it’s ridiculous for nudity to be a subject of debate. Its significance can only be understood if someone reads between the lines. How do you justify what you did at the World Dance Day event? I don’t. I went completely unprepared and what little I had thought of saying seemed out of keeping with the evening’s atmosphere. It was an impulsive act, though I would argue that it was also a response to those who criticize me for constantly presenting my dancers nude. I have nothing to hide and no problem in standing naked in front of the world. The event at the Dandoulaki Theater concluded with a discussion on theater. What were your impressions? It was fun! The great thing about it was that it was a first and it succeeded in attracting a lot of people. I am not in favor of occasions like this in general, though. My reason tells me not to participate, but I was drawn to this one because communication is vital to me. Of course, this event could and should take place frequently throughout the year, and especially when we all have something more concrete to say. As a successful artist yourself, what are the problems small dance groups face? We did 500,000-drachma (1,467 euros) productions when we started off, but we didn’t moan. Nevertheless, I think that the funding system should be revised. One solution would be to set up three different categories: one for groups receiving funding regularly, one for new groups and one for projects, meaning one-off shows without a long-term commitment. It is not always necessary to do exactly what we want exactly when we want it, but to think about the future and plan ahead.