The activities of the State Theater of Northern Greece’s dance theater department are reaching the same level of excellence as those of its theatrical department, while also acquiring an international flair. These strides are taking place despite the dance company lacking a space for daily rehearsals or for the series of seminars that were planned last year. Already in its 20th year, the company is presenting a lavish program for the 2002-2003 season, further enriched by an international co-production. Overall, the coming season includes seven ballets and five productions in which seven choreographers and 31 dancers are to participate. The dance theater has chosen October 14 as its curtain date – also the opening day of the 29th World Theater Conference organized by the International Drama Institute in Athens – when it is scheduled to present its first performance «Ariadne/Kitheronas,» a Greek-German collaboration featuring three dance theater troupes. International collaborations, opportunities for dancers to present their own works as well as appearances abroad, highlight the dance theater’s program this season. According to its director, Constantinos Rigos, though the upcoming productions are based on different styles of dance, their common direction is that of contemporary, revolutionary dance, principally focusing on the body, rather than on the aesthetics. The season-opener, the two-part «Ariadne/Kitheronas» ballet, was choreographed by Irina Pauls (Ariadne), director of the Heidelberg Dance Theater and Constantinos Rigos (Kitheronas). In «Ariadne,» Pauls traces the personal experiences of the mythical figures, while in «Kitheronas,» Rigos’s idea is a collective journey into the world of Dionysus, where people come face to face with desire but also violence. Based on the ancient myths, both choreographers attempt to mix various dance traditions, interpreted by dancers from the State Theater of Northern Greece, the Heidelberg Dance Theater and the Californian Dell’Arte dance company. Following the performances in Athens, the ballet will then travel to Heidelberg. Coming up in December is another two-fold production, «I Took The Train to Thessaloniki on my Birthday – Handle with Care,» a co-production by the State Theater of Northern Greece’s dance theater and the Lathos Kinisi (Wrong Move) company, based on choreographies by Constantinos Michos and Andonis Foniadakis. Activity continues throughout 2003. In March, the «The Winter Traveler» will be choreographed by Constantinos Rigos, while in April, «Creations 2003,» will be choreographed by Katerina Papageorgiou and Amalia Bennett. Finally, in November, «La Gioconda’s Enigmatic Smiles,» is a co-production between the State Theater of Northern Greece and the Katerina Kervanidou dance company.