This May, the art of dance is celebrated at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation (MCF), through two much-anticipated productions: “Babel” by acclaimed choreographer Konstantinos Rigos and the Oktana Dancetheatre group (May 29-June 1) and “Greece has Soul / The Chain” by choreographer and aerial performer Katerina Soldatou (May 15-22). Choreography is intertwined with other arts, from theatre to photography, providing viewers and visitors with a deep insight into the quintessence of dance creativity.
“Greece has Soul” Exhibition & “The Chain”
The project “Greece has Soul” is an initiative by dancer, choreographer and aerial performer Katerina Soldatou: Together with her team, they travel to various destinations of unique beauty and great historical significance, capturing the essence of Greek nature, character and “soul”. Inspired by the variety of the natural landscape, the cultural heritage, the past and present of Greece, Soldatou stages unique dance performances, either on the ground or dangling from impressive heights, making the best use of each setting. Inspired by her surroundings, she aims to get her vision across through a photographic exhibition hosted at the MCF on May 15-22, featuring pictures that capture some of the most representative and breathtaking images of her project.
Soldatou, a Royal Academy of Dance graduate, is the founder of the company Beyond Aerial, through which she runs her projects and teaches her own version of aerial dance. As part of the “Greece has Soul” project, Soldatou will showcase her skills and artistic vision in “The Chain”, a performance combining dance and theatre; Katerina Soldatou is the director, scriptwriter and choreographer, while the music featured is composed by Panagiotis Aravantinos. In her show, the artist examines the issues of individual freedom, imagination and spontaneity, and the restraints imposed on them by the norms of society, everyday routine and even the limitations of nature itself – countless confinements that seem impossible to evade, except in our dreams. “The Chain” will be hosted at the MCF for one unique performance, on May 16, 2018.
Konstantinos Rigos is one of Greece’s most famous choreographers and directors, demonstrating impressive artistic versatility; Rigos has collaborated as a choreographer, director and artistic director with some of the country’s most significant artistic institutions, from the Greek National Opera to the National Theatre of Greece and the National Theatre of Northern Greece, earning multiple awards and unanimous recognition for his successful productions. In 1990, Rigos founded the Dancetheatre Oktana, which significantly contributed to the development of contemporary dance in Greece. As of January 2018, Rigos has been appointed Director of the Greek National Opera Ballet.
Now, four years after Oktana’s last production for the Athens Festival, the dancetheatre group returns on the stage of MCF with “Babel”, a co-production of Konstantinos Rigos along with four prominent dancers (Markella Manoliadis, Michalis Kriembardis, Giannis Michos and Christos Strinopoulos), on music by Thodoris Reglis, presented for four shows, on May 29-June 1. “Babel” transports us to a city in ruins; on the aftermath of utter destruction, people try to find themselves again, to regain contact with their bodies, to develop communication with each other, to rebuild their environment, to regain lost time. Having fulfilled their every need and wish, they end up living on the extremes, they proclaim themselves God and ultimately try to rebuild the tower of Babel, even if they can’t hope for a better outcome the second time around.
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