Horizons & Responses: 2 ways to look at the engagement of Greek artists with contemporary society
At the occasion of the EDN meeting in Athens that took place in November 2015, the local dancehouse, The Isadora & Raymond Duncan Dance Research Center, organized a series of events under the title Map of contemporary Dance in Greece.
One of the events, Horizons discussion panel aimed at presenting part of the dance and performing arts scene in Greece through artist-led initiatives that expand the field per se and act as “network extenders” operating for the common good (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2007, p. 356). The participants were invited to present their practices, their aims, the operation modes that they support through their initiatives, how those practices contribute or influence the performing arts discipline as well as if, and in which ways, those are relevant to today’s sociopolitical conditions. Their presentations were 10 minutes short and in the end they were asked to share with the audience what they wish for their practice in the future as an invitation for what is to come.
The panel was held on the 30th of November 2015 and it was curated by Steriani Tsintziloni and Betina Panagiorata (dance theorists).
What follows is a recap of their presentations along with the relevant websites for more information.
Mariela Nestora – Yelp Dance Company choreographer
From stage to page aims at “locating” the Greek dance scene. Dance artists write about their work and choreography, themselves. Dance theorists write about the Greek dance scene or reflect on the contents of from stage to page. This blog consolidates in biennial publications.
Polina Kremasta – Dance Educator / Co-founder of the educational programme
Skytali is an educational program based on movement and dance, open to dancers, educators, choreographers and primary school students. It is based on a continuous procedure of sharing information and tools and learning through acting. Its core practice consists in passing the relay and educating the other to take over, inspiring and reinforcing community and personal skills such as initiative taking, cooperating, connecting. The classes are movement experience lessons and not a typical dance technique course. They are based on two fundamental movement actions, running after and falling; two symbolically charged actions, really familiar to children, linked with the joy of playing but also with social behavior. Skytali is a project, a community, a live structure, a network, a new space, a home a boat, a door, a movement, a way of life.
Michael Klien – Choreographer
R.I.C.E. is a cultural initiative based on Hydra, Greece. Since 2013 it is dedicated to exploring the choreography of humans. R.I.C.E. aims to envision human relations with the sensibilities of an artist, poet, dancer and currently manifests itself as an experimental summer academy situated on Hydra (RSOD) as well as in adhoc initiatives wherever and wheneved needed. The Ricean School of Dance (RSOD) attracts more than 50 international artists to island every year.
Gigi Argyropoulou – performance theorist and maker
Green Park is an occupied, self-organized space in Athens that come about as a result of the encounters born out the experiments and struggles of the last few years in Greece. Green Park was occupied in June 2015 and attempts to collectively explore forms of critical artistic, political and theoretical production and their relationship to the public and dominant social narratives.
Embros theatre was occupied by Mavili Collective in November 2011 that proposed an incomplete cultural proposal as 12day programme of re-activation. Mavili operated the space for the following year as an artist-led space utilizing different structures of organization. Since November 2012 and after collusions with the police the space change its mode of organization and operates since with a weekly assembly open to all hosting social, political and cultural actions.
Artists in focus: how did the socio-political condition of the last years affaceted their thinking and work, their thematic content and their collaborations?
Artists presented: Tzeni Argyriou, Ermira Goro, Maria Gorgia, Zoi Dimitriou, Lenio Kaklea, Giota Kallimani, Iris Karayan, Euripides Laskaridis, Medie Mega, Mariela Nestora, Dimitris Papaioannou, Ioanna Portolou, Kostas Tsioukas.
The film Responses presents choreographers whose work is in discourse with the socio-political condition of the last years. How this situation has affected their thinking and work, their thematic content and their collaborations? Have they delved into areas that they wouldn’t have visited otherwise?
The film was also part of the second EDN event focused on the topic of relevance, the Atelier organized by Dansmakers Amsterdam in March 2016. Responses is more than a presentation of dance projects, but a best practice of how to present the dance landscape in a fresh way.
Watch the full film here below.