Collaborations and community dance

Dance and Third Age

What has changed, what are the developments in your work, since the last interview?

It was really interesting to read the last interview seven years ago. A lot has changed in my work since then, the main one being that I decided to bring the Kinitiras studio in Koukaki to a close. This space was the first residency for performing arts in Greece and I feel that it left a good imprint on the dance and theatre scene. My personal need to evolve as an artist and the fatigue of managing such a space led me to this decision.

Over the years I have done many different projects and collaborations with Kinitiras. Among them I consider particularly important the ΓΑΒ group that literally sprang out of the studio (Gyra-Adamos-Venetsanopoulos). We created the project ‘Deep Sigh’ which was funded by the Ministry of Culture and the street performances ‘Unexpected Readings’ in the framework of “Athens World Book Capital” (2018-19) and ‘Truth or Dare’ program that included performances and dance workshops for secondary school students on the subject of addictions, in collaboration with the OKANA organisation with the support and aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Education part of  the EK-PLIXI project.

My need for research and exchange of ideas led me to design the residency program Femininity in Transition that invited other female choreographers to work on creating different solos in Greece, Switzerland and Israel. (2019-present).

Finally in the summer of 2021, I participated in the program “All of Greece , One Culture” with the work Erotopaignia based on the poetry of Byzantium composed by Christos Theodoros that was presented at the Archaeological Museum Arethousa in Chalkida that hopefully will be presented elsewhere this summer 2022.

In connection with the KINITIRAΣ Ω group , I also completed a research program on Dance and Third Age during the quarantine  which was also funded by the Ministry of Culture and I hope that it will inspire other colleagues in Greece to work with older people.

During this period I also completed my training as a maternity assistant , because I had a passion for it , yet, once again, I realised that I cannot escape from my desire to be  an artist and I did not change my career in the end.


Erotopaignia photo: Papadaki Christina


After a decade of successive crises (economic, social, environmental, health) what changes and developments do you notice have happened in the contemporary dance scene in Greece and what do you think is missing? 

In my opinion, what has definitely changed is that a lot of new makers have come into play. Artists with a fresh, often subversive look, with humour and knowledge on the subject of dance. At the same time there are more performance spaces available, more choice compared to how it used to be. I think that this is because there are now big institutions that support and present dance which has also influenced state-run stages to program more dance, in addition to smaller venues springing up like…mushrooms despite the difficulties of these times. Moreover, performing in public space and the political ramifications it can have with regards to the presence of art in people’s lives has also opened up new paths towards creation. Finally, the pandemic gave an unimaginable boost to creativity through technology and the internet , something that certainly has positive aspects to the development of the field.

With regards to what is missing, in my opinion we are lacking a solid representation of our industry in the form of a unified association. The ΣΕΧΩΧΟ union of workers in the field of dance is in essence only for or primarily for dancers, while the Choreographers Association is inactive by now, thus we cannot collectively be heard or request anything from the state and it all ends up to individual actions .

The way in which the “pie” is “shared” has always been and still is incomprehensible to me. Private sponsorship is almost non-existent since there is no serious incentive for private sponsors. The absence of a dance house despite announcements about creating one- such as in the AKROPOL theatre- has been all words and no actions for the time being. Organisation, collectivity, solid state support on clear terms and frameworks -these are missing.

Still though, in Greece we have always relied on our passion and our whim and thus our field continues to grow and I would even say it is strengthened by the adverse conditions we have been experiencing during the last decade.


Femininity in transition photo: Pavlos Mavridis


How could we imagine the landscape of dance in the next ten years?

As we currently live in these health-war conditions and after experiencing these extended lockdown times, I find it hard to imagine the next ten years. I am going through a phase of constantly telling myself “step by step” to endure the delays, cancellations and often unbearable adventures of life. This does not mean that I am cancelling out my imagination, but simply that imagining is resting in the present moment, in the now and maybe up to tomorrow. I would most certainly want to imagine a future dance that is more inclusive, where technology supports it without overpowering the wonderful art of bodies dancing live, sweating and laughing. Let’s start dancing without masks and the rest will come .


Femininity in Transition photo: Pavlos Mavridis