Viewing as a practice

Hi Jack.This is an intimate version photo: A. & C. Bourelias (performer: Androniki Marathaki)

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

 I have continued, yet more consciously, to work on a practice as the basic method of choreographing; considering that nowadays artistically this is perhaps the most valuable thing to organize, observe, study and spill out as a flow into society.I continued and evolved the organizing of ways and strategies that invite viewing as a practice as well. A practice of contemplation (Hi Jack.This is an intimate version. , it’s not about if you will love me tomorrow,  holy purple & Let’s be comfortable in our own skin).I began to experience choreography as a practice that accompanies me in everything I do and in anything I communicate; a practice that is happily grounded in the dance work (still maintaining expanded boundaries on what a dance work can be). A choreographic practice is a way of experiencing, observing, seeing, perceiving, imagining, realizing; a way that organizes, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously, the relationships between the different dimensions of the Body and Bodies. It is mostly characterized by the study, contemplation and experience of dance with “bare attention” of what we call “bodily sensations”. And although I am interested in maintaining the elasticity of the boundaries of whatever it is that I define as dance work, this path is focused around a precise quality of attention. A practice that is perhaps meditative and reflective on how humans experience movement while moving, while dancing, while observing dance and while choreographing.

Most importantly, what constitutes an “essential development” is my relationship with the past and with the knowledge that has led me to the present moment. For example, I think that if I were to respond again to the questions of the previous interview now, it would be very different, some answers would be clearer for sure while others perhaps not as casual or carefree. And this is not only because what I define as “space” has changed (for example), but also because I have a completely different understanding of the questions that were asked. What I have been called upon to manage on both a personal and collective level over the last three years has led me to a different kind of relationship with the world. It is important to remember that the past is mostly changing, as the way that I “read” it today shifts, and that in the end, it is the present that reshapes what has happened, not the other way around. Even within a digital archive that seems to be placed eternally on the internet unaltered, or even within a vast environmental human footprint. (Dance as a liver. Live as dancer., Proposals from dancers for life management today/conference of theatre and performing arts critics association)



hiding in holy purple photo: kostisk (performers: Candy Karra, Loukiani Papadaki)


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

I discern a need for healthier working relationships, for research and experimentation within these, aiming to redefine those components that are worthy in them. Furthermore, a need for health in the way bodies correlate and a need for fellowship and freedom in ‘articulating’ the discourse of Dance. At the same time, I discern the difference between what is promoted and supported by the institutions- albeit with an improved performance in communication manoeuvres (in the likes of advertisements)- and the connection to the above mentioned needs. Thus, I detect a polarisation in what we call the dance scene. A polarisation which I do not know in what way it could be reconciled, if it needs to be reconciled and where this sharp rift will lead.

The intense mobility- and consequently perpetual change and transformation- which was one of the predominant paths already, through the successive crises intensified further, perhaps leading to trauma. Trauma for which we had no prior training for being capable of handling. And in all truth. Today’s society maintains a better relation to the movement of mental thought rather than with the thought movement of the body, let alone the coordination of both of them. Any conflicts caused by this intense mobility of recent years can potentially create a fear of risk or a fear of taking responsibility, the responsibility required by the desired freedom.

Most of all, what trauma “does” is to interrupt any sense of present that might exist, paralyzing action, erasing any possibility of recalling memories of previous management of situations, and causing anxiety about any next step. I think it just takes time and maybe that’s what seems to be missing most. Time for healing.


let’s be comfortable in our skin– photo: Androniki Marathaki


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

I’m having a hard time answering that question. In a similar way that I have a hard time organizing what my life will look like in one day from now, given the current circumstances. It seems like we have been placed on a “side of the world”. This fortunately (and as usual) involves many facets.

I think that as it “blows in from everywhere”  flexibility and resilience will be important qualities for survival (and they are, but also easily exploitable). I’d like to imagine that whatever the landscape is, within the next ten years, we will have navigated it in camaraderie, remaining strong in what holds value for us and the whole, staying stable but at the same time “spinning”. Re-establishing meaningful relationships between dance and society and what is communicated when placed on stage. Sharing the benefits of tuning into the Body’s dimensions and shedding some light on the journey of de-materialization of the Body we are on, due to the virtual reality of screens (which will be increasingly life shaping).  And finally with love towards the Body and whatever has been before carving out our path to the present moment. I think it is important to remember that Dance will always keep its limits elastic (fortunately), that movement has no limit (it is immaterial, intangible, eternal, infinite, etc.) and that the Body is now necessary to discover which limits it wishes to include in its next steps and which it wishes to forget/leave/release. I believe that through this process it will continue learning and knowing what it thought it did not know.


Love & Revolution_ Part I the anomaly of the least– By V.Poulis,artwork by Eftichia Liapi (performers: Loukiani Papadaki, Matina Kokolaki)