What will we see at the 24th Kalamata International Dance Festival?

“I am flabbergasted in seeing to what degree people think it’s normal, or even trite, to be alive”. The statement is by French artist and performer, Olivier De Sagazan, one of the artists creating great expectations on what we are going to see at the 24th Kalamata International Dance Festival.

24ο Διεθνές Φεστιβάλ Χορού Καλαμάτας

Snapshot of “Go Figure Out Yourself” that will be presented by Wim Vendekeybus and his company, Ultima Vez. © Danny Willems.

Those of you that will be at the Messinian capital from the 13th until the 22nd of July, 2018, don’t miss out on this great celebration of dancing, which is among the largest international festivals of its kind. The elements composing the profile of this year’s event is the attendance of great dance teachers, the different kinds of performances including contemporary dance, contemporary circus and street dance, as well as an intensive training program. There are 76 artists participating, from Greece and abroad. From the twenty international artists, ten will be appearing in Greece for the first time.

The project “Penzum”by Jozef Nadj in an homage for the Hungarian poet Attila József. © Dragan Dragin.

“Free Fall” by Sharon Fridman is trapped in a vicious circle of falling and standing back up. A performance testing the boundaries of stability. © Andrea Macchia.

As stated by Linda Kapetanea, artistic director of the 24th Kalamata International Dance Festival, this year’s program is developing around two basic thematic axes: “the teachers and artists with versatile activity on one hand, and performers exploring the boundaries and potential of the human body on the other. This is of great importance for everybody. In order to support the new generations of dancers and spectators, we have to present great examples of creators and performers that can inspire, trouble and affect”.

“Journey Home”, a polyphonic performance by Les SlovaKs, is inspired by traditional dancing. © Herman Sorgeloos.

Performance by Anton Lachky “Cartoon” is an unusual and full of overturns story for children. © Daria Popova.

Distinctive presences
Distinctive presence of the first thematic, Congo born, Olivier De Sagazan comes from France with the performance “Transfiguration”. By changing identities on stage, from man to animal and from animal to various hybrid creatures, his subject is the notion of life. Belgian choreographer, Wim Vendekeybus and his company, Ultima Vez, are exploring the boundaries between spectators and performers thought the performance “Go Figure Out Yourself”, in which spectators and performers coexist on stage. Josef Nadj, director of the Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans, will share his poetic passion for humanity with his project “Penzum”, and he will also present his photographic exhibition titled “Inhancutilitatem”. “Penzum” is an improvisation based on the poetry by Attila József, one of the most iconic Hungarian poets.

Dedicated to the great teachers and artists exploring the boundaries and potential of the human body is this year’s, 24th Kalamata International Dance Festival

A different circus performance is “All Genius All Idiot” that will be presented by Svalbard Company. © Jakub Jelen.

The Festival will open with a project coming from Spain, “Free Fall” by the Compañía of Israeli, Sharon Fridman. Six professional dancers and twenty volunteer dancers will demonstrate the body’s resistance abandoning its vertical state and the importance of creating relationships for human survival. The performance “Journey Home” by Les SlovaKs is moving around the same framework. Five friends sing and dance from their hearts, under the sounds of Simon Thierrée’s violin,  reminding us the challenging though rewarding experience of collective creation and living.

Snaposhot from “Respire” by Cie Circoncentrique Company, a performance of acrobatic poetry. © Laurent Cahu.

“Cartoon” by Slovak choreographer, Anton Lacky, is a play for the entire family, full of flamboyant dances and extravagant tirades.”Through this performance we wish to start projecting dance more on all ages, with the goal of creating new contemporary dance spectator generations in Greece”, Ms. Kapetanea stated.

In his famous solo “Tears, Edivaldo Ernesto lures the audience in a charged contemplation on human freedom. © Lisa Edi.

Thi-Mai Nguyenin performance “Etna”, where she plays o homeless girl dancing to exorcise her bad fate and to keep her spark for life alive. © Wim Vandekeybus.

Views of acrobatic poetry
The controversial Svalbard from Sweden and the audacious Circocentrique from France come with two internationally awarded contemporary circus performances. Circoncentrique’s “Respire” is an acrobatic poetry performance reminding us that in the space of risk, where we are totally vulnerable, is where we can appreciate things with honesty and simplicity. Svalbard’s “All Genius All Idiot” oscillates between the elegant and the ridicule, challenges all boundaries and questions notions of sexual identity, beauty and magnificence.
Self-thought Edivaldo Ernesto, from Mozambique, comes with his solo “Tears”, a project based on the painful request for freedom, while the solo “Etna” by Thi-Mai Nguyen narrates the story of a homeless girl struggling against loosing herself. As street dance goes, the self-thought American dancers representing it need no introduction: they are Marquese Scott and John Poppin, with millions of views on YouTube.

The self-thought American dancers Marquese Scott and John Poppin representing street dance in the festival. © Bubba Carr.

Kόkakepanu/Konstantina Efthimiadou and Panagiotis Manouilidis in their play “In Case of Loss”. © Panagiotis Andrianos.

The festival hosts three Greek productions as well. Kόkakepanu/Konstantina Efthimiadou and Panagiotis Manouilidis will present “In Case of Loss”, looking for the end of the thread returning from darkness into light (Co-production: International Kalamata Dance Festival). “The Art of Dying” by Christine Gouzelis and Paul Blackman/Jukstapoz Company is a a solo piece inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (Co-production: Athens & Epidaurus Festival). Anonymo, by Tzeni Argyriou attempts to create a path that connects the digital with the somatic, in search of a present space (Co–production: Onassis Cultural Centre).

The play “The Art of Dying” by Christine Gouzelis and Paul Blackman/Jukstapoz Company is inspired by the triptych ”The Garden of Earthly Delights”. © Mike Rafail.

With the goal of creating new contemporary dance spectator generations in Greece, the Kalamata Internations Dance Festival presents for the first time a performance for children, “Cartoon” by Slovak choreographer, Anton Lacky.

“Anonymo”, by Tzeni Argyriou creates a path that bridges the digital with the somatic universe. © Tzeni Argyriou.

Outdoor performances
Besides the performances at Kalamata Dance Megaron (Main Stage and Studio), this year’s event will have a large stage set up at King George Square, the main square of Kalamata, presenting 8, 30minute performances (14th-21th of July, every afternoon at 19:00). Entrance will be free of charge. In this, outdoor dance celebration, the public will see:

Spanish Akira Yoshida with “Home”, a project about coming back to the essence of the human being in an era of decay and greed. Slovak Peter Jasko with “18”, a tiny manifest dedicated to dancing and his need for listening to the moment in order to create. Edivaldo Ernesto and Luis Garcia Lopez- aka Fruta- from Spain with their performance “Glitches”. Athanasia Kanellopoulou with “99 Corners of a Possible Self” observes the journey into the nebulous, shady and hidden aspects of a hero in search of a possible self. Irish dancer Liadain Herriot with “On a Tangent”,a theatrical storytelling of the love between a tailor’s granddaughter and a sailor. The Israeli Tom Weksler with his project “Water”, talking about the power of water that feeds us. The above mentioned, Marquese Scott and John Poppin in a dubstep performance that bends space-time. Finally, the duo of Frédéri Vernier and Justine Berthillot, dancers and acrobats from France, with their play “Noos” will show how two people dare to surrender fully to each other and try the boundaries of complete trust.

Snapshot of Peter Jasko’s “18”, a play dedicated to the artist’s constant need for complete surrender to the present moment. © Marina Sekacheva.

Luis Garcia Lopez- aka Fruta- will present with Edivaldo Ernesto their performance “Glitches”. © Anjana Guerras

Training program
On the19th of July, residents and visitors of Kalamata will have the chance to enjoy the El Violin Latino Band in a latin jazz night, at the forecourt of the Kalamata Dance Megaron. The festival’s training program also deserves a special mention. The two basic contemporary dance workshops will be lead by Peter Jasko and Εrnesto Edivaldo and the two-hour masterclass by Marquese Scott and John Poppin will be open to professional dancers, dance students and people with interest and experience in movement. Vitoria Kotsalou will give a seminar for children titled “The Lost Sock”, while Sofia Droumpali, Sue Curtis and Juliet Diener will lead an international scientific workshop for people with disabilities, titled “Dancing My Way”.

Η Βιτόρια Κωτσάλου θα δώσει ένα σεμινάριο για παιδιά με τίτλο «Η Χαμένη Κάλτσα», ενώ οι Σοφία Δρούμπαλη, Sue Curtis και Juliet Diener θα δώσουν ένα διεθνές, διεπιστημονικό σεμινάριο για άτομα με ειδικές εκπαιδευτικές ανάγκες, το οποίο τιτλοφορείται «Χορεύοντας με τον δικό μου τρόπο».

The search for a possible self through shady aspects is the topic of “99 Corners of a Possible Self” by Athanasia Kanellopoulou. © Vagia Tsourvopoulou

The wandering of two people in love in search for one another will be presented by Liadain Herriot with her play “On a Tangent”. © Aya Toraiwa.

During the recent presentation of the 24th Kalamata International Dance Festival’s program, by the artistic director Linda Kapetanea, Culture and Sports Minister Lydia Koniordou, Economy and Development vice Minister Alexis Charitsis and the Kalamata Mayor Panagiotis Nikas were present. As was said, the festival’s funding has been reduced over 50% in the crisis years (from 960.000€ in 2007, it was gradually reduced to 460.000€ this year). According to the two ministers, ensuring the institution’s funding for the next three years (2018-2021) with 1,2 million euro, gives hope for its future as it provides opportunities for long-term planning.         

Με νέο λογότυπο εμφανίζεται φέτος το Διεθνές Φεστιβάλ Χορού Καλαμάτας.

Information: 24th Kalamata International Dance Festival, 13th - 22nd of July, 2018. www.kalamatadancefestival.gr

Tom Weksler dedicates his project “Water” to the power of the water that feeds us, like the blood running through our veins. © Anna M. Maynard.

Dancers and acrobats Frédéri Vernier and Justine Berthillot, travel in Kalamata with their play “Noos” in which two people try the boundaries of complete trust. © Slimane Brahimi.


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