This new production of Stereo Nero Dance Co. constitutes a journey through Japanese myths and stories, starring outlandish female creatures of captivating beauty and mysterious form. Figments of imagination tightroping between sensuality and terror, but also strange and wonderful supernatural presences - mirages, ghosts, phantoms, wraiths, demons, goddesses, odd animals and spirits of nature, these creatures are at times frightening, at times melancholy and at times comical, yet always paradoxical and exciting, and ushering us into a world where the supernatural is interwoven with the natural landscape and part of the human day-to-day life.
Kwaidan explores the scenic rendering of these forms through a journey that sets out from the Japanese tradition spanning all the way through to the Japanese modern-day capital, Tokyo, a city generally seen by Westerners as strange, unfamiliar, charming, almost utopian. Drawing their inspiration from the myths of Lafcadio Hearn and the ghost stories of Masaki Kobayashi's film Kwaidan, as well as from the Japanese tradition of anime and the young pop scene, Stereo Nero Dance Co. creates a mosaic of vibrant colours, moods and speed alterations, and merges mysticism with the new ideograms of the Japanese metropolis.
Funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, 2019
Choreography - Concept: Evi Souli
Interpretation - Cocreation of kinetic material: Katerina Foti, Christiana Kosiari, Themis Chatzi
Original Music Composition: Jan Van de Engel
Scenography: Marilena Georgantzi
Lighting Design: Marietta Pavlaki
Photos: Stephie Grape
Production: STEREO NERO DANCE CO.
‘High’ culture only allows its association with the element of fairy tales through a strict set of rules or connotations, thus favouring the recourse to logic rather than emotion or even a conditional combination of the two. This dichotomy, which seems to serve, or attest to, the ways in which either one of the two forms of culture proliferate and spread, may also at times document and validate their deliberate distinction. Widespread and "popular" is the appeal of the fairy tales; "elitist" and dominated by words is the relation between the products of high culture and its audience.
Nevertheless, things are not only analyzed through contrasts and dipoles. In his first choreographic attempt, Alexandros Stavropoulos is experimenting with the convergence of two seemingly incompatible domains: Exonerating the stereotypical approaches of Disney’s heroines, he brings to stage eight versions of Cinderella, with a proposition that does not superficially "modernize" the fairy tale, but rather bares it of its narration and places it in the space created by the music of Steve Reich. This paradoxical mix allows us to “read” the minimalist, repetitive, rhythmic patterns of Music for Pieces of Wood quite differently. The movements that are inspired by the animated film Cinderella are turned into emphatic gestures thanks to the 8-strong dance ensemble, but at the same time remain true to the abstractive, clean form of the music track.
Alexandros Stavropoulos suggests that we should stand on the slim boundary that separates the seemingly antithetical worlds of music and movement, and allow humour to permeate music, thus reinventing the entire viewing-listening experience.
Choreography - Concept: Alexandros Stavropoulos
Performers: Lambrini Golia, Maria Kakoliri, Iro Konti, Despoina Lagoudaki, Maria Manoukian, Dafni Stathatou, Stefania Sotiropoulou, Katerina Christoforou
Music Composition / Sound Design: Konstantina Polychronopoulou
Costumes: Francesco Infante
Photography: Spiros Chatziangelakis, Dimitris Mamaloukos
Warmest thanks to Dance Cultural Center studio, Metaneira and Ιnfinity Dance Studio for the courtesy of granting access to their venues.
The "International Festival of Contemporary Dance ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL"
is realized within the context of the Operational Program "ATTICA 2014-2020"
and is co-funded by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) and national resources.
The realization of the “13th International Festival of Contemporary Dance ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL”
is in compliance with accessibility provisions, in order to ensure accessibility to PWD.