ARC for Dance Festival is in sync with people, ideas and topical concerns, in sync with everything that shapes the evolution of dance in Greece since its founding. And every year the festival calls on young artists to fuel its spirit with their research and proposals, and to present to the festival’s audience their response to the pressing demands of our times.
For 2021, ARC asked of young creators to reflect on the unprecedented processes dictated by the global health crisis, and to create small-scale projects (solo or duets) in reference to their shared experience and their personal feel of it.
The prime movers of dance, those carrying the promise of movement forward into the future, were asked to recount their stance in the face of conditions of bodily confinement, within the limited space of a room in their home, a small stage of sorts. What adjustment processes are necessary? How much does the body have to forget in order to survive without the energy of friction with other bodies? And how much does this affect and change their kinetic vocabulary?
A short original work conveys to the public the way in which each of these young choreographers has captured the unfamiliar experience of life in a present time that is essentially mediated and appears to go on endlessly.
They then converse with choreographer Chrysanthi Badeka (ARC_dialogues) about the special workings of their creative process and their personal dance language.
We find each other in the Plenum
Plenum is the opposite of vacuum. And the work “We find each other in the Plenum” speaks of the “plenum” of each and every one of us. Two independent women move within a shared context, in which a pole of attraction develops between them. Their connection and the interaction between their inner worlds leads them to a transition. A transition which, however, retains their original condition: togetherness within the plenum. The work talks about sharing experiences in a world of solitude. It is a coming together in the study of human relationships beneath the surface, the relationships within. Unique relationships that are difficult to balance, deeply rooted in the individual identity of each party involved.
The work “We find each other in the Plenum” is about a journey, the path of two women who go through three different states. The transition from one state to the next determines the smooth outcome. In the first part of the piece, the dancers move in complete harmony and synchronization, and yet every little shift constitutes a link that allows the piece to move forward. The frequent but subtle directional changes serve to continuously create a new space and a different point of view. The transition from one part of the piece to the next also reflects the need for the relationship between the two, their interaction, the importance of the existence of the “other”.
The work “We find each other in the Plenum” has been presented at the Festival of Young Choreographers at the Theatre Train at Rouf, Our Festival at Theatro Rematias and the RIDCC in Rotterdam.
Idea/Concept: Zoi Efstathiou
Performers: Zoi Efstathiou, Sofia Martiou
Music: Fabian Fiorini (“Echoes of a Distance”) and Athina Routsis, Claudia Matola Rhodes, Alkistis Raftopoulou
Sound Recording: Fotis Mylonas
Costumes: Ellada Damianou
Special thanks to: Kinitiras Artistic Network for Performing Arts
M. Eugenia Demeglio
“hyperobject” is a minimal dance piece for three performers. The flow is relentless, repetitive; a mechanism that once started cannot be stopped. Movements are deconstructed to fragments and reconstructed by repetition, while small permutations give space to imperceptible changes and generate the path for interpretation. The work emerges through the ensemble, through the orchestration of its different elements, residing particularly in the spacing and timing of each performer. “hyperobject” resides in the spacing and timing of each different performer. Like a Mandelbrot fractal, the more one witnesses its unfolding, the more it hypnotizes the viewer with permutations of the same object.
In “hyperobject” the performers exist in the contingency of becoming, focused yet lost in a near-meditative state, stripped to the pure essence of bodies in space and time, offering to the viewer the sense of ungraspable relentlessness that is the key to their universe.
Despite its apparent simplicity, “hyperobject” is in fact a complex piece, drawing inspiration from, and building on, the minimalist dance and music legacy of the 1970s, which sidestepped smooth flow in favor of the improvised, the distracting, the recondite.
The term “hyperobject” was coined by Timothy Morton in 2008, in order to describe “a real event or phenomenon so vast that it is beyond human comprehension”.
Research: M. Eugenia Demeglio, Maria Vourou
Development: M. Eugenia Demeglio, Maria Vourou, Pagona Boulbasakou,Themis-Ariadne Andreoulaki
Performance: Maria Vourou, Areti Athanasopoulou, Mary Kate Sheehan
Music: Jeph Vanger
404: Day not found
A(r)CT Dance Company
A humorous approach to the daily life that we have been experiencing over the past 404 days... The body absent and the mind trying, at times successfully and at other time failing miserably, to wake up the former, activate it, mobilize it. Given the shutdown of dance schools and studios, the suspension of contracts and cancellation of performances, there is only one thing left to focus on: self-preservation. Arguably a simple task, if we trust in Nike that encourages us to “just do it”. And yet, as we hit the 404th day of lockdown from reality, and the only substitute for real connection and communication is performed via screens, movement without a purpose and a motivation appears increasingly futile. Our daily workout transforms into a daily feat, the burden of which we feel weighing down on us like a bad hangover, like something need help, a push, to carry out.
In this way, the Aristotelian "ὃ οὐ κινούμενον κινεῖ" (moved by that which does not move) comes to life in an ordinary living room, of an ordinary apartment building, in an ordinary city. Taking on the form of three fighters, who appear like ninjas in our eyes, but are perhaps simply the driving forces that motivate and urge us, remind us not to give up, lift us up when we fall, and always stand by our side when we need them. “404: Day not found” creates a quasi-grotesque situation, a tragelaph of sorts, in which tragedy and humor merge to prompt the viewers to reflect on the reality of the past 404 days and motivate them to go on, for one more day, one day at a time.
Choreography - Performance: A(r)CT dance company – Emy Americanou, Eriketi Andreadaki, Eleni Papaioannou, Michalis Saganis
Costumes: Melissanthi Spei
Music: Panos Chountoulidis
Fixation in Duo
"The best way not to go forward is to follow an obsession.”
“Fixation in Duo” is a kinetic performance that “splutters”. A play on the kinetic rules of hip hop and popping on the subject of obsession. It started out as a work in progress at the Promenade of the Athens Video Dance Project 2019, evolved during the period of the first lockdown and was presented in summer 2020 on Kalamata’s central square, at the 26th International Dance Festival of Kalamata. It was filmed at Theater 104 and was selected to appear in Spring Forward 2021, which, however, was postponed due to the public health measures.
Drawing its inspiration from the shelter-in-place condition of our times, “Fixation in Duo” attempts to render through motion, and make a performance of, the emotional state of a person who lives confined in a very narrow, enclosed space, and only there. The repetition of everyday tasks, habits and compulsions is magnified withing the confines of four walls, giving rise to a surreal expression of the human body. Offering its viewers the feeling that they are peering through a keyhole at something taking place behind closed doors, or that they are observing two laboratory animals interacting in a confined space, “Fixation in Duo” mimics a brief reality show set on stage.
The music composed by Alexis Falantas, inspired by the lounge/elevator music of the ’90s, reinforces the sense of a routine and gradually builds up into an obsessive voice, encompassing elements of hip hop and trap combined with Latin music and traditional Greek musical patterns.
Choreography - Set - Costumes: Ilias Chatzigeorgiou
Performance and Creative Processing: Periklis Petrakis, Ilias Chatzigeorgiou
Music: Alexis Falantas
Lighting Design: Nikos Vlasopoulos
Assistant Choreographer: Ilektra Vasilikou