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Exploring love in dance in Aphrodite’s loveland, Cyprus March 15, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Ballet Dance Opera.
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The 8th Annual Contemporary Dance Platform > Mid-March marks the beginning of the dance season with the Annual Contemporary Dance Platform taking place at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol, Cyprus.

Three evenings, March 14, 15, and 16 will serve to showcase new works from local choreographers. In the eight years that the platform has been taking place it has gained respectability and stature in the local community and every year the organisers add a new feature. This year, the regular programme will be accompanied by a new programme entitled “Dance Throughout the Year” offered at the new Dance House Lemesos, allowing foreign festival presenters that visit a glimpse in to works that are created during the entire year.

The first evening will open with a performance by Dance Theater Interact with choreography by Victoria Fillipou Aristidou entitled “About Us”. The work is performed by three women Marina Kyriakidou, Arianna Marcoulidou, and Fillipou. Each woman is consumed by a different prop representing different stages and preoccupations in women’s lives. The piece is accompanied by a video created by Michalis Aristidou and Markos Panayiotou.

Milena Ugren Koulas’ new work “Nothing” for Jeunesses Musicales carries her signature choreographic style, however this solo has a slightly different air. She explains that the solo was a result of her boredom with herself, with having nothing to say, being emotionally and choreographically consumed and exhausted. In result the work is based on a simple ideal – a few effective motifs, linear floor and movement patterns. An exposed, vulnerable performer with a refreshing honesty, Ugren shows a bird-like delicacy and subdued aggression.

Showing work for the first time at the Platform is Aelion Dance Company with choreography by Alexia and Fotini Perdikaki and Maria Mavromichali. “21 minutes” is a work about relationships between genders and different understandings that may occur. Set on six dancers, the three choreographers and Marianna Dimou, Fani Efthymiou, and Suzanna Fialla, the piece is stylised, subtle, and feminine. It is a carefully choreographed dance that holds somatic expression at its core, intermixed with clever moments of theatrical installations.

The second evening of the festival will open at the Dance House Lemesos with two works. Milena Ugren Koulas will show “While Walking” at 18:30, followed by “Heart Time” a work by Lia Haraki and Machi Demetriou Lindahl. Ugren premiered the piece last year at the Platform as a trio and has reworked it into a solo that she has performed at a number of European festivals. Haraki and Lindahl showed their work at the Dance House in November as the first official performance in the space. It is a wonderful alternative dance theatre work exploring different ideas and shapes of love in moving, funny and poignant ways.

Four companies will present work at the Rialto on the Saturday night, starting with Evie Demetriou’s work “Give Me Not” for Omada En Drasei. The duet between the choreographer and Victoria Fillipou Aristidou focuses on the emotional impositions present in a relationship. This is literally represented by props, which form a pile that is passed between the dancers or placed on each other, which in turn forms an obstruction for them and on them. The partnering begins with a gestural conversation that develops into physical partnering that involves manipulations, lifts and throws, falling and sliding.

Echo Arts will present choreography by Arianna Economou “If Not for You” for four performers. Performed by a mixture of trained dancers and non-dancers the work is an exploration of sound, spoken word and movement with text written by Pantelis Georgiou for the particular performance. As usual Economou’s work will involve a multi-disciplinary approach based on improvisation and experimental choreographic methods.

After last year’s absence, Chorotheatro Amfidromo will show a new work “So Close, So Far” by Elena Christodoulidou. Judging from her description of the piece, the work explores a loss of memory in a person and its affect on the ageing mind and body.

Closing the evening will be Elena Antoniou, a performer we’ve been watching for many years, but this year’s offering is her first as choreographer. Her work “This is what you Get” created in collaboration with Polys Peslikas serving as an artistic advisor, is an everyday love story – a meeting, development of a relationship, and its possible failure. The work combines dance with theatrical installation moments, introducing “other” characters with props and lights. A great selection of music accompanies the solo allowing Antoniou to vary technical dance movement with stylised social dancing and her great ability as a theatrical performer.

The last evening will also begin at Dance House with a short dance video “The Only On(c)e” by Christodoulos Christodoulou at 19:00, followed by a new solo “Body Memory 1. Angel” by Machi Demetriou Lindahl.

At 20:30 the last evening of the platform will begin with a performance by Chorotheatro Omada Pente with “Threefold” by Roula Kleovolou. Set on three dancers – Chloi Melidou, Arianna Marcoulides, and Milena Ugren Koulas – the piece seeks to explore the ideas of borders. Borders are interpreted literally and metaphorically, by props, lights, movement, choreographic patterns and the spoken word. Kleovoulou’s work is straightforward, simple and effective which allows her to convey her emotional and psychological ideas.

Alexandra Waierstall’s new work “Terminus” will follow. It is the final installment in the trilogy of works entitled “A Human Study”, which began with a solo “Affect” shown at the platform two years ago, then followed by a duet “Between” presented last year. Waierstall’s has found a clear choreographic voice in the last few years beginning with “Affect” so it will be interesting to see how this piece with the magnificent Evangelia Randou, Christos Papadopoulos, and the choreographer herself will develop from the previous works. As a continuation of the duet “Between”, this piece will show an opposition to the calmness and quiet tension shown there by introducing a clash between characters.

The evening will finish with works by Athena Christodoulou for Soma Dance Company and Elena Kyprianou, a first time presenter at the Platform, for En Choro. Both women will present solos. “Utopia” combines dance performance with a video installation. In her solo Christodoulou examines ideas of performance, exposing oneself as an artist and a person whilst trying to hold on to the magic of creativity and performance.

The platform is a good opportunity to see how contemporary dance in Cyprus is developing. It offers an overview of the choreographic and performance level available in Cyprus. Most pieces premier at the platform and continue to grow and improve in the following performances.

An exhibition showing photographs by Christos Avraamides and drawings and video by Horst Waisterstall at the nearby Artstudio 55 will take place alongside performances. The platform is a popular event so make sure you book your tickets early.

Related Links > http://www.rialto.com.cy/

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