Dancing Athens

Start Date: October 1, 2016
End Date: September 2, 2016


Over a whole weekend, the choreographies of Trisha Brown, Boris Charmatz, Willi Dorner and Yannis Mantafounis will spread out at different times of day to different parts of Athens’ historic centre.

It was April 1970 when Trisha Brown tied a dancer to a length of climbing rope and sent him walking down the front of a seven-storey building at 80, Wooster Street, Manhattan. The American choreographer was looking for ways to unsettle the relationship between the human body, gravity and space and the way New Yorkers had learned to think of everyday movements like walking and running. And it was there in the early Seventies that the experiments and unconventional ideas of the Judson Church postmoderns -along with their irresistible desire for change- spilled out into the streets, squares, parks, terraces and museums of New York.

The decision to open the OCC’s 2016-17 dance and theatre season with works by choreographers from round the world scattered round Athens has everything to do with art’s recent turn towards public space and the need to discover alternative ways of communicating with the public and interacting with the urban environment. Dancing Athens invites us to change the way we move and behave in the city, the way we perceive our everyday gestures, our reactions to the unexpected and the random, but also the way we perceive contemporary dance.

Over a whole weekend, the choreographies will spread out at different times of day to different parts of Athens’ historic centre, mixing and matching Boris Charmatz’s raw nocturnal landscapes with Trisha Brown’s pared-down poetry and Yannis Mantafounis’ one to one choreographies with Willi Dorner’s catch-you-by-surprise urban interventions. With ever decreasing numbers of people enjoying access to art, a common good, and ever-increasing surveillance of our movements in public space, there may well be more need for a free, open festival than ever before.

Katia Arfara
Artistic Director for Theatre and Dance at the OCC

Conceived and curated by Katia Arfara
Head of Production: Dimitra Dernikou
General Technical Management: Lefteris Karabilas
Production Manager: Vassilis Panagiotakopoulos
Production Assistants: Despoina Sifniadou, Eirilena Tsami

1 – 2 Oct 2016, 9 pm Kotzia Square
Boris Charmatz
danse de nuit

Boris Charmatz is a choreographer in the most unconventional sense of the word; hugely gifted, provocative, a tireless critic of movement conventions, his work never ceases to pose questions about the nature of dance. From his first creative ventures, he has been seeking a free, ‘untrained’ form of expression, calling into question the codes of the fabricated spectacle, taking his productions off the stage and out into the open air, and redefining the established relationship between audience and performer. But Charmatz has never shown the slightest respect even for these innovations; despite a ‘lost innocence’ in their exploration of movement, his works reveal the desire to forge a link between dance and the primal pleasure the body can bestow when it is free of expectations, interpretative frameworks or limitations.

In danse de nuit, Charmatz takes dance back to its birthplace in the heart of the city. This ancestral linkage signifies dance’s receptiveness to various vibrant forms of expression, but also seeks to deconstruct or articulate all its characteristics, familiar or not, in a unique way and create a true “dance of the city” in the process. In essence, it’s an experiment whose upshot remains extremely hard to predict. Essentially, it isn’t the clarity of the message that matters, though; it’s the urgent sense of reinhabiting public space, forming a community of bodies, creating a strange rift which appears in the city at night.
Interpretation: Boris Charmatz, Ashley Chen, Olga Dukhovnaya, Julien Gallée-Ferré, Peggy Grelat-Dupont, Marlène Saldana
Choreography: Boris Charmatz
Light: Yves Godin
Costumes: Jean-Paul Lespagnard
Vocal Training: Dalila Khatir
Glossolalia realised from dancers’ improvisations, the texts Erasure, Hands Touching, Move and Starfucker by Tim Etchells, the words of Patrick Pelloux in Radio France Inter on January the 8th 2015, writings by Boris Charmatz, quotes and reappropriations from Robert Barry, Marc Gremillon, Bruno Lopes, Didier Morville, Thierry Moutoussamy, Bruce Nauman, Christophe Tarkos, as well as a French counting-out rhyme
General Stage Manager: Fabrice Le Fur
Light Technician: Mélissandre Halbert
Rehearsal Coach Touring: Magali Caillet-Gajan
Production Direction: Sandra Neuveut, Martina Hochmuth, Amélie-Anne Chapelain

Production: Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne – Directed by Boris Charmatz. The association receives grants from the Ministry of Culture and Communication (Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs / Brittany), the City of Rennes, the Regional Council of Brittany and Ille-et-Vilaine General Council.
The Institut français regularly supports the international touring of Musée de la danse.
With the support: the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès within the framework of the New Settings programme
Co-production: Théâtre National de Bretagne-Rennes, Théâtre de la Ville & Festival d’Automne à Paris, la Bâtie-Festival de Genève, Holland Festival-Amsterdam, Kampnagel-Hamburg, Sadler’s Wells London, Taipei Performing Arts Center, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens
Thanks to: Le Triangle-cité de la danse, Rosas, WIELS Centre d’Art Contemporain (Bruxelles), Arnaud Godest, Perig Menez, Mani Mungai, Jolie Ngemi, Frank Willens
With the kind authorization by: Tim Etchells for the use of his texts

1 Oct 2016 18:00
Cie. Willi Dorner
bodies in urban spaces

You’re walking through your city, along the streets you know so well, when it suddenly hits you: something’s different: there’s a heap of bodies filling a doorway, squeezed in as tightly as sardines in a tin! The bodies belong to the dancers of the Willi Dorner Dance Company, who invite you to take a walk on the wild side. As you stroll along, they have gone on ahead and somehow wedged themselves under a ladder, formed an arch or piled up on top of one another in an alcove. They climb columns, dangle from pipes, scale vertical walls, balance, dance, walk and, every so often, create an image with their bodies. Thanks to their brightly-coloured clothes, the dancer create a new composition every time they pile into a space.

Their unexpected choreography reflects the pulse of the city, steals its way of doing things, and reveals it in a unique light. The passers-by react, the dancers play with them and the atmosphere changes. At other times, their choice of locations for their interventions is anything but random: cracks in the urban fabric, sites the city’s inhabitants have long forgotten about, are brought back to life through their play. And while their bodies may leave no trace behind, the strange images intervening in the familiar landscape create indelible memories in the experiences of all those that take the walk.
Concept: Willi Dorner
Photos: Lisa Rastl
Choreographer assistant: Ian Dolan
Dancers: Dimitra Antonaki, Eleni Arapaki, Katerina Gevetzi, Nefeli Gioti, Lambrini Gkolia, Myrto Delimichali, Olga Dimitraki, Anthi Theofilidi, Candy Karra, Euaggelia Kibitzi, Alexadros Laskaratos, Georgia Mikou, Maria Moschou, Natalia Mpaka, Giannis Nikolaidis, Danae Panou, Aris Papadopoulos, Irene Papanikolaou, Martha Pasakopoulou, Eugenia Sigalou, Periklis Skordilis, Vicky Spahou, Eleni Stavropoulou, Zafeiria Tsirakaki, Katerina Foti

2 Oct 2016, 11 am Acropolis Museum – Forecourt
Ioannis Mandafounis & Aoife McAtamney

One One One
Dance as a personal matter…
Photo © Freguin Melanie
Get ready for a totally unique experience: a dance just for you! What can two chairs and two lines on the ground signify? In One One One, the two chairs are provided for two viewers who are invited to experience something unique. At the other end of each line, there’s a performer ready to dance for them while the rest of the audience participates by choosing the song they like best. The two performers reflect the reactions to their dance like a mirror, and in doing so treat the audience to a new dance experience which calls roles and boundaries into question and which, though public, remains utterly private.

Having worked with the greatest choreographers of our time -William Forsythe, for one- Yannis Mantafounis has never ceased to surprise us with his rare talents as a performer, but also with his insatiable appetite for choreographic experimentation. On this occasion, he has joined forces with the equally special Aoife McAtamney for his investigations. Bringing subversive humour and endlessly shape-shifting movement to the performance, the two dancers weave an intricate fan of emotions and images and create magical moments of interaction with the audience.
Concept: Ioannis Mandafounis
Choreography: Ioannis Mandafounis, Aoife McAtamney
Production Manager: Mélanie Fréguin

Production: Cie Ioannis Mandafounis
Co-produced by: Prairie – Migros Cultural Percentage, Tanzfest 2015
Supported by: City of Geneva, State of Geneva, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Culture Ireland, Culture Ministry of Luxembourg

Special thanks to the Acropolis Museum for their hospitality.

1 – 2 Oct 2016 ΕΜΣΤ (National Museum of Contemporary Art)
12:00 ΕΜΣΤ (National Museum of Contemporary Art)Entrance to thepublic by Syngrou Avenue
Free admission
Trisha Brown
In Plain Site

Trisha Brown, an emblematic figure in American post-modern dance, is coming to Athens. A leading figure in the movement that irreversibly transformed the dance landscape in the early nineteen sixties, she boldly broke all the rules, having her dancers communicate from the rooftops of buildings, walk down museum walls and execute symmetrical, geometric choreographies on rafts floating in the middle of a lake. Space is always a natural ally in her works, a catalyst, a crucial framing, a favoured partner.

The experimentation that began back then in New York when dancers, composers, poets and visual artists set out together in search of new representational codes has never stopped. Fifty years on, Trisha Brown is still fascinated by and experimenting with the relationship between space, movement and the viewer. In Plain Site is different from her previous site-specific works in so far as it presents a collage of fragments from a half century of emblematic choreography. This unique retrospective will be created in collaboration with the State Museum of Contemporary Art, especially for the institution’s new premises. Extracts from earlier, more abstract works like Accumulation from 1971 will be combined with more theatrical pieces such as 1990’s Foray Foret in an unexpected encounter with the Athenian public which puts the abundant natural light of the new museum space to good use. A tribute to the ground-breaking work of the choreographer who put dance into the everyday life of the city.

Trisha Brown Dance Company:
Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer: Trisha Brown
Associate Artistic Director: Carolyn Lucas, Diane Madden
Dancers: Marc Crousillat, Olsi Gjeci, Leah Ives, Amanda Kmett’Pendry, Tara Lorenzen, Leah Morrison, Jamie Scott, Sam Wentz
Executive Director: Barbara Dufty
Company manager: Anne Dechene
Stage Manager & Production Management IPS: Betsy Ayer
International Representation: Therese Barbanel, Les Artscéniques

In collaboration with the National Museum of Contaporary Art
Wednesday 28 & Thursday 29 September
Workshop with Trisha Brown’s dacers

Event categories: outdoors and performances.

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