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Press Release

The International Festival of Contemporary Dance
in Athens

From 5 to 27 May 2018

Where and how is dance dancing today?

Which are the ‘bodies’ performing its motions and what is the social, cultural and historical context in which these bodies emerge?

It is possible for us to perceive our life’s motion as a series of choreographic improvisations?

The International Festival of Contemporary Dance ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL, owing its birth and rearing to the care of its Artistic Director Froso Trousa, is celebrating its decennial anniversary with a focus on questions highlighting the standing and significance of dance in the complex codetermination of the ‘contemporary’.

Marking a decade since its inception, ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL is: reaffirming its faith in the open dynamic of dance as this is reflected in its continuous interaction with other art forms and expressions; insisting on fostering the appropriate environment allowing for the emergence of innovative creative trajectories and a substantial experimentation on the language of dance by novice and seasoned choreographers alike; broadening the contribution of Greek artists in the global discourse on dance by facilitating their participation in international networks and inviting to Greece dance professionals, programmers and specialists from around the world; enhancing the presence and visibility of dance in the public sphere and proposing new approaches to comprehending and relishing the movement of the human body.

The consistent development and systematic cultivation of a healthy ecosystem of dance has been, since 2008, the work of DAN.C.CE Unitiva, the nonprofit arts company that has been organizing ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL, enjoys the support of Dance Cultural Center (DAN.C.CE) and is a member of the wider European network Aerowaves – Dance across Europe.

Reaching the milestone year 10 in its coming-of-age, the most extrovert and consistent research platform for contemporary dance in Athens is clearly and persistently manifesting the structural features of a nervous system nurturing, strengthening and moving the ‘body of dance’ forward in a way that ensures its long-term development and renders it part of our shared everyday local and global life, through a network of metabolic changes and organic associations.

So, this year’s event, taking place between 5 and 27 May 2018 and comprising multiple events in several different venues in Athens, introduces a series of open, dynamic conversational meetings between the creators and the public. More specifically, choreographers Patricia Apergi, Ermira Goro, Linda Kapetanea and Alexandra Waierstall are engaging in a dialogue with the public and revealing the complex ‘raw material’ of their choreographic work through a process using the screening of selected dance films to focus on the influences and considerations shaping the choreographers’ personal creative process (ΑRC_dialogues).

Young creators once again enjoy the opportunity to present their work and their particular kinetic language, test their ideas and gain valuable field experience, getting into contact with a wide international audience, in the context of the festival’s regular module that opens the floor to neophytes and up-and-coming choreographers (ARC_prime movers).

In an original collaboration with the Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) and on the occasion of the International Museum Day, ARC ventures, by means of the site-specific works of Ioannis Mandafounis and Stylianos Tsatsos, into exploring the fluid boundaries between dance and performance, the interdependence of movement between artists and spectators, and the evolution of these movements in relation to the body of the museum itself in its actual and perceived (symbolic) dimensions (ARC_hitects).

The nucleus of the festival features nine performances of new works of contemporary dance, five of which are presented in their world premiere in Athens. These works cover a broad expressive spectrum, focusing predominantly on women artists’ way of thinking and working. More specifically, from 24 to 27 May 2018, KIVOTOS theatre will be hosting works by: Margarita Trikka, Alexandra Waierstall, Linda Kapetanea & Edivaldo Ernesto, Anastasia Valsamaki, Po-Cheng Tsai, Ermira Goro, Jesús Rubio Gamo and Patricia Apergi (ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL).

The convention of the stage is called into question with a loop of dance happenings unfolding on the verge between indoors and outdoors, scheduled and random, annotation and disruption, right before the start of each one of the aforementioned nucleus performances, outside KIVOTOS theatre and in the Athens metro public space, in a creation by Andi Xhuma (ARC_loop).

The festival takes to the streets in Thiseio, by means of the project Alien Express by Slovenian artists Žigan Krajnčan and Gašper Kunšek, venturing amidst the restless urban landscape, which, during the years of the crisis, gave birth to novel community formations and saw the restructuring of the Greek culture’s non-regulatory features of extroversion (ARC_hood).

The pedagogy of movement is a key concern of ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL. Aiming to enhance the knowledge, among both professional and amateur dancers, about developments in dance techniques, in the elements composing the language of dance, its conceptual and representational idioms, the festival is organizing a series of seminars-workshops led by the experienced instructors: Paul Blackman, Bush Hartshorn and I-Han Huang of the Taiwanese B.Dance company (ARC_hothouse).

Seeking to address the issue of ‘broadcasting’ in relation to dance and thus open a discussion on the significance of presence, the economy of experience in the internet era, and the politics of accessibility, this year’s ARC is introducing the practice of live streaming some of the performances of the four-day festival nucleus on video walls in the city center and online (ARC_flow).

Admission to all festival events (performances, seminars, discussions) is free of charge. Information about applications for participation in the seminars and seat booking procedures for the shows, as well as dates, times and venues for all the modules of the festival, including public transport options to get there, are provided in the Calendar.

ARC FOR DANCE FESTIVAL had the opportunity to create a solid foundation thanks to the consistent support and involvement of the people of the dance community.

To celebrate its evolution, it proposes the following euphorically radical thought of a prominent visual artist:

Following Joseph Beuys’s logic that we are all artists, I would like to suggest that we are all choreographers. We are constantly adjusting our movements, not only to perform a given task but also to express our inner states. It is only our level of awareness or consciousness that keeps us from experiencing ourselves as choreographers.

— Janine Antoni


DAN.C.CE Unitiva