Kalamata dance festival asks hard questions, focuses on the positive
What can be considered revolutionary today? How can the human body help bridge human differences? Can the marriage between traditional and contemporary dance facilitate the need to rethink identities and notions in a rapidly changing world? These and many more questions of a philosophical nature are being addressed at this year’s Kalamata International Dance Festival, taking place for the 23rd consecutive year in the southern Peloponnesian city starting today and running to Sunday, July 23.
The program features eight foreign and four Greek contemporary dance ensembles, a seminar, three workshops, two masterclasses and six parallel events, with the festival spreading across different venues around the city.
There will also be a special tribute to the celebrated Greek choreographer Zouzou Nikoloudi (1917-2004), marking 100 years since her birth. For Artistic Director Katerina Kasioumi, Nikoloudi was a revolutionary and visionary artist who was instrumental in shaping and raising the bar for modern dance in Greece, by showing passion and honesty towards her art but also for young talent.
Kasioumi also looks back on other figures that played an important role in shaping her career as a dancer and choreographer, saying that great teachers are able to pick out star students not for their physical attributes, but for the spirit and strength they put into learning their art in earnest. A dancer must also be an intellectual, she argues, but one striking a fine balance so that the body is not overlooked.
One of the seminars that will be held as part of the festival, “Isadora Duncan’s Revolutionary Dance,” will be conducted by Barbara Kane with Francoise Rageau and Sandra Voulgari, and will address how the famed choreographer turned dance into an acceptable art form.
Another event worth noting is the performance of Adi Boutrous, a young artist who dances and choreographs a narrative about the experience of an Arab living in Tel Aviv. Boutrous has no illusions about dance’s ability to bridge such vast differences, but believes in its power to help overcome fear of the “Other.”
The self-funded artist’s piece is titled “It’s Always Here” and will be presented in the same show with Andrea Costanzo Martini’s “Scarabeo, Angles and The Void.”