Pho­tog­ra­phers cap­ture grace of un­der­wa­ter dance per­for­mance

Kathimerini English - - Focus - VASSILIKI MALOUCHOU

Hailed as the world’s first un­der­wa­ter dance show, “Drops of Breath” was cre­ated by French chore­og­ra­pher So­phie Bul­bulyan in col­lab­o­ra­tion with her Greek coun­ter­part and fel­low diver Apos­to­lia Pa­padamaki.

In­spired by the fluid un­der­wa­ter move­ment of their div­ing in­struc­tor and fu­eled by the be­lief that art can play a role in civil so­ci­ety, the pair cre­ated a per­for­mance for nine able-bod­ied performers, three dis­abled dancers and three chil­dren from Greece, Cyprus and France. The orig­i­nal score by com­poser Tri­fon Kout­sourelis res­onated through un­der­wa­ter speak­ers.

Po­etic pol­i­tics

The show, de­scribed by its cre­ators as “po­etic pol­i­tics,” pre­miered beneath the waves off Cape Sounio in Septem­ber 2015. Now, two years later, the pro­ject is be­ing brought to a wider au­di­ence through an ex­hi­bi­tion of large-scale pho­tos at Booze Co­op­er­a­tiva in down­town Athens.

Four un­der­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­phers (Anas­ta­sis Agathos, Panagis Chryssover­gis, Luc Lake­man and Carolin Ne­grin) cap­tured the move­ments and emo­tions of the performers in a show which en­cap­su­lates the val­ues of equal­ity, to­geth­er­ness, com­pas- sion, hu­man dig­nity and en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness.

DK Bel, Bul­bulyan’s dance com­pany, was born out of the de­sire to give able-bod­ied and dis­abled chil­dren liv­ing in an un­der­priv­i­leged sub­urb of Paris a space where they could ex­press their cre­ativ­ity.

“Drops of Breath” is above all a col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­ject bring­ing to­gether peo­ple of dif­fer­ent ages, from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and rep­re­sent­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tures. It is also part of a larger so­cio-en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­ject.

Bul­bulyan and Pa­padamaki joined forces with Pelma-Lia Haraki from Cyprus to cre­ate “Un­der­wa­ter Heart of the Mediter­ranean,” an in­ter­na­tional cul­tural pro­ject that in­cludes site-spe­cific dance per­for­mances, au­dio­vi­sual ex­hi­bi­tions, in­ter­na­tional fo­rums and work­shops to en­cour­age the preser­va­tion of Mediter­ranean cul­tural and en­vi­ron­men­tal her­itage and fos­ter so­cial aware­ness on is­sues of equal­ity through artis­tic en­gage­ment.

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