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The 27th Kalamata Dance Festival, July 16-25

The National Herald

Linda Kapetanea, Artistic Director of the Kalamata Dance Festival. Photo by Elina Giounanli

KALAMATA – The 27th Kalamata Dance Festival takes place July 16-25 with 31 productions, 18 foreign companies, of which 14 appear in Greece for the first time, performances in other cities of the Peloponnese Region, three world premieres, new powerful collaborations and a rich educational program for professionals but also for the citizens of Kalamata.

In 2020, the Kalamata Dance Festival was one of the few festivals in the world that not only was not canceled but was indeed held live, offering a full and rich program, with international and Greek artists and companies, while taking all the necessary measures to ensure a safe environment for both the public and the artists.

This year's Festival is the result of the close collaboration between the Festival's Artistic Director Linda Kapetanea and the Mayor of Kalamata Athanasios P. Vasilopoulos with the Minister of Culture and Sports Dr. Lina Mendoni, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports responsible for Contemporary Culture Nicholas Yatromanolakis, the Governor of the Region of Peloponnese E. Panagiotis Nikas, the President of PHARIS Pantelis Drougas, and the members of the Board of Directors of PHARIS.

In April of 2021, the above institutions signed a planning contract that provides the cooperation framework and necessary financial resources for the Kalamata Dance Festival's development over the next three years (2021-2023). The contract supports the implementation of the Festival's strategic planning for 2021-2023, which includes extending the institution's operation with events all year round, strengthening its presence in the city of Kalamata, pursuing collaborations, both local and international, supporting Greek artists, participating in interregional initiatives, conversing with all art forms, opening up to increasingly younger age groups, investing in high-level education for dancers, and expanding its audience through participatory and educational activities.

This year, the Festival's artistic program is scheduled to take place July 16-25 and comprises the Main Stage performances (Kalamata Castle Amphitheatre and Main Stage of Kalamata Dance Megaron), the smaller scale productions presented in the Black Box— that is the Kalamata Dance Megaron's Alternative Stage, and the performances held in Kalamata's Main Square. The workshops and masterclasses of the Festival's educational program for professionals and the public— the citizens and the visitors of Kalamata— will be held on July 9-25.

The 27th Kalamata Dance Festival will host 31 productions, 18 from abroad and 13 from Greece. These are dance performances that combine different genres, from contemporary dance and hip hop to acrobatics and current urban African dances. The foreign artists presenting their work at the Festival come from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Nigeria, and Slovakia. Out of the 18 foreign artists and companies, 14 appear in Greece for the first time, whereas out of the 13 Greek perfomances, three will have their world premiere at the Festival and one is presented live for the first time after its online premiere.

The title of this year's program, On The Move. Constantly On The Move. Together; Or Alone? summarizes the Festival team's need to fuel the discussion on the human condition in the modern era by recording the personal and collective experience. It focuses on the importance of community and the role of each person within it, the coexistence of people everywhere and always, and the need to create a common place for meeting and communicating as ways to survive and prosper. The artists participating in this year's Festival speak through the language of dance and the power of the body, unfolding their stories on stage and inviting us to feel all of the notions resulting from the relationship between community and individual— notions such as trust, solidarity, and acceptance, conflict, negotiation, autonomy, individual identity, and freedom. These notions are neither self-evident nor given.

The National Herald

Compagnie XY performing Mobius, choreographed by Rachid Ouramdane. Photo by Christophe Raynaud De Lage

The Festival, as it did last year, will implement safety measures against the pandemic, closely following the health protocols dictated by the authorities and the special safety measures for art and culture venues as outlined by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

This year's Festival begins on July 16 with Möbius, choreographed by Rachid Ouramdane and performed by the acrobats and dancers of the French company Compagnie XY. In collaboration with the Region of the Peloponnese and as part of the Festival's new initiative to include other cities in the Region, this large and impressive production will also be presented at the Sainopouleio Amphitheatre in Sparta on Monday, 19 July, after two performances in Kalamata.

Also on the program for the Main Stage, for the first time in Greece Far From The Norm, one of the most important British dance companies, and Botis Seva's revolutionary work BLKDOG, which received the 2019 Olivier award for best new dance performance. Far From The Norm are constantly developing their vocabulary, experimenting with all street styles, theatre, performance, and cinema.

The National Herald

Stones and Bones by RootlessRoot will make its Greek live premiere at the 27th Kalamata Dance Festival. Photo by Alexandros Papathanasopoulos

Next on the Main Stage, Qudus Onikeku's The QDance Company from Lagos, Nigeria. Onikeku and his team confirm in the most emphatic way that Africa is the cradle of humanity. In Re:INCARNATION we watch nine young very impressive dancers from different Nigerian cities undergo a transformation process of incredible intensity, intertwined with the return to the roots of rhythm and authentic expressive movement.

The final Main Stage performance is the Greek live premiere of Stones And Bones by RootlessRoot, a co-production of the Onassis Stegi, presented live for the first time, after a recorded presentation on the Onassis Channel on YouTube. In Stones And Bones four performers, accompanied by the original music of Vassilis Mantzoukis and the marble sculptures of Peter Randall-Page, create a poem about the fragile nature of human existence and the need to leave our mark on the world.

The National Herald

Botis Seva’s BLKDOG received the 2019 Olivier award for best new dance performance. Photo by Camilla Greenwell

The full schedule of performances and workshops for the 27th Kalamata Dance Festival is available online: www.kalamatadancefestival.gr.

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