KALAMATA – The 27th Kalamata International Dance Festival closed on July 25 after sold out performances, strict adherence to safety measures, the promotion of the Peloponnese Region, and a rich educational program. The impressive final performance of this year’s Festival was the QDance Company’s Re:Incarnation by Qudus Onikeku with live music and a large group of artists from Lagos, Nigeria, conveying a message of hope about human communities and their enormous power to rally and overcome obstacles, offering the most ideal ending.
Entitled, On The Move. Constantly On The Move. Together; Or Alone?, this year's Festival took place July 16-25, bringing together in Kalamata 112 artists from Greece and abroad, 31 dance groups, 28 volunteers, 63 dance students in professional seminars, and 59 children in children's workshops, 20 people over the age of 50 in another workshop, and 13 disabled people in their respective workshop. The Festival was the result of a close collaboration between the Artistic Director Linda Kapetanea and Mayor of Kalamata Athanasios P. Vasilopoulos with the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports responsible for Contemporary Culture Nicholas Yatromanolakis, Governor of the Region of Peloponnese Panagiotis Nikas, the President of PHARIS Pantelis Drougas, and the members of the Board of Directors of PHARIS.
A total of 31 productions, 18 from abroad and 13 from Greece participated in this year's Festival with dance performances that combined different genres, from modern dance and hip hop to acrobatics and modern urban African dances. The foreign artists who presented their works come from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Nigeria, and Slovakia. Also, out of the 18 foreign teams, 14 presented their work for the first time in Greece, while out of the 13 Greek works, three made their world premiere.
For ten days the city of Kalamata moved in festival rhythms with visitors and dancers moving daily between the Dance Hall of Kalamata, the Central Square, and the Castle Amphitheater of Kalamata.
As part of the new program of the Festival in other cities of the Region in collaboration with the Peloponnese Region, the opening performance Möbius by the Compagnie XY group from France, choreographed by Rachid Ouramdane, after the two performances at the Kalamata Castle Amphitheater, was presented on July 19 and at the Sainopouleio Amphitheater in Sparta, thrilling the audience.
The second weekend of the Festival, featured the live premiere of the project Stones and Bones by the RootlessRoot team, produced by the Onassis Stegi, which impressed the audience.
As last year, the Festival faithfully followed the health protocols and the specialized protection measures against the pandemic for arts and culture venues, as they are defined and constantly adapted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. In fact, the BLKDOG performance of Botis Seva and the Far From the Norm team on July 18, took place in closed theater conditions: At the entrance, audience members were required to show the digital vaccination certificate.
This year's vocational training program consisted of two core seminars and five masterclasses, while the Art within One event was a new initiative of the Festival aimed at artistic dialogue: an open to the public artistic event in which 25 guest artists of the Festival and students in professional seminars attended for one minute on stage to dance with their colleagues.
In addition to the program for professionals, a workshop was organized for children, one for parents and children, one for people over the age of 50, one for people over the age of 70, and a seminar for the disabled. The workshops for the public aimed to strengthen the Festival's relationship with the city and especially to educate the public on contemporary dance and movement as a source of inspiration for expression, spiritual and physical well-being.
The QDance Company’s Re:Incarnation performed at the Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vertex Comunicacio
The Kalamata International Dance Festival expresses its warm thanks to its regular and new sponsors who contribute with their positive response to its implementation in such a difficult situation, to the communication sponsors, to its collaborators, such as the Onassis Foundation Stegi and the Museum of Cycladic Art, to the international organizations, to the embassies and educational institutions that support it every year, to the local producers that participate, to the volunteers for their valuable contribution and to all those who contributed to this year’s event.
More information about the Kalamata International Dance Festival is available online: www.kalamatadancefestival.gr.