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The 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival Wrapped Up

KALAMATA – The 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival, under the artistic direction of Linda Kapetanea, wrapped up this year’s impressive edition on July 24 with the emblematic performance Sonoma by the multi-award-winning creator Marcos Morau and the group La Veronal, and the cinematic Scarbo by Ioannis Mantafounis. They were preceded by a transcendental opening with Peeping Tom dancers “defying the rules of gravity” in the station-play TRIPTYCH: The missing door, The lost room, The hidden floor on July 15-16, while on July 19 Neighbors was presented, the first international co-production of the Festival with Sadler’s Wells in London, one of the most important contemporary dance organizations worldwide.

Entitled Ode to Beauty, this year’s Festival took place July 15-24, gathering in Kalamata 113 artists from Greece and abroad, 22 dance groups, 32 volunteers, 71 dance students in professional seminars, 67 children in the dance workshop for children and teenagers, 54 participants in the workshop for parents and children, 25 people over 50 years old and 19 people with disabilities in the corresponding workshops.

Sonoma by the multi-award-winning creator Marcos Morau and the group La Veronal was performed at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació

Kalamata Mayor Athanasios P. Vasilopoulos, the non-profit Municipal Enterprise “Faris” which organizes the Festival, and Artistic Director Linda Kapetanea, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Region of Peloponnese, presented this year a demanding program with a total of 25 productions, 14 foreign teams from 10 countries, 11 teams from Greece and 2 world premieres. The foreign artists who presented their works came from Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Mozambique, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, and Cyprus.

For ten days the city of Kalamata moved in festival rhythms with visitors and dancers moving daily between the Kalamata Ballroom and the Central Square. Performances that combined different genres, from contemporary and classical dance to acrobatics, break dancing and krump were hosted on the Main Stage of the Kalamata Dance Hall, the Black Box, and the Central Square.

In addition to Peeping Tom, Sadler’s Wells and La Veronal who presented their works on the Main Stage, the Black Box hosted four Greek groups and four from abroad. The foreign productions were the project White Out – The conquest of the useless by Piergiorgio Milano which managed to present mountaineering as an artistic language, Brace by Edivaldo Ernesto from Mozambique, VENUS un/seen by Alexandra Waierstall and Hidden by the award-winning Catalan dancer and choreographer Lali Ayguade.

The four Greek productions were Ever After by Marianna Kavallieratos, W REST L ING by Anastasia Valsamakis, The Box / that dead space between us by Penelope Morout which had its world premiere, and Scarbo by Ioannis Mantafounis’ team.

Ever After by Marianna Kavallieratos was performed at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació

At the established evening meeting at 9 PM in the Central Square of Kalamata, 12 Greek and foreign artists presented their choreographies. All eight finalists of the Art within One program competed in the Square on July 18. That same day in the morning, at the Kalamata Dance Hall, Festival artists and students from the professional seminar program had competed in duets on stage in two consecutive one-minute acts. The eight who were selected, faced off in the evening in the Square where the public voted for the winner.

The great surprise of this year’s Festival was, finally, on July 20, when the Artistic Director Linda Kapetanea and Edivaldo Ernesto, a powerful dance duo that impressed the audience, spontaneously took to the stage in the Square.

Parallel actions and educational program

The Peloponnese Festival outreach program entitled Dance in the Cities of the Peloponnese Region took place this year for the second time. The works BLINDLY by the Elelei Company group, NADEZHDA by Penelope Morout, and the Cross iMPact group and Hito by Akira Yoshida and Chey Jurado were presented in public spaces of the cities of Corinth, Nafplio, and Tripoli. The projects BLINDLY and NADEZHDA were also presented on July 15 at Costa Navarino as part of the Festival’s collaboration with the Captain Vassilis and Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation.

Venus un/seen by Alexandra Waierstall was performed at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació

Also, the Kalamata International Dance Festival collaborated this year for the third year with the Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) in the context of the 9th children’s painting competition entitled KALLOS: For Me This Is Beauty. The works of children aged 4-15 from the greater Kalamata region who participated in the competition were presented in the eponymous digital painting exhibition hosted in the Foyer of the Kalamata Dance Palace, July 15-24. At the same time, on July 18, on the occasion of the exhibition, an art workshop for children and teenagers entitled KALLOS: For Me This Is Beauty was organized in collaboration with the MCA. Seventy children composed with their works a large-scale puzzle on the walls of the Foyer of the Kalamata Dance Palace, creating an art installation.

The educational program of the Festival took place from July 8-24 and was developed in two axes: one was professional education and the second was the education of various groups of audiences who love dance. This year, the professional training program consisted of four seminars and one masterclass at the Municipal Stadium of Kalamata, which covered a total of 54 teaching hours. The workshops for the public aimed to strengthen the Festival’s relationship with the city and above all to educate the public on contemporary dance and movement. This year, there were a workshop for children and teenagers, one for parents and children, one for people over 50 and a movement seminar for the disabled.

TRIPTYCH: The missing door, The lost room and The hidden floor by Peeping Tom was performed at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació

The Kalamata International Dance Festival expresses its warm thanks to its established and new sponsors who contribute with their positive response to its implementation, to communication sponsors, to its partners, such as the MCA, to international bodies, embassies and educational institutions who every year support it, to the local producers who participate, to the volunteers for their valuable contribution and to all those who contributed to the realization of this year’s event.

More information is available online: https://kalamatadancefestival.gr/en/.

Hidden by the award-winning Catalan dancer and choreographer Lali Ayguade at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació
White Out – The conquest of the useless by Piergiorgio Milano at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació
Still Love by Fenia Chatzakou and Csenger K. Szabo at the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival. Photo: Albert Vidal / Vèrtex Comunicació

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