Ancient Future Solo
Educational dance workshop for adolescents by Marianna Kavallieratos
The 8 original dance solos will be uploaded at aefestival.gr starting on Monday, February 8th
“A Festival workshop? It is certainly liberating; it can teach you a lot, but not in a school-like manner. You learn a lot; it is very open; nothing puts a limit on us except for the limits we put on ourselves!“
For the first time in its history, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival has expanded its activities during the winter season through a series of research initiatives and collaborations, available for the public free of charge, as part of the new OPEN PLAN platform.
Ancient Future Solo, the Festival workshop run by dancer and choreographer Marianna Kavallieratos and her team, not only showcases the creative style of contemporary dance, but also helps one realise how invaluable this Festival initiative is, especially for adolescents hungry for art, and even more so in these difficult times.
A field of creative interaction between youngsters and artists, with the latter paving the way for the former, urging them to push themselves and teaching them how to approach ancient texts in an experiential manner through dance and music, rather than as a stale educational process, Ancient Future Solo effectively contributes to the dialogue on the significance of artistic education, both as a concept and as an initiative: not only in terms of fostering growth in each participant, but even more importantly in the sense of shaping active, creative individuals.
Using Euripides’ Helen and Sophocles’ Antigone as a starting point, taught at the Gymnasium (Junior’s High) and Lyceum (High School) curricula respectively, the eight adolescents (ages 13-17) who participated in Ancient Future Solo had the opportunity to discover Ancient Drama from the perspective of the body and physical movement. Each participant created his / her own individual choreography under the instructions of Marianna Kavallieratos and her assistant Areti Athanasopoulou. Furthermore, each participant collaborated with composer Giorgos Mizithras, working on the sound of their solos, and with theatre researcher Paraskevi Tektonidou, building the dramaturgy of each piece.
The instructors helped the participants explore the motives of their characters, exposing them to the possibility of multiple readings of the classical texts. They provided them with tools in terms of movement and dramaturgy in order to help foster their individual expression and develop new, purely movement-based works in dialogue with Ancient Drama. Participants and instructors jointly explored the relationship between sound, music, and the dramaturgy of a choreographic work.
The young dancers worked passionately and methodically. Starting on Monday, February 8th and for eight days we will be uploading an original dance solo per day at the Festival website, composed and performed at Hall B of Peiraios 260 by the participants.
Safety measures against COVID-19 were strictly observed during the filming of each video. The workshop meetings, which began on 24 October, were conducted online for the most part.
ATHENS AND EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL DANCE ADVISOR
Marianna Kavallieratos, choreographer
Giorgos Mizithras, composer
Areti Athanasopoulou, assistant to the choreographer
Paraskevi Tektonidou, dramaturg
“The Ancient Future Solo contemporary dance workshop was a great challenge for me, for the simple reason it is aimed at the most difficult, in my opinion, age group: adolescents.
That being said, from the very first moment the workshop was also a revelation. The way we all worked together, both collaboratively / collectively as well as individually, gave us the opportunity to instruct the children how to follow their own path in order to gain experience, study the works they are normally taught at school only this time through the lens of art, and, last but not least, discover their individual style. We gave them motivation and specific guidelines in order to expose them to broader levels and fields of art through explorations of dance, body and movement, i.e. stimuli that could provide them with a comprehensive insight.
Taking off from the tragedies Antigone and Helen, this workshop aimed to help children how to discover, investigate, and try things, how to perceive the multiple facets and inexhaustible possibilities of the human body and art overall.
We created a springboard upon which they could hone their imagination, laying the foundations of dance and choreographic techniques for them, and activating in them the ability to coexist with music and the surrounding space.
The children’s enthusiasm, perseverance, passion, and faith in whatever was happening in each class was absolutely moving. Ultimately, the dialogue we succeeded in establishing among ourselves, and also between dance, sound, and space, was truly remarkable.
The goal is that we all learn how to learn, that we never stop learning in the form of exchanging knowledge and opinions, rather than as a simple way of imparting information.
It is a blessing to be able to work with open-minded, clear-minded, young people.”
Dancer – Choreographer
“For me, Ancient Future Solo was all about relationships: relationship with the artistic work; relationship with other arts, science, life; relationship with others; relationship with sound, space, time, past, present, and future; relationship between mind and body; relationship with ourselves, particularly our creative selves. This relationship is a work in progress.
A relationship that presupposes trust and sharing, proving that if I investigate something in many different ways, with a certain openness, imaginativeness, and insight, I have the necessary tools to be able to create something: not just in art, but in every area of life.
Contact with texts was the concrete stimulus that helped foster a much deeper artistic dialogue, capable of motivating young people interested in conducting research and discovering new things about the world, others, and their own selves.
This workshop was a wonderful experience for all of us, reaffirming the paramount importance of teaching art at all education levels.
Each adolescent participant’s solo piece is a revelation, regardless of the result.”
Athens and Epidaurus Festival Dance Advisor
The Athens & Epidaurus Festival is funded by the Ministry of Culture & Sports