Greek dancer returns to mythic roots... in Malta

A local arts collective – Rubberbodies – will be teaming up with internationally renowned contemporary Greek dancer Athanasia Kanellopoulou for a solo performance next month.

Greek contemporary dancer Athanasia Kanellopoulou will perform at MITP, Valletta next month. Photo by Tümer Gençtürk.
Greek contemporary dancer Athanasia Kanellopoulou will perform at MITP, Valletta next month. Photo by Tümer Gençtürk.

Penelope: Dust in our awakened dreams - which will be playing at MITP Theatre, St Christopher's Street, Valletta over March 3, 4; 9-11 at 20:00 - will use the mythical figure of Penelope to weave a story that incorporates Malta's culture and heritage.

"In her visits to Malta, Athanasia experienced a feeling as if time had stopped," Rebecca Camilleri of Rubberbodies said.

"She sees Malta as a strong and interesting intersection point, an island which seems to be forgotten and separate, yet which contains strong energies. She says that the island makes her feel as if she's living between 500 years ago and now... abandoned and the same time overprotected... like my little own magic world that I want to create and live in."

Internationally recognised as 'a dancer to watch', Athanasia danced and toured with European choreographers such as Pina Bausch, Koen Augustijn (Les Ballets C de la B), Jasmin Vardimon, Rafaelle Giovanola, Gregor Zoellig, Renate Killman, In Jung Jun, Guy Weissman and Roni Haver, Yossi Berg, Lior Lev, Zeynep Tanbay and others. She won a scholarship for the prestigious Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, London (1996-1999) and in 2000 she received the 'Scholarship for Artistic Excellence' at the Martha Graham School, New York. She also performed at prestigious venues such as the National Theatre of Japan (Japan), the Arts Centre of Seoul (South Korea), Cirque Royal Brussels (Belgium), the National Theatre of Beijing (China), Sadler's Wells in London (England) and Theatre de la Ville, Paris (France).

Speaking ahead of the performance, Athanasia says: "Creating and performing is a personal offering... I believe in the poesy of life, which is very often forgotten or omitted."

The solo performance will bring to the fore a physical manifestation of Penelope's story... or at least, Rubberbodies's take on the myth and its unique application to Malta.

It will be enhanced by soundscapes from Mario Sammut, and visual art by Matthew Pandolfino. Led by director Jimmy Grima, 'Penelope' will expose the human emotions usually buried within the experiences of the dancer's body. Through contortion, the folding and unfolding of the body, the performer will lead audiences on a journey through her past and then into her present. Restless memories buried in her female soul are brought forward and given a final hearing.

Leading up to March, Rebecca Camilleri will be releasing news and reviews of the creative process on the http://www.rubber-bodies.com/blog/category/notes/penelope-2012/. Previously unpublished records of intimate and transitional moments between the creators will be made available, revealing an insight on the secrets and realities of the creative process.

Tickets can be bought from St James Cavalier, Valletta. For further information email [email protected] or contact 99 681220.

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