After a tumultuous beginning, passTRESpassAthens 2016 culminated in a wonderful workshop and performance of proximity as part of Outopias, an exhibition curated by Thanos Vovolis at the Benaki museum.
OutTopias, Benaki Museum Athens, Greece
September 24, 2016
passTRESpass Athens https://tmdas.org/passtrespass-athens/
The purpose of the work is to pose questions regarding how we negotiate boundaries on the different levels; human relationships, physical space, and cultural practices. Participants explore movement vocabulary with an emphasis on excavating and physicalizing particular psycho-geographies – personal stories and communal histories. As we are confronted with each other’s cultures, how can we successfully co-exist and flourish? What do we carry with us? What do we leave behind and how does that effect our environment?
As kinetic organisms moving about on a planet shrinking from population density and technological advances, we are colliding faster and harder; realities intersecting, borders shift. As the ground shifts, how do we make sense of where the pieces fall? How do we choose to rearrange them?
Thanks to Embros Theater, City Plaza and Benaki Museum for their support.
Despina Sophia Stamos
sound and editing Maria Juliana Byck
camera Leon Taylor
Stay tuned for part 2, dis*place*ment, November 19 & 20 at 2pm at Anita’s Way, Times Square. dis*place*ment is a transcontinental dance conversation with the artists from City Plaza. All tickets proceeds will go to the cast in Athens.
Landing in Athens with Irene Siegel on August 24, we are immediately informed that an attack had occurred in a neighboring refugee center. Two gas canisters and a Molotov cocktail were thrown into the ground floor at 5:30 am, by fascist nationalists, causing a fire that burned the storage room. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Many families were moved to the City Plaza Hotel, presently home to 400 people half of which are children. This event was frightening and further traumatizing to the people many who were there because their own worlds were crushed by bombs, DASH fanatics, smugglers and harrowing journeys.
Irene immediately translated for Arabic speaking Syrian Kurds.
She was extremely invaluable providing much needed communication bridge. Slowly, we connected with various groups within the center.
Mohammad and our unaccompanied minors.
Mohammad, a 14 year old traveling with his 16 year old brother Basir shows interest in our dance proposal. He brings his friends. They are beautiful performers. They are children who have made it to safety.
For cultural reasons, the girls and women do not participate. We dance with them at the women’s gathering every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-10pm. Yoga for women at 7 all week. Joined by 16 yr old Alishba, whose grandfather was killed by the Taliban in Pakistan, Nisreen and Evine, two Syrian sisters, 16 and 14, Slava 13, Raida 10, occasionally Lava 14.
Nur, a young mother from Homs, shows us her neighborhood on Google maps, satellite view. She traces with her fingers the different areas around her home belonging to different warring factions. She zooms into the bombed building remains a few doors from her own family’s home, while cradling her infant.
We are beyond thrilled to invite you to our upcoming Benefit Gala on May 11, 2015. Enjoy amazing views from the 48th floor of the Bank of America building. Our Athens collaborators will join us for a transcontinental live-stream dance performance, sharing a taste of what passTRESpass will offer this summer.
Thank-you for the support we have received for the project thus far, though we are still quite a distance from our goal. Please look for our fundraising letter in the mail! Your support has been vital to the project.
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the modern dance awareness society is a Sponsored Artist of The Field, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization serving the New York City performing arts community. Contributions made to The Field and earmarked for Despina Stamos/mdas are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about The Field contact: The Field, 161 6th Avenue, New York NY 10013, (212)691-6969, fax: (212)255-2053,www.thefield.org. A copy of The Field’s latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, from The Field or from the Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.
The situation in Greece has intensified for our participants. It is both daunting and critical to continue our work there. Last year, we were challenged by the loss of the Kypseli Agora. That challenge led us to a different work approach- we rehearsed across from the Acropolis and in various local sites as well as creating a stage piece shown in two locations.
This year, Panagiotis Andronikidis, director of ELANADISTIKANOUME, our co-facilitator is coordinating an effort to extend our outreach. Participants from previous years that continue creating with ELANADISTIKANOUME will be assisting this year’s production by leading some of the exercises in rehearsals with the new participants!