the modern dance awareness society

dance dance everywhere

Athens 2016

Leave a comment

 

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
Panagiotis Andronikidis
Irene Siegel
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.

upcoming finale

upcoming finale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

img_0942 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.

 

 

City Plaza

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 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.

 

girls

 

girlsyoga and girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

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's journey

Nur’s journey

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

passTRESpass 2015: Sharing our experience in Athens

passTRESpass rehearsal 2015

passTRESpass rehearsal 2015

We have just returned from Greece, and as you might imagine, the situation this year provided inevitable challenges to mounting passTRESpass. Despite the hurdles, we are pleased overall with the impact our project continues to have on refugees in Athens. We had 5 American and 1 Greek facilitator this year. Irene Siegel, Lorene Bouboushian, and Karl Cooney were new to the project in 2015. Their dance, language, and logistical skills were a huge asset to our work. Despina Stamos, Panagiotis Andronikidis, and Jill Woodward returned to the project.

A steady influx of refugees from Syria and other places continued to arrive daily in the midst of one of the worst European financial meltdowns since World War II. We touched many more people but not always in the lengthy workshop process that we’ve done in previous years. We gathered a group of participants who joined us as we created performances in various plazas, known as platias, in Athens.

Lorene dances with the children of Lavrio Refugee Camp

Lorene dances with the children of Lavrio Refugee Camp

We performed at 8 locations where immigrants tend to gather, including one refugee camp just outside the city. This compound was a temporary home to hundreds of recently arrived Syrians, including around 150 children. When our dance was finished we were delighted to have the children and adults share some of their own movement games with us.

Because Irene speaks Arabic and French, we were able to communicate better with refugees than ever before. Lorene’s background as a children’s dance educator was immensely helpful as we found ourselves interacting more and more often with families and children. In all of these locations, we incorporated the audience members into our dances, and invited them to join us at the next place.

A few refugees and Greek community members had the time and wherewithal to join us in building a performance piece. We were scheduled to present work at the Athens Anti-Racist festival, but the festival was cancelled because it was a direct conflict with the last minute unprecedented referendum announced by the government. Instead, we joined with a local theater group and presented a 30 minute dance piece for an audience at a cultural center the night before the referendum.

Platia Viktoria with the recently arrived Afghan immigrants

Platia Viktoria with the recently arrived Afghan immigrants

We are all improvisers in our movement work, and we drew on those skills to adapt our project and improvise logistically everyday throughout the three week workshop period in Athens. Even people we touched only briefly told us how much our presence meant to them, and we are extremely gratified that we were able to have those interactions.

We look forward to sharing our more of work through video in progress, and meanwhile if you’re interested you can see our final performance below.


Leave a comment

you are invited——-dancing in andros, greece

Happy Spring!

We are extremely excited about our upcoming workshops and performances in Greece this summer.

On August 16-31, Damaris  Webb, Jill Woodward and myself  will be facilitating somaphrase- dancing the translation, a site specific dance workshop and performance on the island of Andros, in Greece. We will be joined by Panagiotis Andronikidis (ELANADISTIKANOUME GR)  Of course, you are invited to participate or just spread the word!

In September, we will continue passtrespass with the immigrants at the Kypseli Market Community Center in Athens. This is an extremely trying time for the people of Greece. Our goal is to create a safe, creative environment, as well as an empowering performance platform for those who are hit hardest by the current situation.

video passtrespass