Fotoskiasis dance company

Posted on September 18, 2011


«Echo and Narcissus» work in progress 2009

dedicated to the memory of Poet-Harpsichordist
Margarita Dalmati

First Prize Award for Best Video-dance at the International Film Festival of Patras City – Greece
 “11th International Panorama of Independent Film and Video Makers”

Director: Rousselos Aravantinos, Aggeliki Papadopoulou

Script-Choreography: Aggeliki Papadopoulou

Music Composition: Chrissa Melissari

Poetry: Margarita Dalmati

Cameraman: Rousselos Aravantinos

Set – Costumes: Aggeliki Papadopoulou

Director of photography: Rousselos Aravantinos 

Editing: Rousselos Aravantinos, Manos Manios

Titles: Costas Kalambokis 

Stavros Apostolatos devised the text of Narcissus 


Narcissus: Stavros Apostolatos

Echo: Aggeliki Papadopoulou 

Flute: Iwona Glinka

Clarinet: John Sambrovalakis

Harp: Maria-Christina Papadopoulou

Harpsichord: Chrissa Melissari 

The recording is from the concert of the Vignanelli School of «Santa Cecilia» of Athens at the “Maria Callas” concert hall– at the International Cultural Center Athenaeum-in honor of the 100 years from the birth of Feruccio Vignanelli on January 15th 2003.     

Production:  Fotoskiasis’ Dance Company


     “Echo and Narcissus” Video-dance seen through the metaphysical perspective- both of the two sexes and the contemporary post-Christian image of the world – has been a work in progress since 2001. Filmed in an orthodox Christian church under construction; a work in progress space that identifies locally with the same special temporal development that the work followed. Traces which make reference to man’s conception of the divine as the latter is transformed in all the different places and times, and is diversified in human societies according to the evolution of cultural expressions but which is especially manifested and experienced in a different manner, refined through the filter of each individuality and of the way which one’s subjectivity employs stimuli from oneself and from the universe. The area of ​​the church makes reference to an invisible ‘’axis mundi’’ which connects transcendental with the inner world.

   In relation to the spatial level where the video-dance takes place, which is not yet completed as it presents equally distinguished sections and discontinuities, the field of perception of the self is conceived, along with the way that relates with the “other” to the divine and the human level. The gaze manifests emotional space within which the individual perceives himself, the way of affirming self identity through the transitional, the space between two people. The eye is an indicator of the intentions of each individual, the way of fulfillment of the correlation with the ”other”, thus confirming oneself as the currency which reciprocates the act of communication and the connection between self and other. Individuality, as becomes evident in the human level, is necessarily manifested through sex, as a result intersexuality constitutes a necessary condition for the ways of expression and achievement of communication with the “other”; the target is the relation to be understood as intersexual  since it runs through the ‘’axis mundi’’.

   If the church under construction constitutes a place in progress, the other places that have been used for the filming of the video-dance embrace the element of change and of transition in other ways; an elevator, a river; signs of a modern industrialization that puts the myth in today’s timeline dimensions; prevents Narcissus’ death but makes him disappear indirectly of sight of the viewer through the turn of Echo to herself. A shift which is attainable in a metaphysical level while at the same time appropriates elements from the “other”.

   For some viewers, if someone thought of ‘’love” as something between self and the “other”, the words of Margarita’s Dalmati poem on which the music of Chrissa Melissari was based, refer to a situation opposite of proportion to the act that occurs in the play. And one could even claim that the reference is made to an inversely proportional psychological space:

”New love”

The love blew

on the ashes of my heart-

and the stars were lit !…  


 It is about a willful naiveté unintentionally mocked since the capital “E” in ‘’Eros’’ (in Greek acceptation it is connected with the ancient god) instead of the English word ‘’love’’ restricts any available ironic connotation generating coherences without finalizing the metaphysical diachronic question that comes to take root in the difference between the two cultures that is not resolved by a simple removal of elements from the English translation of the poem. The poem “New Love” maintains its own mental area inside the space of the play…

   The project as it evolved in 2009 was dedicated to the memory of the poet and harpsichordist Margarita Dalmati, when I realized that “Echo and Narcissus” was the first public mention of her name since her death. When this project started in 2001, my desire was to dedicate it to the memory of my teacher, the choreographer Jerome Andrews whose gift to me, shortly before his death, was Echo’s costume; for several reasons I did not carry it out in the 2001 version, surprised to discover that in 2009 the project was intended not to be dedicated to the memory of the poet Margarita Dalmati. Nonetheless, the following year, the Fotoskiasi’s production ”of the upper and the under world laments” was dedicated to Jerome Andrews. A practice from ancient times is that of the use of dance as a means of religion, either directly for the worship of the dead (an idea supported by a 20 minute solo choreography in the play ”of the upper and the under world laments’’ inspired by the worship rituals of the death from the people of Neanderthal), whether in holly frame, as the representation of a myth in a temple on the site and associated with a religious theme, with the paradox of the co-existence of the ancient Greek convention and the dance connected with religion in an orthodox Christian environment, which means an area totally incompatible with them in our contemporary religious pact.

   A direction desired for Fotoskiasis is the one at the root between dance and the sacred. Besides, with such a topic Ι started choreographing in 1991. My distinction from the New Choreographers Competition-Awards Rallou Manou for ‘’Fotoskiasi’’ (which in Greek Language means ‘’shading’’), a play based on the sacred and the ancient Greek myths –was the reason to name the group as such. My poem ‘’Fotoskiasis’’, with which concluded that choreography, is also dedicated to the memory of my teacher Jerome Andrews. 

Text by Aggeliki Papadopoulou, Fotoskiasis’ Dance Company Artistic Director

Translation: Evlampia Chelmi