Athanasia Kanellopoulou

Posted on September 13, 2015



Only inside movement we may finally find who we really are…

photo- Yiannis Hatziadoniou

photo- Giannis Hatziantoniou


 Creating and performing is a personal offering – I invite the audience to witness and also participate in this artistic transformation. My choreographic and personal research is a response to and resistance against an increasingly consumerist, ‘plastic’ society, it focuses around the quest for the hidden, true self, it is a search for light onto the nefarious corners of the human soul, a quest for the forgotten poesy of life. The starting point of this research is the empty space of the present in relation to the human body in all its mythological elaborated reminiscences. I am interested in the human body as a vehicle of the inner transformation expressed in the physical by ever changing lines, shapes and forms. As a choreographer and performer I convert a more private, confessional diary-like writing into a physical act in order to explore tender, silent or more resonant inflections of the self.


photo- Yiannis Hatziadoniou

photo- Giannis Hatziantoniou


Athanasia Kanellopoulou is a choreographer, performing artist, researcher and pedagogue.

She studied, lived, worked over 16 years abroad with companies such as Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (guest artist), Les Ballets C de la B/ Koen Augustijnen, Jasmin Vardimon Company, Cocoondance and many others

As a choreographer, her main focus is on solo creations and collaborations with artists from different art fields. She has been commissioned to create works for companies and dance institutions. Her works have been presented in festivals in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. She delivers workshops and master classes in places as SEAD Academy Salzburg, State Dance School of Athens (KSOT), Garage 29 Brussels, Greenwich Dance Agency, Dance Studies of Malta University, Seoul Arts Centre, Cairo Contemporary Dance Centre, University Mimar Sinan Performing Arts Istanbul, Iceland Academy of Arts, etc. She has been appointed rehearsal director and guest choreographer for Zfinmalta Dance Ensemble. In 2010 she was named by the German dance critics and Press as a ‘a dancer to watch’.

Thoughts about the term identity

My personal development as an artist and individual has been affected by the evolution of ideas about identity and globalization. As a Greek choreographer and performer, I am always interested in examining a wide range of issues such as individuality, oppression and restrictions in our social framework, the pain of- personal or forced- exile and the current political and cultural crisis. Common element of all these issues is the following question raised: Who and what determines the term identity?

Until some decades ago, it seemed quite obvious that identity was defined by the concept of nation states. In this case, identity could be characterized as national and it was usually perceived as the common share of a series of values between people of a certain territorial space. Language, history, culture, religion and common experiences could and still be regarded as the basic elements of people’s identity. Despite the fact that the procedure of globalization nowadays seems to question the conventional definition of space and the concept of identity, people in periods of crisis tend to move “backwards”, in order to find their original routes. This kind of “movement”, as a symptom of radicalization, sometimes can be interpreted as a collective submergence to the common past that covers the gaps of a present elliptical “us”.

After many years of working with different people all over the world, I have experienced “movement” not only as a physical term, but also as a geographical and political term. From the one hand, travelling from Europe to Asia and from America to North Africa and the Middle East, I came to a strong realization that identity is not necessarily determined inside the strict framework of space and place. Move-ability and e-motion do not know borders. On the other hand, no matter where we travel, our identity travels along with us, within our bodies. It is a “topos” ( Greek work for the term land) we keep going back to, an archive we draw from and upon, which needs to be researched in order to be able to keep on going…

The physicality of body and the human emotions are the strong bonds that connect all different nations, identities and cultures. The definition of new commonly shared values among the artists generates a new kind of identity. The pain of the body, the excitement of creativity, the need for inspiration and the importance of exploring new places (existing or non-existing) are the same throughout the world of an artist. These elements tend to construct a new kind of identity away from the conventional concepts. This identity is not exclusive, as the most of identities seem to be, but it is quite open and sometimes even abstract, in the sense that it can potentially include all people.

In a world that is moving extremely fast, are we aware of our identity? Is our identity travelling with us? How is the identity of each person expressed through the body? Each nation has different characteristics in its movements, like the way of walking, dancing and standing. But this kind of identity can be easily affected through the interaction with other people. Can we find our identity through moving, travelling or experiencing an endless motion? In this procedure, the nonstop sense of travelling through history and space leads to the moment of stillness, the “catharsis”. Only inside movement we may finally find who we are.

foto by : Klaus Dilger

The return of Persephone, photo by : Klaus Dilger


on the work-

“The return of Persephone”

Between Heaven and Earth…an alien prodigy

Return to Hades by the purified sinner

A spiritual axiom seeking fake structure in the chaos.

Darkness speared by rays of light.

Structured footprints of forgotten commands, step stones on a path long forgotten

A Darwinian abomination

A monstrosity of sentiments devouring the cells of her psyche.

An engineer of life scenarios, a destroyer of old scripts

A purveyor of taste in matters of the beating muscle

Rejuvenating tortured limbs, tombs to failure of the mind

Hope crushed and burnt

Timbers of the familiar seeking reincarnation

Motherly love shaping the face of individual desire, caging the creature on a planet of nothingness

Between Heaven and Earth

A twilight zone of screaming pathos

An exodus from learned perception, mining for gems of maternal wisdom

A peace offering to those who rock the heaven

Authenticity drowned in a delirium of absurdity, a dictatorship of fools

A renaissance alchemist

A faith healer of the suspicious mind

Monsters in jeans and slippers taunt the rat in the cage

Architectural magnificence beats a longing heart

Dismantled and dishonored craving the Babylon of unborn possibilities

A melancholic wave to Known Symphonies

A crescendo of stillness


A co-production with Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival 2015 , Palestine

Concept, Choreography, Performance: Athanasia Kanellopoulou

Original Music Composition: Mario Sammut

Dramaturgy : Afedia Kanellopoulou

Technical Support : Vilma Andrioti

Video, editing : Alexandros Seitaridis

Fotos, Posters : Giannis Hatziantoniou



photo-Giannis Hatziantoniou

photo-Giannis Hatziantoniou