ATHENS – “After almost three decades, the Kalamata International Dance Festival is the leading and most important dance event in our country and one of the most important European festivals in its field with an international impact,” said Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni during the official presentation of the 28th Festival’s program which was held in the Ministry’s auditorium, on May 10.
This year’s Festival, entitled Ode to Beauty, is the result of a close collaboration between the Artistic Director Linda Kapetanea, and Mayor of Kalamata Athanasios Vasilopoulos with Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports responsible for Contemporary Culture Nicholas Yatromanolakis, Peloponnese Regional Governor Panagiotis Nikas, PHARIS Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Kalamata President Pantelis Drougas and the members of the Board of Directors of PHARIS.
“The Ministry of Culture and Sports supports the Festival with a three-year program contract, which we have signed with the Peloponnese Region and the Municipality of Kalamata, with a total budget of approximately 1.9 million euros. From these, the Ministry contributes with 400,000 euros per year because we really believe absolutely in the Festival and in the institution,” said Mendoni, thanking all those who collaborated for the realization of this year’s event.
Aside from Mendoni, Yatromanolakis, Nikas, and Vasilopoulos also offered their greetings during the press conference. The presentation of the program was undertaken this year by Kapetanea.
The Festival will take place July 15-24 and it includes the performances on the Main Stage of the Kalamata Dance Hall, the smaller scale productions in the Black Box, the Alternative Stage of the Kalamata Dance Hall, and the performances in the Central Square of Kalamata. At the same time, in an effort to expand the festival, additional free performances for the public were announced in central squares in Nafplio, Corinth, and Tripoli.
This year’s festival will host a total of 26 productions, 14 foreign groups from 10 countries, 12 groups from Greece, two world premieres, six side events, an intensive program of professional training, as well as a program of dance and movement workshops for different ages and groups.
The first international co-production of the festival with one of the most important organizations of contemporary dance in the world, Sadler’s Wells Theater in London, entitled Neighbors, is of special interest. The work, choreographed by Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit and Brigel Gjoka, in collaboration with William Forsythe and with live music by composer Ruşan Filiztek, had its world premiere in March 2022, and after Kalamata will continue its international tour.
The premiere will be with a landmark work in the history of modern dance, Triptych: The missing door, the lost room and the hidden floor by Peeping Tom, a show that is the result of a new editing of three works created by the Peeping Tom group for Nederlands Dance Theater.
International artists will present their works from 10 countries, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Mozambique, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, and Cyprus. At the same time, from July 8-24, the seminars and workshops of the educational program will be held for professionals and special groups of the public, for residents and visitors to Kalamata.
With the title Ode to Beauty, the festival aims to highlight the great and inexhaustible topic of beauty from a philosophical, moral, social, and artistic point of view. In the fertile field of art, Beauty is a central object of study. For the art of dance, the protagonists are the bodies that dream and move- inspiration, the movement itself, life itself. From the smallest organism to the largest mountain range, from the simplest children’s play to the movement of galaxies, everything that moves participates in life. The artist’s work, however, highlights the search for our relationship with life- because beauty exists because there is goodness, solidarity and love. And their essence is not theoretical but emanates from the bodies, the gestures, the words, the actions, the relations between the bodies. In this way, the Festival praises the embodiment of beauty.
Detailed information about the program for the 28th Kalamata International Dance Festival can be found here: https://kalamatadancefestival.gr/en/performances/.