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MARTHA GRAHAM AND GREEK MYTH

13 Απριλίου @ 2:00 μμ 4:00 μμ

A presentation combining Classical Philology with Live Modern Dance


Saturday, April 13 2024
ELER Theater- Eleni Erimou, 10 Phrynichou St. | Time: 2.00pm
Duration: 75’ | in English

After a series of successful presentations “Martha Graham and Greek Myth” returns on stage at ELER Theater in Plaka on Saturday, April 13. This presentation is arranged exclusively for a group from the University of Chicago.

 “Martha Graham and Greek Myth” integrates live dance into an engaging talk to explore the ways in which the American dancer and artist Martha Graham reimagined ancient Greek myth in her work. This is a rare opportunity for audiences to enjoy excerpts from Graham’s Greek-inspired works up close and in an intimate setting. Graham’s Greek-inspired works focus on human psychology and human emotions, and highlight both the influence of the ancient Greeks on American culture and the contribution of American art to the interpretation and reinvention of ancient Greek myth.

Dr. Papathanasopoulou presents an overview of Martha Graham’s technique and vision; examines Graham’s approach to Greek mythology and Greek tragedy; and explores her groundbreaking portrayals of the Greek heroines and their intense emotions – anger, grief, jealousy, fear, and vengefulness. The presentation focuses on Oedipus and Jocasta and the chthonic deities, the Furies.

To bring the project to life, Dr. Papathanasopoulou collaborates with Graham technique and repertory instructor in Athens, Penny Diamantopoulou, and a group of professional dancers from Greece, all extensively trained in the Graham technique and repertory.

The project also operates with the support and permission of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance in New York.

Cast & Crew:


Conception/Research/Production/Presentation:

Dr. Nina Papathanasopoulou
Professor of Classical Studies, College Year in Athens (CYA)

Choreographer:

Penny Diamantopoulou
Graham technique and repertory instructor 

Dancers: Eleftheria Iliopoulou, Natalia Kalogeropoulou, Maritina Katsimpraki, Vassia Kolliou, Marianna Papakonstantinou, Marianna Tsikmanli

Production Assistant: Danai Evangeliou

Photographers: Dimitris Mamaloukos, Patroklos Skafidas, Giannis Vavitsas


Audience reviews:
To put it succinctly, it was simply amazing! The rendition of Martha Graham’s choreography was simply superb, and the narrative was excellent. Τhe verbal narrative was concise and incisive and brilliantly explained the brilliant choreography that immediately followed. I think one can say that in 75 minutes one learned a semester’s worth of college learning. Constantine, now 13 and in Β’ Γυμνασίου loved it, and that was my greatest satisfaction.
George Gilson, print and broadcast journalist at Alter Ego Media
 
“A unique performance which makes the audience feel like being part of a live documentary: bringing together Greek myth, women’s gaze on classic masterpieces, and Martha Graham’s ground-breaking approach to modern dance, Professor Papathanasopoulou weaves a fascinating narrative. The dancers – all rigorously trained in the Martha Graham technique – embody superbly women’s struggles and the intensity of their emotions. Professor Papathanasopoulou’s erudite and passionate account creates a mesmerizing universe where dance, Greek tragedy, women’s sorrow, light and shadows converse, a universe where “movement never lies”.

Dr. Rosa Vasilaki, Sociology Professor,
College Year in Athens (CYA) / DIKEMES

BIOS:

Nina Papathanasopoulou is a Classics professor at College Year in Athens (CYA), where she teaches Ancient Greek mythology, religion, and literature courses and runs field trips all over Greece for US students who are studying abroad at CYA. She specializes in Greek drama, mythology, and their reception, and her current research explores interpretations of Greek myths by the American dancer, Martha Graham. She completed her PhD in Classics at Columbia University in 2013 and her BA in Classics at the University of Athens in 2003. From 2013 to 2019 she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Connecticut College, where she taught classics and theater courses and was involved in extensive outreach programming for Classics. Since January 2019 she also works for the Society for Classical Studies, overseeing Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities, an initiative that encourages interdisciplinary collaborations between Classics and other fields and supports programs that engage in critical discussion of and creative expression related to the ancient Mediterranean.  nina.papath@cyathens.org
Penny Diamantopoulou is a Graham Technique and Repertory instructor reconstructing Graham pieces in collaboration with the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2002. She studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance (MGSCD) on a demonstrator’s scholarship and completed the Professional and Post-Graduate Program in 2000 with Diane Gray and Joyce Herring. She performed with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble from 1996 to 2000, and taught at the MGSCD from 1998-2000. Penny taught at the National School of Dance in Athens from 2002-2021 and teaches at the Professional Dance School ‘Horohronos’ since 2017, as well as at dance schools all over Greece. In collaboration with the Martha Graham Dance Center, she has taught, reconstructed, and restaged pieces or excerpts of the Graham repertory for master classes and performances in New York City, Greece, France, Bosnia, Belgium, Hungary and Turkey. She has an on-going collaboration with Graham for Europe, teaching Graham technique and repertory for the Summer and Fall Intensive workshops in France and for the Summer Intensive workshop in Italy. Since August 2020 she has also collaborated with Movement Migration Nonprofit Organization where she has been teaching virtual Advanced Graham Technique classes for dancers in Europe and the USA.