A place where beauty meets history, Monemvasia has been one of the most important fortress towns in Greece and the hometown of Yiannis Ritsos, one of Greece’s most renowned poets. The imposing castle counts over 1500 years of history and is considered among the most beautiful in the world. As soon as the visitor crosses its gates, s/he enters a word of unique beauty with its very own pace of life. Situated atop a rock, it faces the Myrtoon Sea that offers the visitor the spectacular views of endless blue.
This unique setting is the place where Between the Seas, an arts organization focusing on Mediterranean cultural exchange, chose to be the home of some of its main annual activities. “Being in Monemvasia is like being in the heart of the Mediterranean, at the crossroads between all those cultures that we come to dialogue with” says Aktina Stathaki, Between the Seas’ founder and artistic director.
From the 2nd to the 16th of September, in collaboration with the local cultural space Kimothoi, Between the Seas will host three award-winning contemporary women choreographers from Israel and Spain. Rachel Erdos, Paula Quintana and Ravid Abarbanel will work on their new pieces, drawing inspiration from the Monemvasia castle and its history. On 8th and 15th September at 9.30pm, they will offer public performances of their in-progress works, against the gorgeous backdrop of the medieveal town.
In their performances Rachel Erdos and Ravid Abarbanel explore notions of place and home, each from their own perspective, while Paula Quintana will experiment with the use of choreography and film. “What is very important is that in all three choreographic works, Monemvasia will feed into their creative process and will affect the final result and that is something that we are particularly interested in”, Aktina Stathaki says.
While in Monemvasia, Israeli choreographer Rachel Erdos will also offer a 3 hour masterclass for professional dancers/choreographers on September 8th and an open rehearsal on September 7th.
This unique program, that brings the Greek audience in contact with contemporary dance in the broader Mediterranean region, aims at creating a hub for Mediterranean cultural exchanges in the Monemvasia Castle, where the natural beauty of the landscape and the archaeological significance of the town will be highlighted through high quality, international artistic research and practice, in collaboration with the local community.
This year’s residency program is supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, and the Hellenic Public Power Corporation. Additional support for Rachel Erdos by the Embassy of Israel in Athens.