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GIANNIS MANTAFOUNIS

With a wealth of performances on Europe’s and Asia’s stages under his belt as both a performer and choreographer, Giannis Mantafounis accompanied by Elena Giannotti, a leading improviser and dancer for 10 years in Rosemary Butchers’ dance group, were in Greece in April to present the work ApersonA, which first premiered in Geneva in November 2014. Before coming to Greece, it was also performed in Antwerp on 24 April 2015 and was then staged in Athens on 29 and 30 April at the I. & R. Duncan Dance Centre and then on 3 May at the Patra Municipal Theatre.

In ApersonA two individuals (two dancers who together compose a particularly expressive duet which exudes a pleasant sense of freedom) weave together numerous relationships, misappropriating those things that one isn’t allowed to, and exploring what lies beyond the bounds of good taste. Giannis Mantafounis had the following to say about the performance:

“ApersonA is an attempt to explore a deep desire to merge our emotional selves into the creative process of a work. In that endeavour, movements of the body serve as a guide showing us and our body the emotional reality that surrounds us. Situations create movement. Movement is experienced as emotion and together the combination becomes living characters in an environment seeking out a body that can be assumed to exist, a role that can be played. Proceeding in that fashion in a fine balance between theatrical, musical and dramatic aspects ApersonA emerges from a multifarious universe and becomes a work of art showcasing the importance of surrendering to an imagined moment of intensity for such time as that work is on display”.

Giannis Mantafounis studied dance at Greece’s State School of Dance and at Paris’ Conservatoire National Supérieur. Before launching his solo career as a choreographer, he was with the Gothenburg Opera Ballet, the Nederlands Dans Theater II and the William Forsythe Company from 2005. He is co-founder of the Lemurius group and the Mamaza collective, creating works which have been presented at theatres and festivals in numerous European and Asian countries.

The scholar was artist in residence along with the Mamaza trio at the deSingel Theatre in Antwerp in 2011-2012. In 2012-2013 he received support from the RESO Swiss for Dance network, the European Modul Dance programme and the Kultur Stiftung des Bundes as artist in residence at the Frankfurt Kunstlerhaus. He is currently working with Elena Giannotti on the work ApersonA, which they devised in 2014, as well as on the performative installation One One One with Aoife McAtamney, a new work in cooperation with Laurent Chétouane which will be staged in 2015 and another new work, A Real Case of Nothing, with Bruce Myers, Elena Giannotti, and Roberta Mosca which will be staged in 2016. He also teaches improvisation and choreography from the viewpoint of Budo, an ancient form of martial art, and creates works for schools or groups like the Geneva Junior Ballet, the Palucca School in Dresden, the University of Frankfurt, CFC Geneva, P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, and La Manafacture in Lausanne, to name a few.