The Athens Video Dance Project, a follow-up

The Athens Video Dance Project has been a recent addition to the calendar of annual events in the Greek capital. The festival has a large number of events within its one week duration and it accepts participations from both Greek and non-Greek artists. Upon completion of this year’s festival, Zoe Kalfa (art curator and public relations officer) talked to REVma /+ about this year’s events.
|Kostas Prapoglou

REVma -/+: The Athens Video Dance Project is a fairly new event – who is behind this ambitious project and why have they decided to organise it in Athens in particular?
Z.K.: This is Athens Video Dance Project’s second year. It is an initiative of the non-profit organisation ‘Team Progressive’ involving dance and all relevant activities. Team Progressive consists of Giannis Karounis (dancer-chorographer), Kostis Basiliagkos (web designer), Zoe Kalfa (art curator, public relationships). Our aim was to create a dance festival that will invite both professional dancers from all parts of the world and people with a keen interest in dance performance in Athens. We all live and work in Athens and we felt the need to create -initially- a core of people with similar interests and inform our fellow Athenians about the art of video dance. This successful attempt resulted to bring our Athens events to everyone’s attention and have admirers from all over the world.

REVma -/+: How many participants did the festival number this year and how is this compared to similar festivals taking place abroad?
Z.K.: We had more than 600 participants but we selected a smaller number to be showcased. Athens Video Dance Project is a new institution and although it cannot, at the moment, be compared to similar and larger festivals worldwide, the increasing attendance and participation looks very promising considering the current situation and scale of market here.

REVma -/+: What was the people’s response and was there a particular aspect of the event that received greater interest?
Z.K.: The response of the people was positive. I heard complimentary comments for the short movies as well as for special showcased events by dancers/chorographers and directors such as the Physical Theater of DV8, Gerasimo Riga, Shelly Love, Pina, Vim Wandekeybus, Vim Venders. Maybe the most overwhelming response of the audience involved the live performances of ‘Denti’ by Pierogiorgio Milano, ‘ON’ by Dimitris Sotiriou and Popi Sfika, ‘L.O.L.A.’ by Stella Zanou and ‘M.e.t.a.’ by Stefani Tsakona and Evi Tzortzi. Certain videos and movies presented in the festival totally stole the heart of the audience, however I shall not reveal which ones they were!

REVma -/+: Taking into consideration the hectic socio-economic and political situation in Greece at the moment, how did you manage to implement such a challenging and complex project?
Z.K.: The socio-economic and political situation is/was from the beginning an unavoidable fact. It had its effects on organising the whole project. For example, there were not many available sponsors. Team Progressive is a non-profit organisation and the success of our project (despite the crisis) really shows that it can be possible to achieve certain goals.

REVma -/+: The festival showcased the work of both Greek and non-Greek participants. Do you think Greece is the right platform for a young artist to pursuit a career and/or has working abroad become inevitable?
Z.K.: I believe Greece is a healthy environment for young artists and sooner or later your efforts will be rewarded especially if your work has true potential. It might seem easier to become famous and successful abroad but will it could take a longer period of time as the competition is much bigger.