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Salema Revisited

October 10, 2021 @ 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Andonis Foniadakis Dance Company
(2 special performances before the world premiere at Megaron – Athens)

Sálema* is a struggle with time, immobility and the actual moment. It is where tradition encounters modernism, exuberance meets abstraction and light faces darkness, as dancers and musicians come together in a bizarre game unearthing memories and feelings. The choreography leads the way for musicians and the audience to a mystical journey starting from Crete. The music renounces itself to give way and highlight movement, contributing to the assimilation and interpretation of the dance image.
Salema Revisited, the new creation by the international Greek choreographer Antonis Foniadakis wants to honor the music and the dances of his birthplace, Crete. The Cretan dances are an inseparable part of the social life of the island and there are many variations from place to place and from one person to the next. In that context Foniadakis feels the need to offer his own perspective in terms of how tradition may exist and interact with other forms of expression, like contemporary dance, without threatening or offending the existing condition but rather in an attempt to enrich and promote tradition to a wider audience with a sense of respect and pride.

There are twenty five types of dance in the dance heritage of Crete, that were not known to the whole of the island but each thrived in a specific area. Some examples are yitsikia sousta, glykomilitsa, rodo, fterotos syrtos, koytsabadianos, trizalis o apanomeritis, mikro mikraki, brimianos or priniotis, agkaliastos, xenobasaris, zerbodexos, as well as many types of slow and jumpy dances. In Salema Revisited the choreographer does not attempt to record each and every one of them; besides that was never his intention. What he wishes is to interpret with his own personal style the valiance, the beauty, the lyricism and the pain of the Cretan soul. Above all, he wishes to depict the force of the Cretans’ dancing pentozali (a ten-step dance, alluding to the 10th of October 1769, when the Sfakians decided to start a revolution against the Ottomans). Accordingly, the dance is accompanied by a musical piece of twelve phrases in honour of the twelve pioneers of the revolution. By focusing on the five most widespread dances, sousta, maleviziotis, syrtos or chaniotis, pentozalis, and by adding a selection of rizitika songs, Foniadakis creates a colourful and multiform spectrum of rhythms and melodies to direct the flow of the performance. By combining the principles and the motifs of traditional dances with his long experience both as a dancer of contemporary dance and as a choreographer –developed slowly and steadily during these two last decades with performances and dance festivals worldwide– the audience will take a journey into passion, sweetness, melody and mysticism which stems from Cretan music.

* Noun deriving from the ancient Greek verb σαλεύω (salevo), meaning to sway, to shift slightly; figuratively it means to go mad.
Βorn in Ierapetra, in the south of Crete, Andonis Foniadakis started dancing as a child and then pursued dance studies in Athens at the National School of Dance and later abroad on scholarship. In the very first steps of his career he was dancing as a member of the Maurice Bejart group, and soon he began choreographing on commission for the biggest theaters in the world. As a guest choreographer, he has worked with leading dance ensembles and artistic organizations, such as the Lyon Opera Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Aterballetto in Milan, the Ballets Jazz de Montréal, and the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. He also served as director of the Greek National Opera Ballet. He worked as movement coordinator in Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah, received the Danza e Danza award for best choreographer in 2012 in Italy for Les Noces, and in 2018 he won the award for best choreography from the Greek Association of Music and Theater Critics for Galaxy, which he created on commission for the National Theater of Greece and the Greek National Opera.

Choreography: Andonis Foniadakis
Musicians – Performers: Giorgos Skordalos (Cretan lyra, Cretan lute, vocals), Paris Perisinakis (viora, Cretan lyra, mandocaster), Andreas Arvanitis (Cretan lute, recorder, Cretan bagpipe), Petros Varthakouris (double bass), Vangelis Karipis (percussions, sound effects)
Music supervision – Orchestration: Paris Perisinakis, Giorgos Skordalos
Original music: Paris Perisinakis
Assistant choreographers: Markella Manoliadi, Pierre Magendie
Light design: Sakis Birbilis
Costume design: Anastasios-Tassos Sofroniou
Assistant costume designer: Evdokia Veropoulou
Dancers: Nefeli Αsteriou, Despina Lagoudaki, Evi Oikonomou, Maro Stavrinou, Stefania Sotiropoulou, Christian Denice, Georgios Kotsifakis, Nikos Grigoriadis, Jan Labner, Anestis (Tasos) Nikas

Production: Visionary Culture / Vassilis Grigoropoulos

Photo: Alexandros Lambrovasilis

Nicosia: Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 October 2021, Nicosia Municipal Theatre, 20:30

Duration: 60΄

The Katradis Group of Companies proudly supports the international Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis and his company, Andonis Foniadakis Dance Company.


October 10, 2021
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Nicosia Municipal Theatre
Mouseiou Avenue 4
Nicosia, 1097