Departures and Arrivals



ARTIST PROFILE: Georgia Vardarou
Rita Natálio

Georgia Vardarou is a Greek artist based in Brussels and a Focus Artist actively supported by DNA for the period of 2014-2016. After graduating from PARTS in 2008, she started to work as a dancer with the choreographer Salva Sanchis (Kunst/Werk) and she danced in several pieces by Sanchis, Marc Vanrunxt, Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

The short solo “Hardcore Research on Dance” (2012) was Vardarou’s first solo after graduation. An initial interest in the question of “where does ‘personal movement’ comes from?”, led Georgia to fully dedicate herself to a movement research beyond technical boundaries and constraints. She got interested in the singularity that takes a body to produce a certain movement and how the context of a body (culture, memory, dance education, past events or emotional twists) can create a specific identity to movement and a singular adaptation to its own capacities.

As a choreographer and also as a performer for other choreographers, Vardarou developed a strong link with improvisation. That is maybe why her research got so engaged on reflecting on the role of the performer and its awareness towards his/her own personal language. After all, the ability to master a technique or to share a common language in the studio and, at the same time, to create a personal movement, is more than ever an issue to contemporary dancers.

But, having the context of the dancer in mind, if everything behind movement determines movement, Vardarou’s quest is not so much to go behind that curtain and to discover the past but what is in between choreography and singularity, to understand what can be written and told through the personal movement of a body. That is the attempt in “Phenomena” (2013), the second work of the choreographer, a trio where dancers experiment with their individual movements. The manipulation of these materials in a specific order or situation, permits the artist to address the craft of choreography together with the presentness of each individual movement.

In her new project for 2016 - “New Narratives” - the focus moves towards narration and meaning, while abstraction remains the choreographic challenge of the artist and personal movement is once again the starting point to generate material. The proposal is that the medium of dance can also dialogue with other art forms and references, from literature (“The Master and Margarita” of Mikhail Bulgakov is one of the references of the work) to light design and music. Nevertheless, dance remains at the centre and the aim is not to create a multidisciplinary project. On the contrary, the use of other elements will follow up the movement proposal. If the question of combining dance and narrative was a central question in the history of dance (let us remind that ballet was historically bound to its ability to create figures that could illustrate certain narratives), now it becomes a question to create “new narratives” in relation to abstraction and linearity. As the synopsis of the work announces: “NEW NARRATIVES is the story that our mind unavoidably constructs...” and “...the transcendence that our mind fortunately enjoys”.