Innovative dance performance The Thread to be staged in Greek

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An innovative dance performance entitled "The Thread" will be staged at the ancient Greek Epidaurus Theater on August 24, in the context of the Greek Festival, the largest and most prestigious annual cultural event in Greece in over six decades, organizers said on Monday in Athens.

The Tread is a co-production of the Athens Concert Hall and Greek production company Lavris which brought together a group of world renowned artists and emerging talents, mixing traditional Greek dance with contemporary dance, they explained during a press conference.

Greek musician Vangelis Papathanasiou, a pioneer in electronic music, who has been awarded the Academy Award for his work on the 1982 film Chariots of Fire among other distinctions, has composed the original music for the production.

British choreographer Russell Maliphant, is the artistic director and Michael Hulls, an artistic lighting designer with an established reputation as a "choreographer of the light" has also joined the team, along Mary Katrantzou, a Greek fashion designer who has designed the dancers' costumes inspired by ancient Greek pottery.

Eighteen young Greek dancers -- 12 originating from classical ballet and contemporary dance and six trained in traditional Greek dances -- are the protagonists of the show.

Georgia Iliopoulou, Lavris Managing Director, who had the original concept and produced the show, said that The Thread aims to change the rules of movement in contemporary dance.

The concept of the Thread can be found in many cultures: from the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in ancient Greek mythology to the Red Thread of Fate originating from a Chinese legend, she explained to media.

"It is the thread connecting people, the thread connecting civilizations, the thread connecting the old with the new, it is our need of dialogue," Iliopoulou told Xinhua.

The Thread represents the fundamental human values that we all share, no matter our religion, our ethnicity or beliefs, she noted.

"This production aims to travel the world. We have started from Italy, it has been presented at London's Sadler's (Wells) theatre, it will be staged in Germany during the Movimentos festival and we would like to reach every corner of the globe," the producer added.

"China is one of the countries we would like very much to visit, because Chinese civilization is as ancient as our civilization and communication between these two civilizations is very substantial to us," she stressed.

"It concerns our tradition, it concerns the thread that links us, the thread linking all people, which is a cultural thread, therefore we feel that we are all together in this world which moves forward," Miltos Logiadis, Artistic Director of the Athens Concert Hall where the performance will be staged in November, told the press briefing.

The project is like an excavation into the past and into the future, an excavation which does not bring to surface objects, but digs into our existence, Vangelis explained in a written message.

"What is of interest to me and what concerns me is to approach without much effort, but through instinct, traditional music which is the most primitive and clear music," the composer said via video on his work for the production.

"Primitive music and primitive dance are fundamental elements which are universal," he underlined.

Maliphant, an artist who has trained at The Royal Ballet School, pursued a career in independent dance and has studied and experimented with contact improvisation, yoga, capoeira and tai chi, talked about his philosophy on dancing during Monday's press conference.

"I think of it as movement, all of it as movement, and that is the connecting form, its energy in space, its momentum, its rhythm, its expression. I like working with that more than I like working with a particular named category of dance. That seemed to fit with that (project)," he said. 

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