Chinese troupe to open Kalamata dance festival in Greece

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A troupe of Chinese dancers will open Greece's 29th Kalamata International Dance Festival (KDF) this summer, the event's organizers announced in Athens on Monday.

It will be the first time in the history of Greece's leading contemporary dance event that a Chinese dance troupe will participate.

This year's edition of the annual festival will take place from July 14 to July 23 in Kalamata city, as well as in three other cities on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece.

It will feature 17 productions from nine Greek groups and seven dance troupes from across the world, including China's TAO Dance Theater. Choreographers, dancers, and dance teachers from 10 countries will participate in workshops and other activities at the festival.

On July 14 and 15 in Kalamata, 11 dancers from TAO Dance Theater will perform the dance show "11", said the festival's artistic director Linda Kapetanea.

The show is part of the "Numerical Series," and has been presented in over 40 countries and at more than 100 arts festivals, she said. TAO Dance Theater was awarded the Silver Lion at Venice's Biennale in Dance 2023, she added.

"We are especially happy to welcome it to Greece," Greek Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni told Xinhua.

Greece's relations with China in recent years have been excellent, especially in the culture sector, she added.

KDF's program this year is entitled "(Re)Turn to the Body". It discusses through dance what it means to be alive yet mortal, and celebrates the human body as the very essence of life, Kapetanea said. 

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