The Thread is an innovative modern dance performance that changes the rules of movement in the contemporary dance<
A high standards production that charmed both public and critics at Sadler’s Wells London, and the famous Ancient Greek Amphitheater of Epidaurus.
“This project is like an excavation both into the past and into the future.” Vangelis
The Thread is the fascination for the evolution of Movement through tradition and art.
Throughout the ages traditional dances were mixed with contemporary movement. As we go back in time, we see dance. In modern times we see movement. So we ravel and unravel these evolutions through dance, movement and light.
It is not the love of Greece as a place or a country.
It just so happens that Greece, from antiquity until the present day has been a platform for the multiple expressions of the body
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 in Asian philosophy.
The Thread is the line that runs through time, connecting our present to the past.
The Thread is the common cultural elements that connect different regions, despite the distance between them or their differences.
The Thread represents the fundamental human values that we all share, no matter our religion, our ethnicity or beliefs. It is a notion which is both personal, timely and relatable, and at the same time universal and timeless.
I have always given priority to memory. If you are able to get immersed into the space we call memory, the higher the probability to make strides to the future with incredible consistency and effectiveness.
In other words, if human beings or a nation know their past and history, they can more positively respond to the present and the future.
I consider myself lucky that I originate from a place never deprived of cultural and spiritual richness across the centuries.
The main drive that made me get involved in this venture was the thorough knowledge of the power of music as a divine power that preceded mankind combining it with dance as a primordial human expression; the co-existence at present of the two elements of my land’s cultural treasure; a holistic approach to mankind evolution.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to explore a number of projects where the genesis for vocabulary and development has come from a theme.
The piece Afterlight, was inspired by photographs of Vaslav Nijinsky, as well as his own drawings – this formed the foundation of an aesthetic that fed into the creation and informed both the movement vocabulary, the musical territory and the overall visual look of the piece.
Similarly The Rodin Project used the theme of August Rodin, his sculptures and watercolours, around which to gather ideas which shaped the stage aesthetic and the movement language of the resulting work.
So when Georgia Iliopoulou came to me with the idea for a piece based on traditional Greek dance as a foundation, I felt it was an idea I would be very interested to explore.
Some movements in the traditional forms are remarkably similar to ones that have influenced my practice over the years, and others have an entirely different rigour and function at their foundation – I find it enriching to delve into and explore the possibilities of a movement language that forms from the meeting of these different routes.
There is a spirit of community and social sharing that is embedded in much of the Greek traditional dance forms and this project constructs and deconstructs traditional and contemporary movement to create a new perception and enjoyment of dance for today’s audiences.
Working with Vangelis has been an honour and a joy. The musical world he has created has a fundamental understanding of tradition and heritage whilst simultaneously moving into new directions to create juxtapositions I am inspired by and very excited to be part of.
Having the freedom to choose collaborators is pivotal in any project, and having the opportunity to work again with Michael Hulls for the lighting design of the evening is a special point. He always brings his unique understanding of lighting for dance to the stage and allows us to draw on more than 20 years of collaborative experience together.
Russell Maliphant trained at the Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. As a dancer he worked with companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre, Michael Clark & Company, Laurie Booth and Rosemary Butcher.
He created his first solo in 1992 and in 1996 he formed Russell Maliphant Company. For the past 20 years he has collaborated closely with the lighting designer Michael Hulls, and in addition to choreographing works for his own company of dancers, has also created works on renowned companies and artists including: Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, English National Ballet, BalletBoyz, Munich’s Bayerisches Staatsballett and Lyon Opera Ballet.
In 2002 he received the Time Out Live Award for outstanding collaboration for his work Sheer and in 2003 received a South Bank Show Dance Award for the piece Choice. At the end of that year he created Broken Fall for Sylvie Guillem and BalletBoyz which premiered at the Royal Opera House and received an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.
In 2005 Sylvie Guillem invited Maliphant to create an evening of work for them both, culminating in the duet PUSH, which premiered at Sadler’s Wells and received a South Bank Show Award and an Olivier award in 2006. PUSH toured throughout the world until the end of 2014.
Its creation was followed by two artistically diverse collaborations: Cast No Shadow with visual artist Isaac Julien, and Eonnagata, which was created and performed with theatre director Robert Lepage and Sylvie Guillem.
In 2009 Maliphant created part one of Afterlight for In the Spirit of Diaghilev, Sadler’s Wells’ celebration of Les Ballets Russes. This received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography in 2010 and was also nominated for an Olivier Award. Parts two and three of Afterlight followed and toured as a full evening together with part one.
For his next company work, The Rodin Project, he put together a group of dancers from different dance and movement style backgrounds which included hip hop, popping, climbing and tumbling. It opened at Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris at the end of January 2012 before touring the UK, Europe and the USA and was adapted for film, in collaboration with the photographers/directors Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, re-titled Erebus.
In 2013 he created Fallen for BalletBoyz, which was awarded the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for Best Modern Choreography, and made three pieces for his own company in the evening titled Still Current.
In 2014 Maliphant choreographed Spiral Pass for Munich’s Bayerisches Staatsballett and Second Breath for English National Ballet that was part of their Lest We Forget evening which won of The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2015.
His company evening titled Conceal/Reveal premiered at the end of 2015 and toured through 2016-17. He created a new duet for Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin which opened at Sadler’s Wells at the end of June 2016 and carried out research and development for a future production in 2017. For the past 2 years Maliphant has curated an annual season for The Print Room at The Coronet and for 2018 created and performed in new duet with his long time partner the performer Dana Fouras. Russell Maliphant became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011. He currently holds the position of Artistic Researcher in Dance at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Acknowledged to this day as "the master of electronic music," Vangelis set the bar high for all who followed. And he did it naturally, instinctually – with no conventional training. By the age of four he was creating music on the family piano, by the age of six giving public performances of his compositions … his natural gift coming from a place he likes to call memory … a place he says we can all tap into if we can only remember.
It was also at this young age that his inherent talent for drawing and painting began to emerge, though it would be years before anyone outside his inner circle would get to see his work.
As a teenager Vangelis proved his innate knowledge and expertise for various styles of music, all the while quietly developing his own unique repertoire. And then came the new wave of electronic instruments, just in time it seemed, to accommodate his ever-expanding imagination and innovative experimentations, the results of which often led to his being called "the father of new-age." Over the years, he built studio/laboratories in Paris, London, Athens and Rome and collaborated with revered singers, artists, playwrights, poets, choreographers, filmmakers, environmentalists, athletes, doctors and scientists from all over the world.
And now, with over forty album releases, over twenty movie/TV soundtracks, two ballets, six plays, three choral symphonies, major audio/visual spectaculars and numerous honors, awards and titles to his credit, he continues to expand the horizons of electronic music by combining it with and blurring the line between it and acoustic symphonic music. But no matter what kind of method and instruments he uses, Vangelis will always be known for his strength of melody, his pioneering sound and his emotional depth. This is why his music for the film Chariots Of Fire has won him an Academy Award (Oscar), Conquest Of Paradise still spurs athletes to Olympic victory, and Blade Runner has achieved an almost mythological status.
The same lifelong devotion and dedication Vangelis has for his music, has always been as evident in his visual art. But it was not until recently that he consented to having it shown to the public. Since that day in 2003, he has had ten major exhibitions of his paintings in leading art museums around the world.
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens has proclaimed Vangelis Honorary Doctor/Professor Emeritus for his contribution to culture. Also the University of Patras in Greece, has proclaimed Vangelis Honorary Doctor/Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Physics.
To Vangelis, music and art are sacred, basic forces of the universe, their purpose to elevate, inspire and to heal humankind. This is Vangelis' mission, this and his desire to awaken in all of us, perhaps, that place called memory.
Michael Hulls is a renowned artistic lighting designer with an established reputation as a “choreographer of the light.” For 20 years,he has been working with and been following the same course as the choreographer Russell Maliphant, walking a thin line between light and movement.
He was trained in dance and theater at Dartington College of Arts and was Awarded a bursary by the Arts Council to attend dance lighting workshops with Jennifer Tipton in New York and Paris. Over the last 20 years, Hulls has worked exclusively in dance, particularly with Maliphant.
Their collaborations have won international critical acclaim and many awards. He also worked for many years with Akram Khan (in works for the shadow of man).
Since 2009, he has been collaborating with Well Theatre Sadler, just like Maliphant.
In 2010, his contribution to dance was acknowledged with his entry into the Oxford Dictionary of Dance.
In 2014, he received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.
Born in Athens, Mary Katrantzou studied Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design (USA) and graduated with a BA in Textile design and an MA in Fashion from Central Saint Martins (London). Her graduation show in 2008, which featured trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on jersey-bonded dresses, took the industry by storm. After her graduation show, Mary Katrantzou established her namesake brand.
Mary Katrantzou was dubbed "The Queen of Print" by press, a moniker that recognized the enormous influence of her work in the medium. Katrantzou's work changed the face of twenty-first century fashion, inspiring high fashion and high street designers alike. In her designs, Katrantzou plays with clashing aesthetics, mixes technology and craftman- ship and explores opulent innovative embellishments. Mary Katrantzou world is feminine, innovative, fresh and elegant.
Mary Katrantzou has received various awards throughout her career. In 2010 she was award- ed the Swiss Textiles Award in recognition of her pioneering textile treatments; in November 2011, she received the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent, in February 2012 was awarded Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards. In 2015, Katrantzou received the Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, was awarded Glamour designer of the year, Harper’s Bazaar Breakthrough Designer as well as the British Fashion Award for New Establishment Designer.
Prestigious collaborations have included capsule ranges with Swarovski, Longchamp, Moncler, Topshop, Cowshed and Adidas Originals. Mary has also collaborated with artist Pablo Bronstein at the ICA, designed costumes for the NYC Ballet and the Paris Opera and her work has been exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and at Lord Rothschild’s « Creatures and Creations » exhibition at Waddesdon Manor in the UK. In 2018, Dallas Contemporary hosted Mary Katrantzou's first solo exhibition “Mary, Queen of Prints”.
Georgia Iliopoulou was born in Greece. She studied in Athens and Paris, majoring in International Private Law. In 1989 she founded the cultural production company LAVRIS, and became its President and Managing Director. Since then, she has organized major cultural events with prominent artists from all over the world and got involved in the establishment of new cultural institutions in Greece, while at the same time actively promoting Greek culture abroad by participating in numerous festivals all over the world with important representatives of contemporary Greek creation of all genres (music, dance, theatre).
Russell Maliphant - Artistic Direction & Choreography
Vangelis - Music
Michael Hulls - Lighting
Mary Katrantzou - Costumes
Eleni Spathia, Takis Karachalios - Traditional Dance Teaching
Georgia Iliopoulou - Original Concept & Producer
Vasilis Arvanitakis, Ilias Bageorgos, Dimitris Delis, Lina Demeli, Margarita Dimitriadi, Anastasis Karachanidis, Iro Konti, Mina Letsos Konstantinides, Dimitris Paganos, Maria Papakonstantinou, Themistoklis Pavlis, Myrto Schoinoplokaki, Io Spiliotopoulou, Daphne Stathatou, Alexandros Stavropoulos Maria Tsingistra, Georgios Tsolis, Christos Xyrafakis
Arkadopoulos Alexandros, Arvanitis Andreas, Bakos Dimitris, Batisis Christos, Fasakis Andreas, Gevgelis Christos, Gevgelis Giorgos, Gevgelis Yannis, Kaliontzidis Michalis, Navrotzidis Christos, Nikolaidis Pantelis, Papanastasiou Vangelis, Servos Yannis
Balinakou Panagiota, Menoudakis Nikos, Rifouna Roula-Grigoria, Sideri Athina, Tsimekos Alejandros, Vangelis Kotsou
Assistant Choreographers - Dana Fouras, Kelly Karachalia, Grace Jabbari
Associate Lighting Designer - Ryan Stafford
Costume Production Executive - Avji Delega
Production Managers - Giannis Karachisarides, Maria Panayides
Technical Manager - John Zarganis
Production Coordinator - Lydia Margari
Lighting Programmer - Michail Fyrogenis
Stage Manager - Ioannis Rados
Sound Technician - Skarlatos Vasilopoulos Poulos
Lighting Technician - Ioannis Tsoupas
Wardrobe Department - Alexandra Giannakandropoulou
The Thread highlights
|#||Date||City||Ticket Sales Start on|
|1||15, 16 and 17 August 2019||Movimentos Festival Wolfsburg, Germany||Sold Out|
|2||24 August 2019||Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, Greece||Sold Out|
3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 December 2019
|Athens Concert Hall, Greece||Sold Out|
More tour Dates for abroad will be announced.