Three bodies in the role of convergent and divergent metronomes in a movement experiment based on music by the minimalist composer John Adams.

Iro Apostolelli, the dancer and choreographer, places the multiple dimensions of the dancing body at the centre of her quests: the body as a field of knowledge, but also as a tool for tracing movement through acoustic stimuli and singular on-stage experiments. Her approach extends beyond the way in which dance perceives and represents the body and the experiences that stem from it to examine in depth the necessity of certain structural elements —a piece’s musical accompaniment, for instance— in the reception and conception of choreography. This serves to redefine the central role of the body on stage —as something which interprets and is interpreted through movement— in order to transform the viewer from a passive recipient into an active observer of a process which includes both the kinesthetic experience and thought.

Indeed, “Umbilicus”(Navel) could be considered a “choreography of thought”. Which is to say it proposes a performative condition which focuses our attention on rhythmic sequences or variations, rather than on the way in which the movement serves as a vehicle for personal expression. The movements are geometrical, repetitive. They focus on verticality, with each dancer’s body serving as a metronome with the other bodies converging or diverging from it. However, the achievement here isn’t the “mechanical execution” of a music score; using the Paradiddle improvisatory technique, the choreographer engages in a dialogue between her movement and the music of John Adams’ minimalist “Son of Chamber Symphony”. In their turn, the three dancers ‘write’ a new score in which one can discern both performative precision and the embodied presence which, intentionally or otherwise, proposes a new reading of the music.

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Choreography: Iro Apostolelli
Interpretation: Katerina Liontou, Agni Papadeli-Rossetou, Danae Papazian
Lighting: Alekos Giannaros
Outfits, instalations: Iro Vagioti
Line production: Anna Apostolelli
Line production company: Ditto
Music: John Adams, « Son of Chamber Symphony »
Production: Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens


1-2 April 2017, Upper Stage of the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens, as part of the 4th Young Choreographers Festival.

June 2016, Umbilicus 1st part, Performance Biennial «No Future» in the occupied cultural space of Green Park, Athens.

May 2016, Umbilicus 1st part, Video with Thomas Ginis at the machine shop “Navamar” in Piraeus.