3d Graphics: Athanasios Beroutsos
music: Chara Palaiologou
Choreography: Konstantina Mantzika
Curated by: Alexia Pappa
In a dark room, self-luminous bodies dance and self-luminous bodies stand still. Shadow figures dance and shadow figures stand still.
The Light & Shadow Ballet is an existential exploration of the relation between light and shadow, taking place in a fictional space where a ritual of the human body is performed according to the routine of a group of classical ballet dancers. The ritual does not only concern the performance, which is the purpose of the dancers’ hard practice but also the practice itself, through which the dancers reach the maximum of their physical and mental abilities.
Entering the three-dimensional space created by Beroutsos, we wander around the dancers in the innermost backroom, where we see the different stages of the ballerinas’ inner process that contributes to their path towards the light. In this choreography the shadows become autonomous and lead their own steps, embodying the thoughts, the feelings, the hidden and unspeakable human instincts.
At the same time, the virtual reality environment invites us to explore the boundaries between truth and imagination, actual and fictitious. For the sculptor himself, the relation between reality and illusion is inextricably connected to the potential of sculpture beyond the natural, tangible surrounding space and within another frame of reference, this time virtual.
The process of creating the sculpture in the virtual space is less physical but just as spiritual and detailed. Virtual reality therefore contributes to the creation of spaces, bodies, sculptures, which are not tangible but they do exist, since existence presupposes creation, construction.
Observing the static and floating sculptures, the projections, and the sound installation we can feel or even wonder about our personal light and darkness. Which of our thoughts remain in the shadows? In what way do they contribute to our path towards the light? Do the emotions that overwhelm us but are not consciously expressed exist, or are they merely creatures of our imagination? But really, what prevents the imaginary and the virtual from being real?
In Light & Shadow Ballet the inner world is mysteriously illustrated, composing a backstage experience under the light and shadows of the dancing figures. Their physicality expresses the struggle of humans to know the truth within them and reach the fulfilment of the self. To become the light.