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Choreographing birth and death

At first glance, that may sound somewhat macabre yet Marina Pogiatzi’s upcoming dance performance creatively plays with the concept of birth and death in a quest to offer a sense of awakening. Coming up on September 6 and 7 in Nicosia, Marina merges the worlds of dance and live classical music.

“Birth and death have always been ‘centre stage’ for humanity,” says Marina. “The birth and death concept came up at a stage in my life when I was experiencing death.

“Birth and death are considered to be the starting point and the finale to each person’s life. Yet, in between, we die and are re-born thousands of times. I thought that this concept is always relevant in our lives and really wanted to explore it through choreography. If we are already born, then death is inevitable. So, if death is inevitable indeed, how would we want to live our lives before we die?”

The performance’s concept is complex with many aspects to it and so, the show itself is comprised of various artistic expressions. A mix and match of dance, singing and acting will present a non-linear story exploring the bipolar concept of birth and death.

“As a choreographer, I really like to mix my dancing with other art genres. This helps to tell a more complete story. I feel that various art elements support the dancing, and make it even more specific. For this performance, the live opera singing gives a dramatic undertone to the dancing. I chose a female opera singer, as a symbol of female energy, the one who gives birth and nurtures.

“While the moving bodies stand for the ephemeral human nature, the sculptures and the set design by artist Christos Avraam, serve as the reminiscent of our living traces. The set shapes the absence of the human body.”

A Thousand Births, as the performance is called, is set to Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis, a collection of erotic classical songs and so, a subtle eroticism will be present, mainly through the dancing yet also including a slight melancholic undertone with moments of light humour. The performance will be a world of emotions through motion, music, light design and visual art, says Marina.

Choreographed by Marina, the performance is a production by Mitra Dance Theatre, of which Marina is the founder and artistic director. And this is not her first time putting on a show. She has been choreographing since 2000 and this is the fifth year of her dance company. She’s had work presented in dance festivals in Cyprus and abroad and A Thousand Births won’t fall behind. Marina plans to take this production to more venues in Nicosia, Limassol and abroad in the near future.

“I like to use alternative venues for my shows and I am especially attracted by historical spaces,” she says and perhaps that’s why she’s chosen Pallas Theatre, established in the 1950s, as her new venue. “Past performances have been presented at Hamamme Omerye, Phaneromeni square and Stavros tou Misirikou church,” she adds.

What Marina would like you to take away from it? “I would like the audience to leave the show with a sense of awakening, or a sense of questioning. I would like people to think about their own lives, their own births, re-births and deaths and remind them, that we really may not have all the time in the world on our hands.”


A Thousand Births

Performance on the concept of birth and death, merging dance and live classical music. September 6-7. Pallas Theatre, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €12 and €10 for students. Tel: 99-027399

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