Ballet / Dance


Nikos Skalkottas


SNF Lead Donor of GNO & Production Donor


This production, part of a tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org].

When Nikos Skalkottas returned from Berlin to Athens in 1933, his country did not welcome him with open arms. Despite his serious studies with (and praise from) personalities such as Arnold Schönberg and Kurt Weill, his reputation as a radical modernist did not ingratiate the composer from Chalkis to the Athenian establishment, absorbed as it was at the time in conflicts about the assimilation of the folk element into Greek art music. Not coincidentally, the 36 Greek Dances for orchestra (fruit of his engagement with the Musical Folklore Archives, founded by the musicologist Melpo Merlier – one of the many subsistence activities done by the composer) became the only Skalkottas composition to achieve notable dissemination during the composer’s life thanks to its rhythmical and timbral variety, approachable idiom and imaginative ways of incorporating traditional material. This monumental classic of Modern Greek music serves as the basis for a new collaboration of the Greek National Opera Ballet with two of the most distinguished Greek choreographic forces researching, in their particular ways, the connections between the inherited national narrative and our own time, 200 years after the Greek War of Independence that led to the foundation of the Modern Greek State.

How to assimilate a legacy of the past into a melancholic contemporary world, marked by defeat and decay? How to redefine one’s historical identity under the shadow of persistent, dystopic failure? Finally, how to embrace imperfection and rediscover the heroism of a new hope? This is the kind of question that haunts Patricia Apergi’s thought and choreographic approach in her daring attempt to uncover the revolutionary beauty and poetry hidden in the run-down body.

Heroes may be defeated and demystified, but they are equally often reborn and restored. This poignant path of rise, fall and posthumous rehabilitation (taken by so many heroes and heroines of Modern Greece, including several warriors of the Greek War of Independence and Skalkottas himself, whose local neglect was replaced by international recognition) is at the heart of the new choreographic project by RootlessRoot (Linda Kapetanea & Jozef Fruček), which also harnesses the possibilities of live electronic processing of the soundscape born by the dancers’ interplay with an interactive set, inspired by the composer’s thought.

Creative team – Cast

Conductor Yorgos Ziavras

Adaptation / transcription for string orchestra
Yannis Samprovalakis / Hellenic Music Center

With the Orchestra and the Corps de ballet of the GNO

National Adulthood
Choreography Patricia Apergi
Artistic Associate Eva Georgitsopoulou
Sets Dimitris Nasiakos
Costumes Patricia Apergi, Eirini Georgakila
Lighting Nikos Vlasopoulos
Sound design Alex Drakos-Ktistakis
Video projection designer Kleopatra Korai

Jovanka Zarić, Elena Kekkou, Margarita Kostoglou, Marita Nikolitsa, Areti Noti, Marta Rivero de Miranda, Εleftheria Stamou, Zoi Schinoplokaki (Alicia Townsend)

Stelios Katopodis, Yannis Gantsios, Angel Martinez Sanchez, Yannis Mitrakis, Arieh Bates-Vinueza, Elton Dimrochi, Thanassis Solomos, George Hatzopoulos
(Manex Alberdi, Nikos Moschis, Giordano Bozza, Jaume Deulofeu Segui)

Choreography Rootlessroot - Linda Kapetanea, Jozef Fruček
Sets Paris Mexis
Costumes Isabelle Lhoas
Lighting Perikles Mathiellis
Sound design Christos Parapagidis

Elena Kekkou, Areti Noti, Marta Rivero de Miranda, Marita Nikolitsa, Elpida Skourou, Zoi Schinoplokaki
(Jovanka Zarić, Margarita Kostoglou)

Manex Alberdi, Yannis Gantsios, Angel Martinez Sanchez, Yannis Mitrakis, Elton Dimrochi, George Hatzopoulos
(Nikos Moschis, Jaume Deulofeu Segui)

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