Open studio with Alexandra Waierstall
03.02.23 @ 14:00
On Friday February 3rd, we welcomed to Athens Alexandra Waierstall, choreographer, dance artist and member of our dance selection committee. Alexandra, along with her colleagues Rita McBride, Scott Jennings, Giorgos Kotsifakis and Eftychia Stefanou, organized an open studio for our #artworksfellows inspired by Rita McBride’s Arena (1997)–a modular sculpture that is activated by the presence of audiences.
During the open studio, cyclical encounters between the performers and our fellows unfolded in the space again and again: vertical and horizontal connections, resonances, transitions, changes of perspective and transformations were manifested. An ever changing and growing process which was not characterized by fixed points, beginnings or departures. Through her choreographic work Alexandra poetically responds to all those situations that are never entirely completed, are process-driven and indicative of the infinite perspectives on the relationship between man and space, body and structure, the individual and the collective.
The open studio culminated in a group discussion moderated by Anastasio Koukoutas around the ideas and values of democracy, the evolution of the arena concept, spaces within spaces, the economy of gaze and the importance of momentum.
Born in England and raised in Cyprus, Alexandra Waierstall is a Düsseldorf based choreographer and artist practicing for over 15 years. Her conceptually, physically detailed, crafted investigations are expressed through choreographies, installations, films, situations, sounds, texts and images. She approaches choreography as a vehicle for developing new skills and knowledge for living together, connecting bodies, life-forms, and environments. Choreography as a practice, as an act of empowerment, a way to reimagine and reinvent our world anew. She advocates for a form of radical attentiveness, across different contexts including theatres, galleries, museums, publications and in public spaces. Internationally, she has presented works at Musée du Louvre – FIAC, Sadler’s Wells, Dansenshus Oslo, Mousonturm, Crossing Festival Beijing, Fringe Festival Shanghai, International Festival Seoul, Dansenshus Stockholm, Sesc Pompeia (São Paulo), De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Bauhaus Museum amongst others. Alexandra Waierstall has choreographed the companies National Dance Company of Wales and tanzmainz. Her choreographic work has been selected and supported by networks such as Aerowaves, Modul Dance, IDEE – Initiatives in Dance through European Exchange as well as Chin-A-moves. Since 2007 her work has been co-produced by tanzhaus nrw in Germany.
Anastasio Koukoutas is working in the field of dance theory, dramaturgy and writing. He studied (BA) Communication and Marketing at the Athens University of Economics, (MA) Performing Arts Administration at Accademia Teatro alla Scala (in collaboration with Bocconi University), Ethnomusicology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (within the e-learning course Greek Music Culture and Education). He has worked, in the publishing field, as a contributor and editor, for art institutions and organizations, such as: Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Stegi Onassis, Dimitria Thessaloniki Festival, Megaron — The Athens Concert Hall et.al. He has worked as a dramaturg in theatre and dance performances (Athens Festival, Stegi Onassis, Experimental Stage of National Theatre in Greece, Arc for Dance Festival, Porta Theatre — Athens et.al.). He writes frequently about dance for the websites springbackmagazine.com, artivist.gr, und-athens.com, and teaches Dance History at the dance college ΑΚΤΙΝΑ. Last but not least, he has worked as a performer for Denis Savary (Lagune –National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens — 2016), Virgilio Sieni (Biennale Danza / La Biennale di Venezia — 2016), Pierre Bal Blanc (documenta14–2017), Dora Garcia (Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall — 2018) et. al.