Kalamata Dance Festival Turns 20

dance festivalKalamata International Dance Festival was launched 20 years ago and it is one of Greece’s most important cultural events. During the last years, the festival attracted more and more participants and attendees. It is estimated that almost 200,000 people attended the festival last year. This year’s festival was held from July 17 to 24.

Vicky Marangopoulou, artistic director of the festival, expressed her enthusiasm for the festival’s success. “This year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Kalamata Dance Festival. I have to say that at the beginning, running the festival was really like doing an experiment, because it was so strange to start a new contemporary dance festival in a regional town in Greece. The audience was probably not very well acquainted with this art form at that time.”

The festival has become international with the participation of many foreign artists. The Dutch dramatist Hildegard De Vuyst developed and presented a new show, Badke, named after a traditional Palestinian dance.

Choreographer Christian Rizzo, working with the group Association Fragile, presented the show Sakınan Göze çöp Batar, that means “an over-protected eye always gets sand in it.” It is a Turkish proverb meaning that when trying too hard to protect yourself, the worst will happen.

The festival has so far hosted 276 performances by 92 international dance groups and 42 Greek dance companies. In terms of cultural de-centralization from Athens, the Kalamata International Dance Festival is the most successful event in Greece.