Maria (Mantia) Papathanasiou is a contemporary dancer born and raised in Athens, Greece, and living in Montreal, Qc since September 2015. She graduated from a three-year training program in Limon technique at the Niki's Kontaxaki's Professional Dance School and was a synchronized swimming champion who began her dance career later in life with the grounding of a professional career in sports. Having taught dance and synchronized swimming to the National Teams of Greece, Germany and Turkey, she has choreographed for international meets (2007-present), world championships (2009-2013) as well as the preliminaries of the London Olympic Games 2012. She founded Ametakinit(R)o Dance Team in 2011, for which she is artistic director, choreographer and dancer, and has toured within Greece, as well as to Berlin, Brussels and Ireland. At the same time, she created her own artistic training system, Contemporary Synchro Art (CsA), which combines principles of synchronized swimming and contemporary dance. She also continues her exploration of her own method (CsA). She has been a member of RQD (Regroupement Québécois de la Danse) since 2016.

 

 

 

Artistic statement

I have long dreamed of becoming a dancer and choreographer, collecting pictures, writing journals, teaching dance to the children in my neighbourhood. At age twelve I started swimming. Nine months later I was chosen for the synchronized swimming team, and then my life changed a lot. In the sports world I learned discipline and how to set goals. But I always had my own way of moving forward in life in view of a philosophy that, early on, became a way of life. My creative work is always of a philosophical character, dealing with the human predicament and issues such as life, death and happiness. My belief is that we have come into this world having a mission.

My favourite place to begin is the beginning, at the zero point. This is also the ending for me. I am continuously learning only to unlearn, and then learn all over again. My key words: effort, change, freedom, creativity. I believe that life is a profound struggle to discover who we are and what position we have in the world.

I like change and questioning, and so I take risks and attempt to do what has not been done before. You can find me creating in the studio, and also on sidewalk, in the woods, and in fountains.

My creative process is something like this: a word comes to mind forming a multi-faceted title, a reflection of my current phase of life. Then I develop imagery that evokes movement exploration through improvisation.

I have experience the death of my loved ones many times, leading me to explore particular artistic ideas. It brought me to realize that if I wanted to do something about my future vision, I needed to begin immediately. Even at a later age, when many might not even think it a possibility, I began my formal study professional dance.

I have left behind me whatever was not a vital part of my life’s mission, and dedicated myself exclusively to making art. I created the artistic companies Ametakinit(R)o and Contemporary Synchro Art in 2011. Step by step. I had neither money nor other forms of support at the onset, and was armed with only a powerful will and my intense life experiences. I now have put my full attention towards the goal, leaving doubt behind. Here I am!

 

 

 

 

 

Choreography

 

August 2018

  • Intensive Choreographic Workshop at Ècole de ballet de Montréal

 

January - October 2018

Documentary Short Film "StillMess" by Maria Mantia Papathanasiou (projection)

  • Athens Video Dance Film Festival, Athens, Greece

  • International Vidéo Dance Film Festival "Danca de Almada", Portugal

 

October 2016 - Present

  • Montreal Synchro Club, coach and choreographer

 

Mar 2016 - Present

  • “StillMess” in collaboration with harpist Coralie Gauthier (in process); Residency at Montréal arts interculturels (MAI) in Montréal, Québec

 

Nov 2011 – July 2015

Dance piece “Seven plus aut minor Duo-BetWeeN” with Ametakinit(R)o Dance Team

  • Petra International Festival, solo in Athens, Greece

  • Echo Echo Dance Festival, solo in Derry, Northern Ireland

  • Dance Days International Dance Festival, solo in Chania, Greece

  • Akropoditi International Festival, duet, solo in Syros, Greece

  • Studio 14th Day 11th Dance Festival Greek Choreographers, trio in Athens, Greece

  • Empros Theater, duet in Athens, Greece

  • Volt Theater, trio in Athens, Greece

  • Volksroom, duet in Brussels, Belgium April 2014

  • Creation of video clip “Love Spaceship” with Contemporary Synchro Art, for the music group StarMotel in Athens, Greece

 

Oct 2010 – Mar 2014

  • Creations for free and technical routines (team, combo, duet, solo) for the German Synchronized Swimming National Team; performed at World and European Championships in Berlin (2015), Germany & France (2011-2014), Barcelona (2013), preliminaries of Olympic Games, London (2012) and Sheffield (2011)

 

June 2012

  • Creation of Cosmote Event – “Olympic games guerilla” with Contemporary Synchro Art at My Golden Hall in Marousi, Athens

 

May 2011

  • “The Temptation of Innocence”, duet at Theatre PK for the 10th Athens Dance Festival Greek Choreographers in Athens, Greece

 

Sept 2008 - June 2009

  • Choreography for free and technical routines (team, combo, duet, solo) at Nereus synchronized swimming club in Athens, Greece

 

Sept 2007 - July 2009

  • Creations for free and technical routines (team, combo, duet, solo) for the Greek Synchronized Swimming National Team; Performed at World and European Championships in Rome, Italy and in Gloucester, UK (2009)

 

April 2007

  • Choreography for free routines (team, solo) at Nis Synchronized swimming club in Nis, Belgrade

 

Education

 

Oct 2007 - Oct 2010

Niki Kontaxaki Professional Dance Academy in Athens, Greece. Three-year diploma in ballet and contemporary dance interpretation, pedagogy and choreography

 

Sep 2006 - Present

Dance workshops:

Limon, Graham, Release, Flying low and Contemporary Ballet techniques with the following dance teachers: Ted Stoffer (Release), Jozef Frucek & Linda Kapetanea (Fighting monkey), David Zambrano (Flying low), Ioannis Mandafounis (contemporary ballet), Anton Lachky, Dominique Duszynski, Robert Hewit (ballet for contemporary dancers), Ryan Mason, Stella Zannou, Joan Van der Mast, Paul Blackman & Christine Gouzelis (Jasmin Vardimon Company), Konstantin Michos (contact improvisation), Konstantina Euthumiadou, Ilias Lazaridis, Ermis Malkotsis, Eddie Lame among many others.

Martha Graham Dance school, N.York and open classes such as: butoh, aikido, yoga-acroyoga, pilates, watsu, contact improvisation, partnering, hip hop

 

 

Dancer

 

June 2018 - Present

  • New creation, by choreographer Martin Messier with "Corps Vitré", Montréal, Qc

 

Mar 2016 - Present

  • “StillMess” in collaboration with harpist Coralie Gauthier (in process); Residency at Montréal arts interculturels (MAI) in Montréal, Québec

 

July 2014

  • “BetWeeN” solo at Akropoditi International Festival in Syros, Greece and at Dance Days International Festival in Chania, Greece 

 

Aug 2013

  • Seven plus aut minor Duo” duet at Akropoditi International Festival in Syros, Greece

 

Nov 2011 - Sept 2012

  • “7-2” with Ametakinit(R)o at Studio 14th Day & Theatre Empros, trio (Athens, Greece; Sept. 2012) Volksroom, duet (Brussels, Belgium; Nov. 2012) May 2012

  • “Night of the museum” with Yelp Dance Co at Theocharakis Museum Art Gallery in Athens, Greece

     

May 2012

  • “Chain Reactions” with Fora - Menti Mega Dance Company at Michalis Kakogiannis Theatre in Athens, Greece April 2012

  • “Athens 4Fashion/Shake Performance” with Yelp Dance Co at Theatre Pallas in Athens, Greece Oct 2011 - Dec 2011

  • “Exactly what I wanted -1” Action #1 with Yelp Dance Co at Bienalle AB Monodrome in Athens, Greece

 

May 2011

  • “The Temptation of Innocence” with Evi Terzi at 10th Athens Dance Festival Greek Choreographers at Theatre PK in Athens, Greece

     

May 2010

  • “Gisele's Revenge” in Athanasia Kanellopoulou creation for Niki Kontaxaki Dance Group at Athens College Theatre in Athens, Greece

     

June 2009

  • Mad Music Awards” with Konstantinos Rigos Dance Company at Melina Mercouri Theatre in Athens, Greece

     

May 2009

  • “Hungarian Sketches” in Jozef Haizer creation for Niki Kontaxaki Dance Group at Athens College Theatre in Athens, Greece

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2018 Maria (Mantia) Papathanasiou