Vitoria Kotsalou

Girls

Vitoria is a dancer living in Athens, Greece. In the past ten years she has been involved in street, theater and dance performances. Over time, she has developed as a dancer through training and practice as well as teaching both kids and adults. She has organized the Hydra Small Dance Festival in 2012 with Michael Klien R.I.C.E. from Hydra. In August 2015 she will be launching the first Ricean School of Dance in collaboration with Michael Klien (for more information visit www.riceonhydra.org).

In collaboration with Myrto Apostolidou, Vitoria is working on bringing dance into social settings while maintaining truth and sincerity with the body, digging into memory and creating stories of undiscovered nature. Their short videos develop as meeting points for them, ones that evolve through photography and movement – they are little treasures for unraveling inspiration in the now, involving the three skins of perception ( the personal, the social, the environment).

What makes relationships between women as strong and unique as we see in the video ‘The Girls’? How does your experience come into play?

The video clip “The girls” was an expression of the love between me and my friend Myrto, our love for this song by D.Savopoulos “The girls”, and our common scope in life and art. Initially we were touched by the words of the song, that describes two girls who keep their diaries, look at their reflection in the mirror, discover their true nature through friendship. Afterwards, they are taken to church and this natural relationship is forgotten. The song was written in Greece at a point in time where the exclusion of women through marriage was breaking.  The song is relevant to us today, although women are able to exist as more liberated than in the past, because under the workings of life there is a process which is hidden, and this is naturally exposed through the contact amongst women and their myths. In the year’s women through suppression but also through revolt against this suppression, are still struggling in modern society to come into contact with their true nature as women. An obstacle to your own nature can be anything according to your experience—but there exists some archetypical knowledge that unlocks the keys to our nature and this can be found in myths, in friendships, in relating to men, in trees, in our life—definitely the way societies are put into working there are many obstacles.

The song also reveals the sensitivity and beauty of the friendship between girls and how this friendship can work as an anchor and a source of inspiration.  Through the archetypes of Artemis, Aphrodite, Medea to work, marriage, loneliness, motherhood or not, woman is called upon to walk the path and develop.

Beingness is what is missing in our orderly life on this planet – the sensation of presence – this is what children are not given enough time to spend on, this is was is making us ill, what is disabling us to truly learn

“Through presence and the experience of the present with all of our senses we learn and manifest. This is a natural process inscribed in us. The body and our relationship with this instinctive attitude can teach us to navigate through and with the forces and discover the truth. We need to learn to feel our flesh, to get into our inner self as much as possible in any given environment.”

Dance does not stop – it continues and we get into and out of its tune. And this is our work as dancers – the ability to tune into dance not to create it or do it

There is a lovely sense of purity and simplicity throughout the video ‘The Girls’, what message are you trying to portray through this footage?

This sense of purity and simplicity I feel is the spark of art, of life. Art as an expression of life no matter how conceptual it might get, delivers the way and the process we have experienced life from.  The key for me is to manifest light or directions of where we choose to position our experience through the form of art. This video was filmed on a Saturday at home with the family. There was no preparation other than a small conversation with Myrto on what this song touches upon, and how we envision approaching the filming. At the house we had invited my daughters little friends, and just spent the whole day filming. We were excavating presence and the beauty that this holds. I feel that we subconsciously focused on the being state of people throughout that day—we didn’t interfere with directions, but directed possibilities by choosing clothing or games.  We were the three of us (Myrto, Vardis filming and me) engaged in this process like a little ritual of experiencing but also with a camera at hand.  Children really help in that as they-unlike us grownups- are naturally in this state of being.   There was no immediate message to be portrayed through, it is for me a precious way of art being made, through life, through experiencing life, reflecting and  all these intelinked. The personal skin, the social skin and the cosmos skin all unite through this process without trying.

In your videos you manage to show the true essence of what it means to be a strong and natural woman. Can you expand on this?

There was no intention in that.  I guess that the true essence of woman can be revealed as she spends time being a woman and allows for her natural tendencies to express, being a mother, being a girlfriend, a wife, grandmother, witch or wild woman. I feel that the relationships between women, when in truth, can act like an excavator for this true essence of woman. There is knowledge that goes beyond us and in our experience between women and girls we can exchange, develop and grow through this cycle.  The woman in presence in a social and personal level, through years of suppression from social values is continuing to grow and metamorphoses. The female quality as it is creative and explosive reveals itself in the microcosmic level in society as it is today, and in the macrocosmic level in the relationship that humanity has with the earth –the greatest woman of all.  How does the suppression of women’s nature relate to the wondering of humanity on this planet? How does our relationship with the planet relate to women’s relationship with themselves and their creativity?

“Having a lover/friend who regards you as a living growing criatura, being, just as much as the tree from the ground, or a ficus in the house, or a rose garden out in the side yard… having a lover and friends who look at you as a true living breathing entity, one that is human but made of very fine and moist and magical things as well… a lover and friends who support the creature in you… these are the people you are looking for. They will be the friends of your soul for life. Mindful choosing of friends and lovers, not to mention teachers, is critical to remaining conscious, remaining intuitive, remaining in charge of the fiery light that sees and knows.”

– Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype –

Berlin, Bears and Refugees

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