Zafeiria Tsirakaki

“If you want to dance, just dance!”

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Zafeiria Tsirakaki was born in Athens and grew up in Sitia, a small town in East Crete. She studied Philosophy at the University of Patras, where she became acquainted with contemporary and classical dance, through her studies in Dance Academy of Helen Balafouti and Dancarte of Tatiana Loverdou.
After receiving her degree in Philosophy, she decides to take the exams for the professional courses of National School of Dance (K.S.O.T.) and those of Ministry of Culture as well. After her admission in the preparative courses of K.S.O.T. she receives her professional degree from Rallou Manou School of Dancing.

Her education is multidimensional and is being continuously enriched and updated. She has participated in the biggest dance festivals in Europe from Impuls Tanz Festival in Vienna to Kalamata’s Dance Festival. She has followed mentors and teachers in Berlin (marameo, lucky trimmer), in Brussels (Jete), Antwerp (Antwerp Conservatoire, Sidi Labri Cherkaoui), Prague (Zuna & Milan Kozanek), Bratislava (Les Slovaks). She has danced in “Kalamata’s Festival” (2014), “one small step” (Corfu 2016), “Zante Festival” (Ζakynthos 2018), “Athens Video Dance Project” (2014, 2019).

She was chosen to choreograph for The Compartments Dance Project in the railway cultural venue To treno sto Rouf: “The 12 compartments” and “Contemporary Dance” for three consecutive events, for the festival Rabittlab 0.2 and 0.3 (2018, 2019), while her work has been supported by the Ministry of Culture, Megaron the Athens Concert Hall, and Municipal Theatre of Piraeus.

Zafeiria is an active artist who started searching for mentors from her early student years in Rallou Manou Professional Dance School. After concluding her studies, she started seeking and establishing partnerships. From 2014 until today (6 years) she has danced in more than 30 productions (choreopraphies, video dance, performances and installations). She has worked with Christine Mertzani, Polina Kremasta, Chrysiis Liatziviry, Apostolia Papadamaki, Natasa Avra, Katerina Bella, Kostas Tsioukas, Kiki Baka, Angeliki Stellatou, Constantinos Rigos, Giannis Karounis, Chrysanthi Badeka, Plotinos Eliadis, Jos Baker, Cie Willi Dorner, Valentin Tzin, Ηeidi Latsky.

In year 2017 she is founding her own dance company “Quo Vadis”, which has created seven productions until now, while two more are expected to be releashed in 2019-2020. The project of dance group “Adspectus” was chosen by the Ministry of Culture to participate in the program "Open Doors, 2nd Platform for New Artists", and it was presented in the central scene of Municipal Theatre of Piraeus, under the support of Ministry of Culture, Megaron, The Music Concert Hall and the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus. The same project traveled, as Greek Production, to IDEA Festival, the first international festival of performing arts in Amman, Jordan.

Since 2012 Zafeiria is a basic member of the educational movement research program “Skytali”, through which she has collaborated with Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the cultural venue ‘Anna and Maria Kalouta‘ and the Athens School of Fine Arts with which she collaborates since 2017.

As a hyperactive and multifarious personality, Zafeiria enjoys teaching ballet to adults, exclusively in the dance studio, emphasizing on students that have no or limited experience in performing arts, since she has a unique way to approach classical dance. She introduces herself as a teacher of contemporary dance that imparts her experience not only to beginners but also to advanced and professional dancers. “A dancer stops learning, only when he/she stops dancing”. Her major mentors have been Markella Manoliadi, Dimitris Kaminaris, Plotinos Eliadis and Synthia Fryda.

She teaches contemporary dance technique, improvisation, contact improvisation, partnering, choreography principles, as well as play based dancing for children. She borrows elements from release (twistings, use of pulse, motion tools, use of floor, saving of energy, fall and recovery with movement enrichment from one situation to the other), martial arts (dynamic, speed, stamina, flexibility, flow, reflexes), acrobats (support, jumps, balances), neoclassical dance (coordination, body lines, turns, musicality, flexibility), in a combination that leaves space for expression, creativity and inclusion of personal range of styles and movements. 

She writes in her personal blog and has published two poetry anthologies by Elikranon Publications (Epsilon “about Love and Eros - 2016, Labyrinth - 2019), while she currently works on three new anthologies. Furthermore, she has collaborated with the photographers Antigone Kourakou, Alexandros Garefalakis (The Nudity of the Soul and Stefanos Veniamakis (2014-2019) in photographic projects for Greek and international exhibitions. 

Zafeiria’s main interest is focused on body motion as a language; a language that never lies. Based on this, she tries to explore the aspects that emerge from the true self of each dancer-performer, namely the elements that each body carries and the messages that it sends while moving. 

This exploration is free of any need for analysis. It is more a study of a whole, which is based on the fact, that the individuality of each body expression exists and reify every situation, through its unique truth, and not by following a pattern of specific body style. It is a quest of each body’s potential to create a complete material, free of any need for rendering of schemes and senses steered by the external image of others and to present a clear concept to the spectator. 

At the same time she explores a more universal existence of performing art, where all elements (theatre, dance, music, visual arts, new technology etc) can be combined, in order for a wider aesthetic experience to be presented to the spectator. 

Her relationship with philosophy has added a deep conceptual approach into her choreographic perspective. 

Her works:

"Between me" (2014 - 2015)
the escape from comfort zone, the fight between Wish-Must and the apparent randomness

"Mitos" (2015)
the quiescence of deep sorrow 

"SaGyne" (2016)
movement supervisor), modern woman through an asexual point of view

"3in the morning" (2017)
study on the psychological and physical dimension of insomnia through the aspect of number three

"Hop On!" (2017)
choices and decisions

"The Goodbyes" (2018)
the "goodbyes" and "I’ll be waiting for you"

"Adspectus" (2018-2019)
study on the works of The Dutch vidual artist M.C. Escher

"Moirai" (2018)
three women are transformed into the three Moirai from Greek mythology/ Butoh, contemporary dance, dance theater. 

"Talk to me" (2019)
a social experiment based on observation of personalities

"The Cre" (2019)
study on the 9th art of Comics

“If you want to dance, just dance!”

Zafeiria Tsirakaki
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