In San Francisco, Greek choreographer John Antoniou brings to fruition the “Rembetiko”. This is something he has been working on for years in Germany and has now along with the Kunst-Stoff team, brought to America’s west coast. Along with Antoniou, the team will be conducter Minos Matsas, singer Katerina Klabaneva, and Leonidas Hassapides who is a master of shadow play. Hassapides lives and works in San Francisco. Dancers from Taiwan, America, Japan and Brazil will also participate.
“It’s impressive how the bodies of foreign dancers, who do not use words and emotionally charged, react to rembetiko music,” said Minos Matsas about the “Rembetiko”, which brings together dancers from America and Taiwan. “No matter how many times I played these songs for people who are not of Greek origin I saw the same reaction: a sparkle in their eyes and their expression changing immediately. Something hits really deep inside of them.”
All of the scenes are filled with strong feelings such as refugees from the lost homeland along with Greek dancing traditions. The performance will start off playing for three nights and will play another three nights by the end of the month. It will be staged at the renovated ODC Theater, one of the most important and oldest theaters for dance in San Francisco.
Rembetiko music comes from the soul, states Katerina Klabaneva. A big part of my work is my passion to show people what this type of music is. For Katerina, Rembetiko music is an idiom of geographical and cultural borders. She has been singing this type of music for years in the U.S., Britain and Greece.
The “Rembetiko” which was suggested to be brought to San Fransisco by the ODC theater organization and the Foundation CounterPulse, has been invited to stage performances in New York next year. Discussions are underway for performances in Athens.
For more information:
“Rembetiko” with choreography by John Antoniou, music by Minou Matsa will be staged at the ODC Theater in San Francisco October 21st-24th and 28th-30th. Visit their website at: www. odcdance.org/