Indirect speech

Indirect Speech is a performance that continues our research on the relation between sound and movement.
The dancer's body, directly reacting to the sound only she is receiving through a sensor and earphones, connects in the viewers' eyes dancing to a new soundscape, now created by the costume that - since it is composed by various materials - takes the role of musical instrument.

Choreography: Iro Apostolelli & Agni Papadeli Rossetou
Performance: Agni Papadeli Rossetou
Costume: Iro Vagioti & Elina Poulou
Light design: ALekos Yiannaros
Music: Wolfy Funk Project


April 2015: Scale 1:100 Festival/ Sixrono Theatre, Athens
March 2015: Apo Michanis Theatre, Athens
June 2014: 13th Festival of Greek Choreographers’ Association /Michalis Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens

On the occasion of the “In Crisis” workshop, conducted by the Greek Society of the New Lacanian School and the Greek Society for the Advancement of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, on Saturday, March the 28th, two performances took place in the “Ex Machina Theatre”, created by the Carnation Dance Company and by Costas Tsioukas. Despite the two quite different approaches, both performances had a psychotherapeutic effect, offering an introspective look into our multifaceted self, by ruining the established ways of viewing gender, the body and its senses.
The Carnation Dance Company is formed by Iro Apostolelli and Agni Papadeli Rossetou and is well known from previous works, like Actual wording (2013), for the idiosyncratic way they treat and visualize sound. This year we impatiently await to attend Agni’s new work (Blossom) in Athens Festival, whose sole interpreter she is. Indirect speech was premiered in June 2014 on the occasion of the 13th Greek Choreographers’ Festival and expands the creators’ research on the relation between sound and movement. This time they use an original, champagne-colored dress as sound pillar and “music producer”, a creation by Iro Vagioti and Elina Poulou, consisting of different materials, on which a specially designed mechanism is placed, in order to register all sound stimuli made by each and every movement the expressive performer Agni Papadeli Rossetou makes. Papadeli Rossetou enters the stage with a slow pace in total silence, wearing earphones and a plethoric version of the tulle multilayered classical skirt from a ballerina’s tutu; she listens to her proper music, without us perceiving the rhythms to which she gets in tune with; she improvises abstract choreographies consisting of geometrical movements, static balances, pauses, explosions, oscillations and vertebral movements. To each movement a different sound coming from the dress corresponds, as it creates a special audiovisual environment, as the dress “scratches” on the body of the performer. Her choreography, combined with the sounds that come out from the dress, make her muscles look as if they came apart, while the body gradually disappears in the mind’s eye giving the reins to the sound; at the same time, one cannot distinguish which is the more resounding, alive material: is it the body and its movement, or the dress? While movement becomes more and more uncanny, the expression of her face amplifies this bizarre sound/dance performativity. Using this technique, indirect speech aims to fathom the gravitas of each human sense, to stress the coexistence of material, body and movement and blur their ontology, to expand the boundaries of an acoustic-sensory experience, to deconstruct the relation between sound, music and image, but mainly to propound sound as a quality that connects the natural factors of movement and body. In an abstract epilogue, the performer removes the earphones and dances a funk song, that talks about scratching (Wolfy funk project), moving upstanding her arms in rhythmical circles.




Actual wording

Actual Wording is  the material generated during our research, concerning the direct translation of sound into movement and the perceptual result of this process, under very specific circumstances: the audience doesn't enter into contact with the sound, in contrast to the dancers, who, through a sensor and earphones, receive a common audio signal from a transmitter. We are interested in investigating and revealing not only movement following sound, but also the ways in which they can be independent of each other - that is, the rupture of their traditionally sequential relationship. Music and dance, movement and language, pause and continuity, sound and silence, contact and distance - these are the dynamic elements that formulate the creative tools of double choreographic scores. In the dancers' version, movement is dependent on sound. The dancers react by improvisation to the soundscape of the movie 'Il portiere di notte' (The night porter), which we chose for its musical diversity that goes beyond simple juxtaposition of different musical styles, but also for the intensity that characterises its dialogues. In the second version, the one presented to the audience during the performance, movement and sound develop a completely different relationship. Movement is continuous and the dancers' poses correspond exactly to pauses in sound, following the soundscape of the film; but the sound heard by the audience will not be unitary - as it will be for the dancers. Sound will function momentarily, as a sign of the movement's source, and will be absent during the rest of the performance, resulting in a dissolution of any possible impression of auditory narrative coherence. In this way, we will not only avoid establishing a descriptive relationship, but will also allow the audience to form hypothetical soundscapes, based on the stimulus of movement.

Created & performed by: Iro Apostolelli, Agni Papadeli Rossetou
Light design: Christos Tziogkas
Costume design: Iro Vagioti, Elina Poulou
Sound edition: Stamatis Lekatis
Lighting operation: Anneta Stefanopulou
Poster design: Anna Apostolelli
Text: Alexios Papazaharias

The following extracts are audible from the audience:
Dance of the furies/ Orpheus and Eurydice, G.W. Gluck.
Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte/ Marlene Dietrich, performed by Charlotte Rambling.
Pamina and Papageno duet, 1st act of The magic flute, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

May 2012, 11th Dance Festival of Greek Choreographer's Association, Argo Theatre
January 2013, Millennium After Festival, Academia Theatre
May 2013, Queer Festival, Empros Theatre



Actual Wording was an interesting improvisational dance act that took place in the “Academia” Cultural Centre on January 16th. It showed intelligent choreographic conception and performance by two very promising dancers: Iro Apostolelli and Agni Papadeli-Rossetou. The two artists managed to keep our interest unwavering despite the square rhythmical repetitiousness and the almost machine-like instrumental kinetics they applied, sweeping us through their geometric and cut out movements off into the abstracted bodily shapes and their interaction.

Clearly influenced by the contemporary Belgian dance school (due to their stay and apprenticeship in Brussels) and the choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker – who in Rosas Danst Rosas accentuates through repetitiousness and semantic exactitude the in-betweens, the discontinuities and the exits from the kinetic flow – theirs was a performance where the body is modulated and separated from its naturalness. Somehow one could say that the natural body and its flow disappears and on stage appears a body-instrument, a body-machine, even a body-compass, paradoxically without disowning its emotional components. In this body discontinuity and asymmetry antagonize linearity and symmetry, while with regard to the style of movement, uniformity and conformity are transversed by non-identity and heteromorphism. The idiosyncratic kinetics was reinforced by the performance’s main concept, the disjoining of the traditional succession between sound and movement. And so, while the two performers improvised having headphone implants receiving a common sound signal, we spectators were watching them dance in absolute silence, or through some musical intervals. The absence of sound, beside the initial perplexity that was evinced by the strangeness of such a condition regarding dance, also incited a constant questioning for the nature of movement, its cause and the aim of the two performers’ trajectory, which remained constantly open to interpretation.

The performance began with a non-standard mechanical tango and then went on with an impressive – with respect to kinetic originality, linear balance and stage presence – solo by Agni Papadeli-Rossetou. The appearance next by Iro Apostolleli that artfully embodied, tapping each sound wave, along with Agni Papadeli, of the “Night Porter” movie dialogues and its soundscape: the body, here, besides being machine or object, was transformed into word and image. The tuning between them two, especially in their coming together, looked like a puzzle of lawless movements, projecting synchronicity and coexistence, next to solitude and individuality. Bodily succession, which was perhaps the most difficult part to get through, was thoroughly shaped, without serving some straightforward goal. This fluidity  was part of the choreography’s aim. Yet sometimes we felt the lack of furthermore facial expression, mostly during the dancers’ contact; the selective use of expressivity would have contributed to the work’s emotional investment and to the harmonious differentiation of its parts, without distracting us from focusing on the – sterilized from desire – movement and its mechanistic dimension the two dancers/choreographers wanted to emphasize. Some of the most beautiful parts of the performance were the static, abstract formations of the bodies and the reflections of their shadows on the wall.

Although the work’s essential points were crowned with success, the performance’s closure could have upheld us in greater alert. The two dancers were absorbed in each individual improvisation, fairly distancing themselves from each other’s associations; this resulted to our disorienting from the dual movement’s harmony and to our displacement from the center of a potential idea that was on the verge of taking shape, while the relation between them suddenly became more remote. Given this, although this was a performance that focused primarily on movement and its revolutionizing, a more structured conceptual build-up, especially towards the conclusion, would have been of significant assistance. Still, the warm (and not at all mechanical) smiles of the performers and their justifiably being moved, revealed two modest, shining young faces open to the spirit of constructive criticism, presaging their positive further development.


Natalia Koutsougera (Social Anthropologist – Anthropologist of Dance)


Translated by Michalis Varouxakis


“Actual Wording” was performed on January 12, 2013 at the “Academia” Cultural Center on the occasion of the Millennium After Festival.




Was it me?

Creation & interpretation: Iro Apostolelli & Agni Papadeli- Rossetou
Lights: Christos Tziogas
Visuals: Kiriakos Giannatos
Music: Bela Bartok ‘The miraculous mandarin’, Magnetic Fields ‘For we are the king of the boudoir’, Steve Reich ‘After the war’& ‘Eight lines’
Sound design: Giannis Skandamis

Was it me? is the result of different experimentations concerning the role of chance in the process of creation. The final result is formed by the application of data (movement material) to different systems we constructed, in which chance is used each time in a different way -as a factor which defines space, time, movements sequence and consequently the relation between the performers. 

By constructing systems of this type, whose goal is to include chance, as well as using already existing material (the movement material derives from children’ s dance, from a recorded dance class) our aim is to achieve the less possible involvement of the creators in terms of aesthetics, habits, taste, tendency to an organic rhythm or dynamics etc. Therefore, our focus is on the basic elements of the performance art of dance and its visualization.

July 2010, in- progress festival at Kinitiras studio
June 2011, 1st contemporary dance festival of Thessaloniki
July 2011, carnation’s production at art space 14th Day