Photo by Tassos Vrettos
Photo by Tassos Vrettos
Photo by Tassos Vrettos
Photo by Tassos Vrettos

POLITTES [citizens defeated]

By Patricia Apergi & Aerites Dance Company

Α tragedy that can only be danced, not narrated.

We did not lose because we deserved it, but because we managed to hearken to the silence of our times. And we were left “standing and alone amidst the terrible wilderness of the crowd”* to gaze upon the feats of our history. * M. Anagnostakis
This work by Patricia Apergi explores, as her previous ones, the emergence of the historical  subject within specific socio-political processes. Although its content is shaped by Apergi’s Greek  origins and experience it also draws from, and responds to, every kind of societal crisis. As the artist  herself asks: How does it feel to be a citizen of a country that is ‘losing’? Which is the most difficult to face: anger, fear or defeat? What is of most value: the fight or its outcome? Can one emerge as a hero from a failure? Who are the citizens to be praised today?
Apergi and her team researched the meaning and ways of mourning, as expressed by the chorus in  ancient Greek tragedy in order to develop the specific choreography and achieve a transfer of the  mournful dance-performance / state / representation to the contemporary reality of citizens being  confronted with fear and defeat. Mourning together is in fact a radical confrontation of the  phenomenon of loss. By occupying the space of loss we master the art of consolation and gain the  wisdom of collective recovery and change. Titled Polittes, with a twisted spelling that playfully alludes to ‘citizens defeated’, Apergi’s work  has been inspired by the thought of contemporary writers and historians (such as Edouard Said,  Dimitris Dimitriadis, Edouard Glissant, Kostis Karpozilos) and wishes to address the profound  changes that have occurred in social and political living, the violation of rights of citizenship under  the stress of the refugee crisis, and the rise of conservative and anti-minority politics. The various lessons inherited through Greek myth and drama are being reconfigured through  contemporary political poetics; the kind that wishes to recognize the needs and woes of emerging  societies, where class systems are dislocated, gender-based identities shift, and singularities budge  under heavy psychological and body strains. In those, yet-to-be-identified, societies, world citizens hear the last sounds of things familiar and  learn how to accept the organic, fertilizing presence of chaos. They are confronted with an urgent  demand: to invent new sounds, new images and other languages in order to describe the reality that  is coming.
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-Isabelle von Neumann – Cosel , tanznetz.de, 18th of October, 2018
“(The audience) came face to face with a movement vocabulary that is  as unique as it is impressive, a vocabulary that places Patricia Apergi as one of the  most thrilling new choreographers of the Millennial generation. […] Patricia Apergi takes a clear sociopolitical stand, when she places the misery of her generation in the hands of its participants, instead of blaming the conditions in an  economically suffering nation. However it’s not the what, but the how, which is wildly  impressive in her statement. This is what political dance theatre looks like today.”
-Carmen Del Val, El País, 8th of July, 2017  
“The  first images shake the heart of the viewer. […] The choreographic vocabulary devised by Apergi, combines the daily gesture with the fluent choreographic phrase, achieving an expressive dance with a strong  emotional charge. The bodies of the dancers are of astonishing ductility, they twist like reptiles or they snuggle innocently.”
Concept – Choreography: Patricia Apergi Music: Giwrgos Poulios Set design: Dimitris Nasiakos  Costumes design: Vasiliki Syrma Lighting design: Nikos Vlasopoulos Dramaturgy consultant: Georgina Kakoudaki Choreographer’s assistant: Dimitris Oikonomidis Promo Material Design: Kallina Kyratsouli Photography: Tassos Vrettos Production: Aerites dance company Production manager: Rena Andreadaki Performance – creative processing: Elias Hadjigeorgiou, Eva Georgitsopoulou, Alex  Gotch, Lamprini Gkolia, Raphael Boumpoucheropoulos  The work has been subsidized by the Greek Ministry of Culture & Sports. Duration : 60 min Premiere: 27/05/2018, Arc for dance festival, Athens