The Malta Independent 8 April 2020, Wednesday

Saving the world through dance

Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 09:16 Last update: about 27 days ago

Astarti Athanasiadou's live performance at this year's edition of the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale on Saturday 18 April will tackle the problem of man's destruction of the natural world and how it can be saved.

Greek choreographer and performer Astarti Athanasiadou is one of the artists who will be taking part in this year's APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale with a live performance titled Not a Footprint to be Seen.  This will not be the first time she performs in Malta, having had ties with our islands for some time now.

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"I did my Master's in Performance Studies at the University of Malta and since my graduation, I came back twice to contribute to the Strada Stretta concept," she explains.

"Every trip has been a very rich cultural experience in the way things are shared, experienced and facilitated in Malta. I would come back any time as I feel each invitation to be a warm suggestion to connect, which makes me feel more than welcome."

 

This year's Biennale's theme is Regaining a Paradise Lost: The Role of the Arts, and the participating artists were asked to think about the natural 'paradise' that belongs to all humankind, how modernity is destroying it, and how the arts can help to regain what has already been lost. "This is a current theme that occupies a great part of society's thoughts," Athanasiadou says.

"Any artistic practice at the moment is affected, consciously or not, by the neoliberal hand of exploitation. The question is how exactly to raise and articulate a voice. I find the theme of this year's APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale a substantial initiative towards achieving this."

Spirituality is another theme which is central to all editions of the Mdina Biennale. This year, the focus is its relationship to the environment. "I connect with spirituality in terms of entering the very core of what makes us human with my practice - the relationships we create with others, our capacity for solidarity, and compassion," Athanasiadou says of her art.

Going back to the role of the arts and artists in preserving and possibly salvaging our natural heritage, Athanasiadou thinks that there is still hope. "I do feel that art could potentially play an important role in saving our natural heritage in terms of raising public consciousness and inviting us to rethink our relationship with our past, thus affecting our relationship with the present and future," she says.

Athanasiadou will address the Mdina Biennale's theme with a live performance.  "What I will show in this year's Biennale is a performance that depicts the part of my practice where the body is stimulated and directly affected by natural landscapes," she explains.

"The piece pays homage to our common natural environment."

The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale runs from 13 March to 18 April 2020 at the Mdina Cathedral Museum. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm. Tickets cost €5 for adults and €3.50 for students. Children under 12 years of age enter free. For more information, please visit Facebook page 'The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2020', or website www.mdinabiennale.com


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