VANCOUVER – PARAS TEREZAKIS founder of Kinesis Dance Somatheatro searches for paradise in new work, In PENUMBRA
“Do you mind if I work while we talk?” Paras Terezakis, founder and artistic director of Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, greets me over the phone and promptly asks if he can “take me with him” while he continues his day in the studio.
As we delve into conversation, the snippets of movement and chatter in the background highlight the refreshing candour of the artist. It becomes clear that Terezakis’ originality is visible in all aspects of his work and enthusiasm for individuality. Coming from a culture so rich in drama, philosophy, and mythology, Terezakis continuously contrasts his heritage with what he calls “the Canadian contemporary aesthetic,” creating an unprecedented composition of modern dance that draws strongly upon theatre and the human condition.
Terezakis began his dance training in Greece at the Experimental Ballet Athens and pursued his passion internationally, moving to Canada in 1979. After studying at York University, he continued on to Simon Fraser University in 1982. Kinesis Dance Somatheatro came to fruition four years later and the company has since produced over 40 performances worldwide, hosted workshops internationally, and spearheaded choreography that can be described as “physical poetic theatre.”
“I am proud of the people who are collaborating with the company, and grateful to have such a board of great people behind me,” says Terezakis, and reflecting upon his career with Kinesis, states that “it hasn’t been easy, but it has been rewarding and I am thankful to be here.”
Kinesis’ next upcoming production is premiering in the Vancouver International Dance Festival this month and marks the 30th year anniversary of the company.
In PENUMBRA features five dancers (Renée Sigouin, Hyoseung Ye, Arash Khakpour, Elissa Hanson, and Diego Romero) in the pursuit of Utopia. The piece brings forth the contrasts that arise within and around those who are on such a journey and looks to explore the area betwixt light and dark that obscures the search for paradise. Terezakis and his collaborators have developed an innovative multi-media piece that utilizes film, lighting, sound, and an original set to form a landscape of possibility and intricacy.
Rooted within discovery, In PENUMBRA appears to reflect what strongly holds Terezakis’ interest within a production — the process. For Terezakis, dance is about exploration. Choreography is about the crafting of the body and mind through experimentation. “I am very interested in the investigation of the work and the movements. I work to bring out the dancer’s personalities so to develop something unique to them and the company.”
Within a performance, he strives to evoke an intrigue that will draw an audience into a visceral and unique experience, seemingly along the same lines as his dancers being drawn to their movements.
“I hope the audience will get their own story from the performance,” says Terezakis, “find something for themselves within it, and make their own world.”
The essence of his work touches upon the allure that a live performance presents: that is, the possibility of being brought into another reality unfolding upon the stage.
In PENUMBRA runs from March 1 – March 4 at the Scotiabank Dance Center, as part of the Vancouver International Dance Festival.