Artistic & Management direction
Born in Athens in 1981, Ioannis Mandafounis studied dance at the National School of Athens and at the Conservatoire de Paris. Before becoming a freelance choreographer, he was part of the Gothenburg Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater II and was a member of the Forsythe Company from 2005 to 2009. In parallel, he formed the “Lemurius company” and created several pieces such as Provalondas tin Skia (2005), Anthropines Diastasis (2007), Crosstalk (2009) and Yperparagogi (2011). In 2007 he created a new version of “L’Après-midi d’un Faune” for the Greek National Opera.
In 2007 he began collaborating with Fabrice Mazliah, with whom he co-created P.A.D., which was produced by the Dance Festival of Athens and presented in the Swiss Contemporary Dance Days (2011), among other platforms. They also created HUE, produced by Forsythe Company for Bockenhimer Depot and Eifo Efi in 2013.
In 2009, the «Cie Projet 11» was born from their collaboration as well as the art collective Mamaza with May Zarhy. Together, they created Z.E.R.O. (2009), Cover Up (2011), Pausing and The Nikel Project- songs&poems (2012), Eifo Efi (2013) as well as several installations: Asingeline, Context without Content and Garden State, which were shown and co-produced by numerous venues and festivals.
During the same period Ioannis multiplied his collaborations with chosen choreographers such as Ouïe-Voir with Olivia Ortega (2009), Twisted Pair with Nikos Dradonas, Katerina Skiada and Olivia Ortega (2013), ApersonA with Elena Giannotti (2014), One One One with Aoife McAtamney, Soli, a collaboration with Laurent Chétouane and Roberta Mosca (2015), Ossip Mandelstam. A performance with Elena Giannotti, Roberta Mosca and Bruce Myers (2016), NU (with Emilia Giudicelli, 2017), "Make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence (with Brice Catherin, 2017), Sing the Positions (with Manon Parent, 2017) as well as It finishes when it finishes (with Corpus Ensemble, 2018).
In addition, he receives commissions from international theaters and companies to create original works In-Formation (2011) and Howl (2012) for the Ballet Junior de Genève, Viel|leicht for the Theater Junge Generation in Dresden (2016), HA for La Manufacture in Lausanne (2017), MayaBuff - a delirium from Mayakovsky for the National Theater of Greece in Athens (2018),
Ioannis Mandafounis also teaches improvisation workshops and classical ballet from the point of view of the ancient martial art Budo, as well as making choreographic works for other companies and schools like: Ballet Junior Geneva, P.A.R.T.S. Bruxelles, Palucca Schule Dresden, K3 Kampnagel Hamburg, Tanzlabor 21 Frankfurt, La Manufacture, and others.
In 2015, Ioannis Mandafounis received the Swiss Dance Awards in category Outstanding Male Dancer accolades.
Administration, production, communication, diffusion
Mélanie Fréguin holds university diplomas in the fields of history and art, sciences and communication, as well as in international law. In 2004 she began her career as an artistic assistant, charged with the communication for the Monaco Dance Forum – a biannual dance and multimedia festival in Monte Carlo (MC) under the direction of Son Altesse Sérénissime Caroline de Monaco (2004 and 2006 editions).
In 2007 she was invited to join the team of Dança em foco festival in Rio de Janeiro (Br), where she worked with international artists programmed by the festival. She decided to continue her adventure by joining the Panorama Festival de Dança team, also in Rio de Janeiro (Br). Working on the festival's exterior relations, she coordinated hospitality for the artists and international programmers, co-developed the “videoteca panorama,” a social project for nationwide choreographic education, and co-hosted the broadcasting platform “south-south.info”, a news website on contemporary dance in the South of Brazil.
In 2010 she encountered Gilles Jobin, a choreographer based in Geneva, who invited her to return to the European dance scene. She then took on his company’s productions of “side projects” before meeting Ioannis Mandafounis the next year. A close collaboration soon followed: charged with the management and development of Cie Ioannis Mandafounis, she became the choreographer’s associate, giving amplitude to his creative work and greater scope in the diffusion of his projects, and finally anchoring the company locally, with a high reputation nationally and internationally.
In 2015, she created the association Overseas Culture Interchange with the desire to develop cultural exchange programs within underprivileged communities. She organized her first project in Brazil "Kitchen # Natal" in 2016, and a second one "Kitchen # Beirut" in 2017. Both projects invited international artists to collaborate with local artists over the course of residencies in the community (www.ociproduction.com).
Parallel to her work with Ioannis Mandafounis, she has also worked for l’Ecole de Danse de Genève | Ballet Junior de Genève (2011-2016), where she was appointed head of administration and communication, as well as coordination of associations. In addition she was charged with projects for the Rencontres Professionnelles de Danses – Geneva from September 2011 until September 2014. Professionally active in Geneva’s independent dance scene, she initiated and co-signed the study concerning the conditions of creation, production, functioning, and subsidizing, of contemporary dance companies in Geneva.
Aoife studied at London Contemporary Dance School & the D.A.N.C.E II programme dancing with choreographers William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand, Angelin Preljocaj, Sara Rudner (NYC), Regina van Berkle (GER), Anneke Hansen (NYC), Emma Martin (IRE) and Dutch dance company T.R.A.S.H.
Aoife has been choreographing since 2009, with her first work Sweetheart that’s the interesting part… premiering in the Pavilon Noir, Aix en-Provence. She went on to create her first solo Softer Swells, which was an Aerowaves selection for 2014 touring to The Place London, La Briqueterie for Les Plateaux Paris with upcoming performances in RomaEuropa & Espaces Des Arts.
In 2012 Aoife formed DISH Dance with long term collaborators and friends, Anna Kaszuba, Juan Corres Benito and Ilan Kav creating The Spinner & Empty Echo.
Other collaborations include Egg Charade with choreographer Nina Vallon of envy&p, premiering at the Dublin Dance Festival in 2013, A Room For All Our Tomorrows with Igor Urzelia and Moreno Solinas of Igor&Moreno, supported by The Place and Cambridge Junction and One One One a duet with Ioannis Mandafounis.
Bruce Myers Was Born In England, Studied At The Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art, Then Worked With The Liverpool Everyman For Three Years.
He Was A Member Of The Royal Shakespeare Company From 1967 To 1970, And Was An Original Member Of Peter Brook’s C.I.C.T., Participating In Most Of Its Productions Including Orghast, Timon Of Athens, The Iks, Ubu, Measure For Measure, The Conference Of The Birds, The Mahabharta (Play And Film), The Tempest, The Man Who (On Tour), Qui Est Là?, Je Suis Un Phénomène, The Tragedy Of Hamlet, And Tierno Bokar. In 1979, Mr. Myers Performed In The Dibbuk At New York’s Public Theater, Then Created His Own Version, Un Dibbouk Pour Deux, In Paris. In 1992, He Directed Le Puits Des Saints And In 1993, Acted In Quelle Tristesse/La Fin De L’Allée Both In Lausanne.
He Has Acted In Many Television And Feature Films. In 1995, He Directed Leivick’s Golem At The Hamburger Kammerspiele. Bruce Myers Also Regularly Gives Workshops Around The World.
Currently the technical director of Company Ioannis Mandafounis and Overseas Culture Interchange, David began his career in 1995 as a lighting director for La Revue Genevoise, staged by Pierre Naftule, in collaboration with Marie Thérèse Porchet.
From 1996 to 2004 he was the lighting director at the community theater of Forum Meyrin. After a specialized orientation in computer sciences from 2005 to 2009, he was hired as stage manager for Théâtre du Grütli, Théâtre de Carouge and La Comédie de Genève.
David began collaborating with Ioannis Mandafounis in 2013, starting with the creation of “Pausing” then as lighting designer for “Twisted Pair”, “ApersonA”, “Ossip Mandelstam. A performance”, “One One One”, “NU” and “Sing the Positions”. He has also worked with Yann Marussich, Maya Boesh and Véronique Ros de la Grange.
In 2016 he began collaborating with Mélanie Fréguin on artistic and social projects with the association Overseas Culture Interchange.
Elena Giannotti is an independent dancer.
She worked with L’Ensemble Dance-Theatre, Virgilio Sieni, Yoshiko Chuma, Daghdha Dance Co., Company Blu amongst others and she has been collaborating with artists like Andrea Spalletti, Nicole Peisl, Alessandro Sciarroni, Fearghus O’Conchuir, Max Barachini and Ioannis Mandafounis.
She has been Rosemary Butcher’s main Interpreter for more than 10 years performing and collaborating in films and stage creations.
She started to make her own work in 2002. To date her works have been shown in Ireland, UK, Mexico, Italy, New York, Slovakia, and Czech Republic.
She is interested in somatic studies, improvisation as integrating tools for composition. She has been teaching in Academic and professional centres like Laban, Limerick University, University of the arts Berlin, Tanzquartier Wien, le Pacifique Grenoble, Accademia d’arte drammatica Nico Pepe Udine to name a few.
She is a Chinese Medicine, TuinaMassage and Qi Gong Practitioner.
She is interested in dreams and dream practices. She is a Social Dreaming Facilitator.
Since 2010 her work is supported and produced by Company Blu.
She is artist in residence at Atelier delle Arti Livorno.
Émilia studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse of Lyon, at the Rudra Béjart Atelier in Lausanne and deepened her education at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza of Madrid. In 2003 she was Recipient of a Princess Grace Award for Modern Dance in Monaco.
She has worked full-time as a dancer for about 9 years. Was a member of the ballet Dortmund, the Staatstheater Braunschweig, the Gauthier Dance Company, the Thoss Dance Company and the Scottish Dance Theater. Worked as a freelance dancer at Steptext Bremen, 3art3 Zürich, Bollwerk, Haptic Hide and collaborated with independant artists such as Nadia Micault. She worked with filmmakers Philippe Grandrieux, Jérôme Cassou, with theatre director Jan Fabre and Eram Sobhani.
In 2011 she choreographed the solo-work Question, in 2012 a series of performance in art galleries together with philosopher James Lee. After a Semester in the acting school Auvray-Nauroy and the regular practice of Shadow Yoga, she studied Choreography and Performance at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies Gießen with prof. Bojana Kunst.
In 2013 she was part of the Choreographic Lab Prototype I, concerned with specific architecture and landscape. From this adventure they co-founded L'APPEL, a group of 10 choreographers focused on site-specific and local initiatives. The same year she founded the collective FLUORESSENZ (Zürich) with the pianist Samuel Fried imploding the musical event with choreographic procedures. Together they created Igyoo (2013), Knowing that X without believing that X (2014), and Vivata, Vivatus, Vivatum(2014).In 2015, she was invited by Roxy Theater Basel for the creation of the solo-work Tourist and by Gastspiele Züriberg with the chamber piece Domestic Fog. She was recently in research residency at Paradise AIR Tokyo for Routine, an 8-hours long choreographic polyphony with Janina Arendt and Samuel Fried.
Born in Geneva in 1972, Fabrice Mazliah studied dance in his hometown at the Ecole de danse de Geneve and then at the National Dance School of Athens and at the Rudra Béjart Atelier in Lausanne. He was part of the Harris Mandafounis Dance Company in Athens and of the Nederlands Dans Theater, before joining in 1997 the Ballett Frankfurt directed by William Forsythe and continued in 2005 with the Forsythe Company.
Fabrice has been creating throughout the years numerous projects and choreographic works, like: “The magic of understanding” (1998) Mousonturm Frankfurt, “My left pussy foot” (1999) TAT Ballett Frankfurt, the solo “Vu d’ici” (2000) TAT Frankfurt, “Marche au millieu…” (2001) le Manege d’Onex Geneva and “Home” (2003) at the ForumMeyrin Geneva, both created with Gilbert Mazliah and Roberta Mosca,“remote versions” (2003) and “Double B(l)ind (2004), conceived in collaboration with Agnes Chekroun and Jone San Martin, produced by William Forsythe and performed at the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt.
In collaboration with the director Lutz Gregor, the three of them created a choreographic short movie “meat me”, which was part of a film called “Frankfurt dance cuts” (screened on Arte in 2005).
Together with Ioannis Mandafounis he co-created ”P.A.D.” (2007), commissioned by the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, and the group work “HUE” created for the Forsythe Company, in collaboration with six artists from the group at the Bockenheimer depot in Frankfurt. Fabrice created a solo adaptation from this piece called “HUE score –6” (2010) presented in Japan by the Goethe Institut. In 2009 he formed together with Ioannis Mandafounis and May Zarhy the collaborative trio “mamaza” and created together “ZERO” (2009) and “Cover Up” (2011), which have been shown and co-produced by numerous venues and festivals.
She studied dance professionally in Athens, then in London (The Place, Laban Centre Transition Dance Company). She has performed with various companies in Greece (Griffon, Sine Qua Non, Landscape, Persa Stamatopoulou amongst others) and abroad (Compania Instavel, guest choreographers : Jamie Watton, Deja Donne/Italy, Charles Creange, William Forsythe).
She was an assistant choreographer form the Olympic Games Athens 2004. She is a founded member of Lemurius Company.
She’s collaborating with Ioannis Mandafounis since 2013.
After completing a degree in engineering, graduated from the Sorbonne theatre sciences department and Laurent Chétouane studied directing at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (HfMDK).
From 2000 on, he created numerous pieces in Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, Oslo and Athens, among others. Since 2006, he has choreographed ten dance productions: « Tanzstück # 1-4 », »Hommage an das Zaudern « horizon(s) », the solo piece « O » with Mikael Marklund (which premiered at the Festival d’Avignon 2012), « Sacré Sacre du Printemps », « M!M », « 15 Variationen über das Offene » and « Soli ».
Manon Parent is a classically trained violinist, composer, contemporary dancer and choreographer based in Berlin. She graduated from the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) in 2009 in contemporary dance, and in 2010 obtained a diploma for her classical music studies. In 2011 she joined the Ballet Junior of Geneva, and in 2012 she benefited from a Fulbright scholarship to study Body Mind Centering in New York City. She was introduced there to noise music and performance art.
The potential dialogue between art forms being for her a priority and a primordial source of interest, she founded the pluri-disciplinary art collective Embody which performed in Paris, New York and Geneva and collaborates since 2012 with composer Laurent Durupt and the collective Links. Manon co-founded the German-Polish cooperative project Osmosis focusing on the inter-relations between sound and movement in improvisation. Since 2015, Manon has been collaborating with Anders Christophersen, composing, arranging and recording music for films, TV shows and bands. She is now part of the feminist improvisation project Red Monky with Su-Mi Jang and Miriam Siebenstädt, developing collaborative performance formats of all kinds.
All documentation on her projects can be found on www.manonparent.com
May Zarhy created her first piece for the National Choreography Biennale “Shades in Dance 2001” Tel Aviv, before moving to the Netherlands in 2002 to study dance at the Rotterdam Dance Academy. In 2005, she assisted William Forsythe in the creation “3 Atmospheric Studies”.
In 2007 May was a member in ex.e.r.ce in Montpellier France. In 2009 she formed together with Fabrice Mazliah and Ioannis Mandafounis the collaborative trio “MAMAZA” and created together “ZERO” (2009), “Cover Up” and “ASINGELINE an enacted thought” (2011) (2011), “The Nikel Project – songs&poems” and “Context without Content” (2012), “Garden State” (2014) as well as “Pausing” (2012) with Ioannis Mandafounis.
In 2014 May created “1325”, created and performed with Kathryn Enright. She was assisting as an outside/inside eye in the creation “STRTCH” by Hermann Heisig, which premiere in November 2014 in Sophiensaele Berlin.
Parallel to this, May choreographs and teaches contemporary dance, choreography and theory seminars to students and professional dancers.
Nikos Dragonas was born in Athens, in 1965.
He is a graduate of the State school of Dance in Athens.
He returned to the State School as a teacher from 1995-2000.
He was also a modern dance teacher in Kalamata Municipal school of Dance from 1991-2002.
He started his carrier as a modern dancer with Mary Tsouti's « Analia dance company » .
In 1987, he went to N.Y. to study with the E. Hawkins Dance Company.
He has worked with numerous dance companies, including « Ad Lib », « lemurius », as well as with the Greek National Theater, the Athens Concert Hall and with coreographers Vasso Barboussi, Natassa Zouka, Apostolia Papadamaki and Persa Stamatopoulou.
He was a member of « Edafos » dance company, formed by Dimitris Papaioannou from 1988-2000.
He took part as assistant choreographer in the opening and closing ceremonies, for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, as well in Baku in 2015 .
Since 2005 he also practices reflexology and deep tissue massage.
Nina Vallon was born in 1983 in Geneva, Switzerland. She started her dance education at Conservatoire de Musique et de Danse de Genève, continued at Academia Beth Dorça (Brazil) to then join Ballet Junior de Genève in 2001 and D.A.N.C.E in 2005.
She worked with Angelin Preljocaj, Wayne McGregor, William Forsythe, Frédéric Flamand, Lucinda Childs, Fabrice Mazliah , Foofwa d’Imobilité, Thierry De Mey, Anouk van Dijk, Prue Lang, Vanessa Le Mat, Raman Zaya, Célestine Hennermann, Gabi Schillig, Christian Ziegler, Lutz Gregor, Alias Compagnie, The Forsythe Company ...
Based in Frankfurt since 2007, Nina has been creating her own choreographic work, teaching and collaborating with different artists and institutions, galleries, museums, theaters, schools on various levels. She has as well been very active in the independent performing arts scene, co-founding, in 2009, ID_Frankfurt / Independent Dance along with Norbert Pape and Kristina Veit. ID_Frankfurt is an union of freelance artists working in the field of performing arts in Frankfurt.
She is as well one of the initiator, along with Norbert Pape and Florian Ackermann, of Projekt Troja, a project that introduces performing arts in non-theatrical contexts, and co-directs the yearly choreographic platform Tanzpanoroamawith Norbert Pape and Kristina Veit.
Olivia is born in1980. She studied dance in Geneva at the Conservatoire Populaire, Crescendo dance school, the Ballet Junior. She took as well dance classes in New York and trained with several international choreographers. She has worked as a dancer in Switzerland, Germany, France and Greece with Uma Arnese, Melissa Cascarino, Foofwa d’Imobilité, Filibert Tologo, Nina Vallon, Audrey Nion and William Fortsythe (in Human Writes).
As a choreographer she has developed two choreographies in collaboration with Ioannis Mandafounis (Ouï-Voir and Twisted Pair).
In 2011, she founded Cie Autotrophe, her dance company, with Noémi Alberganti. Together they have signed three pieces : Incorpo (2012), A sec avec du sable (2013), and Incorpo II (2015).
Since 2012 she has been working as a teacher and dancer with Dansehabile. For this inclusive dance company, she has as well created two choreographies: De Souffle et de Peau et MLK.
Electronic music producer since the dawn of the nineties, nested between the persistant hammering of an electro dancefloor and the dark backstages of the post-indus- trial civilisation, POL infiltrates his music into our world by every mean. At the decks or performing live, we follow his footprints from the techno underworld of Geneva to the clubs of the planet (Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Lisbon, Bogota...).
On the screens, his productions have insinuated themselves in the arty zombies movie of cult director Bruce LaBruce, but also in the very frenchy Quand j’étais chan- teur, with Cécile de France and Gérard Depardieu, whose original soundtrack features a track produced by POL with his former ‘team-mate’ Water Lilly... On record, his productions are hosted by Helvet Underground, a digital label that he runs himself, and on CD on Poor Records, a small swiss label gaining attention on the world circuit with artists such as Kid Chocolat, Love Motel, Solange La Frange or Gina & Tony. His last album TENSION is out on Urgence Disk.
In 1991, POL was largely contributing to the laying out of Geneva’s electronic music foundations as a member of MXP, together with Plastique De Rêve. In 2002, he was projecting himself into space by co-writing Water Lilly’s music, electro-techno with a touch of pop glamour and cosmic atmospheres. Today, he pursues his conquest of space as a solo pilot.
He’s collaborating with Ioannis Mandafounis since the creation of Twisted Pair (Geneva, 2013).