A prolific choreographer and dancer, Ioannis Mandafounis works as a member of the Mamaza collective, with Fabrice Mazliah and May Zarhy, or in several other configurations. This is his first collaboration with the Irish choreographer and dancer Aoife McAtamney.
One One One, created in 2015, is the first joint project by Mandafounis and McAtamney. In a public place, outdoors or indoors, two empty chairs invite sitters to spend some time. As soon as a person takes a seat, one of the dancers tries to catch the sitter's eye and dances for as long as eye contact is maintained.
Ioannis Mandafounis and Aoife McAtamney invite us to break the rules, to disturb and unsettle the audience and passers-by, but also to grab their attention and challenge them. The dancers translate the emotions of the audience, transform them, and make them into a danced form. The artists take public space as a place for experimentation rather than performance. To do this, they physically and mentally destabilise reality and give themselves the chance to explore its limits and its relationship to transgression.
A dance duo invites spectators to push back their limits and really let go. ...
A dance duo invites spectators to push back their limits and really let go.
Ioannis Mandafounis is first and foremost an excellent dancer. Born in 1981, he studied at the Paris Conservatoire before joining the Göteborg Opera Ballet, then The Nederlands Dans Theater and most significantly, from 2005 to 2009, the prestigious Forsythe Company. In parallel he founded the Lemurius Company in Athens in 2004, with which he created dance pieces for the Athens Dance Festival, then in 2009 he launched the Project 11 company with Fabrice Mazliah. His goal was to rediscover the primary expression of the body: the ability of a face, an arm, or a pelvis to say something about what it means to be human. This approach was especially clear in Twisted Pair, presented at the Théâtre de l'Usine in Geneva in December 2013, a sort of playful inventory for four dancers in which the jumping, moving and trembling body was truly considered as an instrument.
In One One One, the performance scheduled at the CCS in Paris, Ioannis Mandafounis takes to the street along with Aoife McAtamney. The only visual signs are two chairs placed side by side. The two dancers draw their emotions from the audience and send them back in the form of “choreographic envelopes”.
The idea goes further than a mere playful translation of human attitudes, unlike those mime artists who, in festivals or crowds of bystanders, follow people around mimicking them. The two dancers interact on a profound level with the spectatorsles and invite them to test their own relationship to transgression.
Marie-Pierre Genecand, theatre and dance critic for the daily newspaper Le Temps and for RTS