Monday, 21 September 2015 07:36

Challenging boundaries

Ivo Dimchev Ivo Dimchev

From September 20-27, Limassolians will be invited to expand their perceptions.

This year’s Sixth Open House Festival by Dance House Lemesos presents dance and performance works dealing with the sexual and the sensual body on stage. Choreographers and artists from Hungary, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Cyprus will share their works with the Cyprus audience while at the same time workshops, talks and screenings will be happening as parallel festival events.

According to the event introduction, “Sexpectations will present art that comments and plays in ‘turn off or turn on’ ways with themes of sexual identity and its many different labels, with its kinds of orientation, its ability to role play and create fantasies, with its nature to invent positions, trends and styles.”

Challenging taboos

Spectators will be challenged on matters of physical taboos and witness ‘must-try-in-this-lifetime games’ which all come down to one thing: the desire to communicate. The programme features international artists, including the acclaimed Bulgarian performer and dancer Ivo Dimchev, who is known for his extreme and colourful mixture of performance art, dance, theatre, music, drawings and photography.
Dimchev will step onto the stage of Rialto Theatre to perform ‘I Cure’ – an interactive healing performance which claims to free the audience from all psychological or physical difficulties. The extreme showman offers opportunities for therapy through several scenes that push the limits of live performance.

Established artist at the helm

This year’s curator is Lia Haraki, who has participated in numerous established dance events. She was proposed for her vast international experience. The award-winning dancer, lecturer and choreographer from Limassol, is also the initiator and one of the founding members of the Dance House Limassol and artistic director of the .pelma production company.

She is excited about the huge steps forward Cyprus has been making in the art of contemporary dance and performance; for example by contributing as a member of the selection committee of the Aerowaves European Network in choosing 20 videos to be promoted each year out of almost 600, a hub for dance discovery in Europe which creates cross-border performance opportunities for emerging choreographers.

The network has allowed bringing international dancers to Cyprus, but has also helped Cyprus dancers to ‘go international’.

Accepting difference

The topic for the this year’s festival actually emerged out of performances which Haraki chose and just all happened to be around the same theme, rather than as a topic decided on beforehand. “It is all about the acceptance of the physical, the differences in sexual orientation, the body being a playground, and not a reason for guilt or shame,” explains the organiser. She felt Cyprus was missing unique, experimental voices from Europe that do not fit into the classical contemporary dance scene. The festival is thus meant to challenge the perception of different meanings of performance – dance, art and physical theatre. The festival is about experimenting and includes no ‘commercial choices’ – a selection the organisers are very proud of.

Parallel programmes

There are also parallel events to the festival of which most are free and which will include: discussions with the choreographers, a free movement workshop with local choreographer Alexis Vasiliou, a talk by the academic of the University of Cyprus, Zelia Grigoriou and an opening and closing party.

Tickets are €10 to make it affordable for all, with many free events and discussions. The festival will last one week and take place in five theatres of the city. There is a special price for professionals of dance (€8) and a €25 festival pass gives access to all.

For tickets call 99517910. Some of the works are directed to an 18+ audience. A detailed programme can be found at

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 18, 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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