by Aggelos Skordas
Aiming to create environmental awareness as well as to showcase Greece’s countless historical and natural monuments, an audacious choreographer and aerial dancer from Athens, Katerina Soldatou, performs in front (or above) some of the country’s most distinctive landmarks.
Katerina is the mastermind behind the ambitious project Greece Has Soul. Combining the art of aerial dance with some of the most naturally unique or artificial beauties of Greece, Katerina is providing the world with images that could easily be used as the country’s advertising campaign.
“Together with my team we travel to different places and destinations of unique beauty and great historical significance, capturing the essence of Greece. Greek culture, historical monuments, geological multiplicity and the endless blue of the sea is our driving force,” says Katerina.
“The project signifies the importance of art, which has deep roots in ancient Greece. Art stimulates mind and emotion, shapes consciousness and creates ideas and vision. Our journey so far was not easy and we had to overcome many obstacles,” she adds.
So far Katerina and her team have travelled from the bridges of Chalkida, Corinth and Tatarna, to the rocks and caves of Meteora and from the Aegean to the Ionian Sea, to rivers, coasts and canyons all over Greece producing breathtaking photos and videos of her performances.
As she says, apart from the teamwork the result of her project also depends “upon the help from the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, the Municipalities and the Local Authorities, especially in terms of licensing and financial support which is very limited today”.
Katerina, a born dancer, began studying this form of art at a very young age.
Much later she discovered her passion for aerial dance, which eventually became her profession: “So today I am a certified teacher of Aerial Yoga. Recently I qualified to take part in a specialised seminar for aerial dance teachers (Aerial Master Class) taught by Ana Prada and organised by the Organisation ‘Les Recontres De Dance Aerienne’ (LRDA) in France.”
“After the seminar I worked with Ana on various aerial dance issues and she is now my mentor. Ana recently came to Greece as a guest of ‘AerialEverAfter’ and participated as a teacher in the seminar organised in autumn 2014 in the Olympic Stadium. My activity relative to aerial dance involves continuous improvement of the organisation of Aerial Dance courses based on our facilities at the Olympic Stadium, participation in movies and art competitions and many appearances on television and major sporting events,” Katerina says.
*The location of the Gym and Office of “AerialEverAfter” is in the Indoor Swimming Pool of the Olympic Stadium in Maroussi and is the first school of Aerial Dance in Greece.