Anna Athanassiadi: Meet the choreographer of theater successes and Linda Alma's granddaughter!

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Jan 21, 2015

Anna Athanassiadi was born in Athens in 1983. She studied dance at the State School of Orchestral Art and graduated from "Rallou Manou" in 2004. She has attended many seminars

acting, dance and vocal with Greek and foreign recognized teachers.

Interview with Margarita Nikolaou

But what many do not know about Anna Athanasiadis is that she comes from an artistic family. Her Aunt, and sister of her grandmother, was the famous dancer Linda

Alma, known for her talent and beauty in Greece and abroad. She danced with her partner Yiannis Flerys, in the most commercial and large performances and reviews of her time

while she was married to the actor Manos Katrakis. Her grandmother, Io Theophilou, was one of the first singer-actresses of Attic in Mantra and, under the pseudonym Kitty Alma, played in

theater until she married her grandfather and started a family.

  1. What made you take up dance?;

I come from an artistic family.. My aunt, the famous dancer Linda Alma and my grandmother, Io Theophilou who was one of the first singer-actresses of Attic in

Mantra - under the pseudonym Kitty Alma - played a catalytic role. My mother took me to all the dance and theater performances from a very young age. Ballet, children's theater, revue,

classic works, I saw everything.. I think it was inevitable that I would love this place. I don't remember the moment I decided to do it professionally, I just remember dreaming

something and suddenly living it, and then something else, and something else.

  1. What is it like to grow up in a house with a person like Linda Alma?;

Linda was great! A wonderful woman and an even more wonderful dancer. I lived it until I was 16, an age that allows me to have memories of it. Every time we met it was always

smiling and good-natured and always had a story from the past to tell me. I was enchanted by the world she had lived in.. I wanted to be like her in everything, in her career, in her fame, in her talent.

They said about her that when she came out on stage, even though she was tiny, you couldn't take your eyes off her.. But my grandmother also played a very important role in my life. Growing up,

I talked with him about work, he listened to my concerns and always gave me apt and timely advice, even though he had lived in the theater 70 years before me.

  1. How do you think it affected you?;

The way she loved dancing and her temperament as an artist couldn't help but influence me. He watched my progress but never pressured me. When people like

Linda, you not only know them, but you also live with them, a condition of respect and admiration is created that, combined with the weight that their name brought to the space that you also have

choose to walk, it becomes a challenge to look like them.

  1. Did you experience Manos Katraki at all?; Do you remember him?;

No unfortunately, he left when I was one year old, I don't remember anything. It's as if I know him, of course, so much information and stories my family has told me..!

  1. Were your parents, positive about your decision to do dance and theater or not?;

My parents never objected to me taking up dancing professionally. Maybe because from early on my preference and inclination towards the arts was apparent. My mother

he always told me, of course, to learn many things, to have alternatives, not to be "chosen wood". My father used to tell me "in everything you do in your life, accept from yourself to be

only the best!". In the eyes of both of them I could see their emotion and how proud they were every time they saw me on stage, or watching my progress, I could see their joy,

and this is my strength and comfort in difficult times..

  1. How difficult is it to choreograph a play?;

When I choreograph or when I move in a play, I deposit my inspiration, and I want my creation to be characterized by my personal style. Of course, this does not mean that

a choreographer acts arbitrarily on a play. He must mainly respect the work and the text itself, the respective director and his visual and aesthetic, and of course take into account

living material with which he works every time. The difficulty lies in being able to combine all of these together but the result fills you and satisfies you personally. Is not

not at all simple, it requires knowledge, study, study and experience. Nothing is given to you, nor does it happen by chance.

  1. What does dance mean to you?;

Dance for me is the way through which I develop, as an artist and as a person.. Dance is movement, energy, life. It's my whole life, a life I remember dancing. Is

my job, my profession. I feel very lucky that what I love can live me in a time when art is not a means of livelihood. And I'm grateful to be able to dance this

that I feel and to create what expresses me and takes me further.

  1. Some people think that dancing is an easy task,, what do you say to them?;

Dance is expression, relaxation, fun for everyone. On a professional level, however, it requires a healthy, well-worked body, endurance, proper nutrition, practice and no rest. He needs

constant effort to overcome your limits, to always aim higher. You have to work as a team but also as a unit. You must know the history of your art, have judgment but no

empathy, to follow the evolution but always with respect for classicism. You must be content with the little, have patience in the difficult, permanent perseverance for the best. You must be able to

accepting the harshness of rejection even when it's not objective, but being able to handle the excitement and arrogance of success. Gotta get used to the pain, yeah

overcome the pain, come to terms with it. The dancer works out every day, he is not allowed to get sick or tired, and when he has a performance he must be at all times

available, to serve a role, however he feels, whatever has happened to him. He must be able to accept that his career is too short in duration and that it would be perceived as passing

of time in many hard ways, either because he will see it himself in his body, or because someone younger will competitively remind him of it.. Really, dancing is an easy task..?

  1. Have you ever thought about giving up?; And what was it that kept you going?;

I remember sometime when I was 16, I really wanted to stop dancing.. Fatigue, exhausting daily schedule at school, a lot of reading for school, of course adolescence,

but mostly the negative attitude of a dance teacher at the time, made me want to quit ballet. My mother, very patiently and in a way that only mothers know, made me, without

to realize it, to change my mind and to persevere more to succeed. But also my dad, a few years later, made a trip to Kastoria from Athens by car,

because I had spent there in a panhellenic school, and influenced by all my classmates at school for the terrible student life away from parents.. I wanted to give up

everything.. All the way he told me "I give you 3 days.. then you will take the KTEL and come to Athens to take exams at the dance school..". I used to make fun of him, but in 3 days I traveled 9 hours with the

I agreed with me.. In general, my parents were always by my side in all my choices, and without making things easy for them and without reading any specific "recipe",

I think they gave me and my brother so much love, and they did everything to make us complete characters. I owe them a lot of who I am and feel a lot

grateful for all they have given me, and as I grow older I realize all and more.

  1. When did you debut?;

As a child or as an adult? Well, at 8 and after an audition, I danced in a summer theater performance for adults, at 10 I danced in "Romeo and Juliet" of the Lyric stage and at 14 I danced

my first leading role in a State School nursery play with a choreographer from England. But my first professional experience was at 18, where my uncle, if

and deals with tourism, produced the operetta "Baptistikos". I was among professional dancers and actors for the first time and made my first money.

  1. What was the first theater performance you choreographed?;

I have worked on the movement of actors in several theater performances so far. But the first time I choreographed was the musical "Annie" staged last year directed by Themida

Marcelo and production of Renovartio in the Hellenic World.

  1. The last performances you choreographed were «Melody of Happiness» and «Before dawn». Where do you get your inspiration from?;

Theater is like a game. Each play is a new challenge and each choreography must have a goal that best serves the game. I am inspired by this goal and

I consider what I want to achieve. Feeling, sight, image; Many times I am also inspired by music. Music, especially in musical theater, always gives me stimuli, leads me to emotion and

this in turn in steps. If you really listen to the music, it never leaves you exposed!

  1. Συνεργάζεσαι καλύτερα με τα παιδιά ή τους ενήλικες;

I work best with a "professional". "Professional" for me is someone who is always on time to rehearsal and available throughout, studies at home, has character

and point of view that respects my own idea and inspiration, suggests but does not alter my creation, on the contrary it upgrades and promotes it with its purity and truth. Under her

concept, I work well with many people of all ages.

  1. Who would you like to say thank you to?;

To the people I have worked with so far who believed in me and trusted me, to my teachers who taught me a lot, to my friends who put up with me during intense periods

work, but especially to my parents, my family and my friend for everything that I am, who always support me and are happy for me.

  1. You are preparing something else in the near future; .You'll show up somewhere; .You are preparing something choreographically.;

I will participate as a choreographer as well as a dancer in a very original, strong and very creative collaboration. I was excited from the beginning when it was a simple idea, and as it progresses

in the implementation, I am more and more sure that, this is something that will be discussed a lot!

Interview from article

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