Anna Athanasiadis: Meet the choreographer of theater successes and Linda Alma's granddaughter!
Jan 21, 2015
Anna Athanasiadis 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 acting, dance and vocal seminars with recognized Greek and foreign teachers.
Interview at Μαργαρίτα Νικολάου
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 Yannis Flerys, in the most commercial and big shows 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, she performed in the theater until she married her grandfather and started a family.
1. What made you take up dancing?
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, classical plays, 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.
2. 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 she was always smiling and kind 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 her about work, she listened to my concerns and always gave me apt and timely advice, even though she had lived in the theater 70 years before me.
3. How do you think it affected you?
The way she loved dancing and her temperament as an artist could not help but influence me. He watched my progress but never pressured me. When people like Linda, you not only know them, but also live with them, a condition of respect and admiration is created which, combined with the weight that their name carries in the space you have chosen to walk, becomes a challenge to look like them.
4. 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 like I know him of course, so much information and stories my family has told me..!
5. 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 artistic was apparent. My mother 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 that you can only be 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 that is my strength and comfort in difficult times..
6. 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 the 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 the animated material with which he works each time. The difficulty lies in being able to combine all of these together but the result fills you and satisfies you personally. It is not simple at all, it requires knowledge, study, study and experience. Nothing is given to you, nor does it happen by chance.
7. 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. It's 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 am grateful that I can dance what I feel and create what expresses me and takes me further.
8. 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. It takes 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 not empathy, 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 have to be able to accept the harshness of rejection even when it's not objective, but be able to handle the excitement and arrogance of success. You have to get used to the pain, 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 available at all times, serving a role, however he feels, whatever has happened to him. He must be able to accept that his career is very short in duration and that he will perceive the passage of time in many and harsh ways, either because he will see it himself in his body, or because someone younger will competitively remind him.. Is dancing really easy?
9. 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 stop ballet My mother, very patiently and in a way that only mothers know, made me, without realizing it, change my mind and be more determined to succeed. But also my dad, a few years later, made a trip to Kastoria from Athens by car, because I had spent time there in a school with panhellenic girls, and influenced by all my classmates at school for the awesome student life far from the 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 made fun of him, but in the 3 days I traveled 9 hours with my friends 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 I feel very grateful for what they have given me, and as I grow older, I realize everything and more.
10. 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 the Lyric stage's "Romeo and Juliet" and at 14 I danced my first leading role in a State School nursery production with a choreographer from England. But my first professional experience was at 18, where my uncle, although he deals in tourism, produced the operetta "Baptistikos". I was among professional dancers and actors for the first time and made my first money.
11. What was the first theater performance you choreographed?
I have worked on the movement of actors in several theater performances so far. The first time I choreographed, however, was the musical "Annie" that was staged last year, directed by Themida Marcelou and produced by Renovartio in the Hellenic World.
12. The last performances you choreographed were "The Melody of Happiness" and "Before the Haram". 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 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 an emotion and this in turn in steps. If you really listen to the music, it never leaves you exposed!
13. Do you work better with children or adults?
I work best with a "professional". "Professional" for me is the one who is always on time to the rehearsal and available throughout its duration, studies at home, has a character and point of view that respects my own idea and inspiration, suggests but does not alter my creation, on the contrary, he upgrades and promotes it with his purity and truth. In this sense, I work well with many people of all ages.
14. 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 periods of intense work, but above all to my parents, my family and my friend for everything I am, who always support me and are happy for me.
15. Are you planning anything else in the near future? Will you be appearing somewhere? Are you 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 to implementation, I am more and more sure that this is something that will be talked about a lot!
Interview from mothersblog.gr: article