Paras Terezakis’ ODDessay114 is a surreal journey

Kinesis Dance somatheatro Artistic Director and choreographer Paras Terezakis uses his Greek roots and obligatory military service as inspiration for his newest work, ODDessay114.

A play on Homer’s The Odyssey and the number of his army communication division, Terezakis’ newest dance will include video and live music, in a surreal journey that will alter the space of the Roundhouse Community Centre in which it will be performed.

A master of the unconventional, Terezakis is not interested in audiences seeing theatre or dance in a typical fashion, preferring to utilize the performance space in surprising ways.  In ODDessay114, Terezakis continues his exploration of spatial confines that he began with last year’s sold-out Compartment 114 – An Odd-Essay.

“I think there is a preconceived notion that we go to the theatre to be entertained and I’m not interested in that.  I want people to be challenged,” explains Terezakis as to the approach he takes to his art.

Michael Kong, Arash Khakpour, Natalie Kohan and Thoenn Glover ODDessay114. Photo by David Cooper.
Michael Kong, Arash Khakpour, Natalie Kohan and Thoenn Glover ODDessay114. Photo by David Cooper.

While The Odyssey elicits the idea of an epic voyage that is intended to create a metaphor for Terezakis’ choreographic and creative journey, it is his mandatory Greek military service that continues to inspire his work.

Literally pulled from an Athens’ stage one evening in 1974 during a performance of Aristophanes’ Plutus, Terezakis found himself drafted into the Greek military.

“It was very aggressive and scary,” he recalls.  “It was bizarre because they took me at night and I didn’t know what to expect.”

Working in tiny cubicles and small vehicles as a Morse code and communications officer, Terezakis often found himself in these confined spaces with three or four others.  “The spaces were so small you could smell each other and touch each other,” says Terezakis.

It is from his recollection of those small spaces that Terezakis has spent the last two and a half years of his artistic life on his latest works.

“I don’t work in a conventional way and I’m not interested in the conventional,” says Terezakis.  “The process takes time.”

Despite the length of time to bring ODDessay114 to the stage, Terezakis insists that part of his process comes from spontaneity and the symbiotic relationship he has with his collaborators.

“I work in the moment and I’m not interested and in fact bored with traditional methods,” he says.  “I’m more interested a chaotic celebration. I also involve a lot of other collaborators and that takes time and everybody has something to say.  Even the dancers become part of the process.”

Continuing to blur the lines between spectator and performance with ODDessay114, Terezakis ensures the audience is part of his artistic process too.

ODDessay114
Roundhouse Community Centre
6 – 9 September 2012

Kinesis Dance somatheatro transforms the black box theatre setting into an unconventional space with the premiere of celebrated choreographer Paras Terezakis’ new work ODDessay114.  Tickets are $22 – $28 and are available online at http://www.ticketstonight.ca or by calling 604-684-2787.  Visit http://www.kinesisdance.org for more information.

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