Kat Válastur, choreographer in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts
Kat Válastur's performances bring to the stage processes of transformation and healing for both body and soul. The choreographer is currently developing her latest creation, Strong-Born, in Paris with the residency programme run by the Institut français at the Cité Internationale des Arts.
Published on 23/10/2023
Having by her own admission danced from an early age, Kat Válastur first trained at the Hellenic School of Dance in Athens, before receiving a Fulbright scholarship to Trisha Brown Studios in New York. She completed her training at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz in Berlin, where she settled and created one of her first shows, So many gens dark (2009). As a choreographer and dancer, she does not always perform in her own shows, which are always characterised by a strong ritual, almost mythical dimension. This is the case in the remarkable Ah! Oh! A contemporary ritual (2014), halfway between a dystopian rave and a reflection on the timeless motif of circular dances. Often using sets that are both simple and iconic, as in Arcana Swarm (2019), designed around three large statues, Kat Válastur's performances are rooted in very contemporary issues, linked to feminism and the multiplicity of identities.
Kat Válastur's choreographic work sees dance as a transformative experience, from both a physical and psychological point of view. Its archaic dimension calls into question certain social structures, such as Western and patriarchal societies, to create the possibility of another feminine perspective, which she has dubbed "the female gaze". To do this, she draws on her Greek heritage, and Mediterranean cultures in general, including their most controversial aspects. Her shows are therefore both profoundly intimate, rooted in private female experience, and at the same time articulated with contemporary and political issues. In Eye, Lash! (2021), she gave a solo performance as several women - historical or fictional figures such as Marguerite Porete or Lady Jane Grey - who have been murdered, oppressed or marginalised.
Kat Válastur's creations tour regularly throughout Europe and she was named as a Promising Talent by Tanz magazine in 2016, before being nominated for the George Tabori Prize in 2017. Her work has also received support from the Fondation Hermès and has been staged several times in France, at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Seine-Saint-Denis and the Théâtre de Nîmes. From October 2023 to January 2024, she will be in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, as part of the creation of her show Strong-Born. The title of this show refers to the etymology of the name Iphigenia, a reference to the archaic ritual of anastenaria, which appears in the myth of Iphigenia in Aulis, a play by Euripides. A ritual in which female sacrifice becomes an act of resistance.
Oh! Deep Sea
Ah! Oh! A contemporary ritual