Had the Melbourne lockdown not ended the plans, Luke Macaronas, 23, and Christos Konstantinides, 67, would have clashed with their Melbourne Fringe Festival show. Endless affection | Στοργή [Part 1] at the Pontian Community Club in Brunswick.
As fate willed, they had to move their artwork to an online platform, but with a twist. A passionate dancer and director, Mr. Macaronas was not going to skimp on the smallest details.
“We talked and said if we had done the show and got through October and then there was a lockdown, we said ‘Well you can film it and put it online.’ But there are two things. I really don’t want to do that because I think the theater is live and I’m very happy that people are filming their work and putting it online, but I’m not interested in that, ”he said. Neos Kosmos.
“I think if we ever want to have a chance to revive our live culture, we have to fight to be alive and be together again. So that’s always been a priority for me, and so not everything I’ve uploaded or done online really shows this work. It would have to show something else and then it turned out that we didn’t even have the show because we weren’t able to rehearse for the last two months, so instead we had all my notes and I had all these sequences of our rehearsals.
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Infinite affection explores how dance links young and old, passing on tradition and ancestral memory from generation to generation. Part 1 shows the creative process behind the show, sharing the story between two artists, from two different worlds, but with the community of their common heritage.
While the show focuses on Mr. Macaronas’ Greek heritage by drawing inspiration from traditional folk music and dances, the idea originally arose when the artist was studying in Tokyo.
“I am a dancer and I have a lot of training in experimental dance. I was training abroad in Tokyo with a bunch of Butoh artists. They had been training together for about 40 years, so I worked with these dancers who were in their sixties and sixties and had just done the same thing over and over again and so I really got into the older bodies and the old guys. dancers and how dancing changes your body. And then when the pandemic hit and I had to go back to Melbourne, I moved in with my grandmother on my mother’s side who is a Yugoslav Serbian refugee from WWII, ”Macaronas said. .
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The months he spent with his grandmother were invaluable, giving him the opportunity to record his story, his story and preserve precious memories. With this wealth of inspiration, Mr. Macaronas set out to merge three generations of ideas and art, and stumbled upon Melbourne’s Greek community icon, Christos Konstantinides.
Mr. Konstantinides has been teaching and performing Greek dance and theater for over 50 years.
“Life is informed by the stories and experiences of older generations and there is this knowledge that comes through love and care, which you can trace almost endlessly, and that’s where it comes from. the name of the series, ”Macaronas said. Explain.
“It’s really just a very sweet process for me to share with Chris my education and my experience, which is more on the theater side. I consider this show to be a play and then Chris teaches me folk traditions and it’s really cool. He’s brought in other people who know particular dances that he’s not so confident to teach, and we’re working very slowly on a kind of choreography and style of movement that speaks to both of our experiences but also tells a story. little this story of growing old and having this tradition.
The show also confronts the reality of aging and hopes to raise awareness that although old, seniors still have the capacity to contribute to the world around them.
“A lot about the topic of the show and what it says is that especially in Australia, but also in many other parts of the world, we have a real problem with the way we think about aging. and we’re afraid of it and we’re uncomfortable with it. In the worst case, that’s why I think we have a culture of elder abuse and why there are huge issues with care. to the elderly, ”Macaronas said.
“But even at the other end, I think it means we have to find ways to say yes, your body has changed and you can’t do the things you used to do anymore, but what can you do now. It is about, now that you are older and see the world differently, that you have imaginative and creative possibilities for your body that are truly unique and that are totally culturally specific.
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When tradition is called upon for creativity, we often find that there is a rigidity and resistance to choosing a part of it and exploring different facets in different contexts.
The dynamic duo weren’t afraid to delve into elements of centuries-old traditions and create a new story.
“Tradition is beautiful and the danger in any attempt at preservation is that you are doing something that stagnates or that you fix something and really any commitment to a culture that is respectful and that preserves what tradition is, is actually one who looks at what is emotional truth in this practice, ”Mr. Macaronas said.
Mr. Macaronos evokes the songs of Epirus and the women mourning their husbands who have gone to work abroad.
“If you really want to sit there and you can write down the music and say we have to capture that song exactly, that’s fix it in its time and place. But if we say songs and laments here specifically about migration, and specifically about travel, how do we understand that as Australians? What can we bring because of where we are now that changes that, but honors the core, heart and soul of tradition. And I think it’s really hard to get that through and get people on this journey.
You can explore the Endless affection | Στοργή [Part 1] until October 17th by visiting www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/infinite-affection/ and stay informed of the performance date in person by following the show’s Facebook page.
The production team is always on the lookout for other Elders in the community who have dance experience. If you think you can contribute to the project, you can contact us by sending an email to [email protected]