by Vassiliki Malouchou
Hailed as the world’s first underwater dance show, “Drops of Breath” was created by French choreographer Sophie Bulbulyan in collaboration with her Greek counterpart and fellow diver Apostolia Papadamaki.
Inspired by the fluid underwater movement of their diving instructor and fueled by the belief that art can play a role in civil society, the pair created a performance for nine able-bodied performers, three disabled dancers and three children from Greece, Cyprus and France. The original score by composer Trifon Koutsourelis resonated through underwater speakers.
The show, described by its creators as “poetic politics,” premiered beneath the waves off Cape Sounio in September 2015. Now, two years later, the project is being brought to a wider audience through an exhibition of large-scale photos at Booze Cooperativa in downtown Athens.
Four underwater photographers (Anastasis Agathos, Panagis Chryssovergis, Luc Lakeman and Carolin Negrin) captured the movements and emotions of the performers in a show which encapsulates the values of equality, togetherness, compassibon, human dignity and environmental awareness.
DK Bel, Bulbulyan’s dance company, was born out of the desire to give able-bodied and disabled children living in an underprivileged suburb of Paris a space where they could express their creativity.
“Drops of Breath” is above all a collaborative project bringing together people of different ages, from different countries and representing different cultures. It is also part of a larger socio-environmental project.
Bulbulyan and Papadamaki joined forces with Pelma-Lia Haraki from Cyprus to create “Underwater Heart of the Mediterranean,” an international cultural project that includes site-specific dance performances, audiovisual exhibitions, international forums and workshops to encourage the preservation of Mediterranean cultural and environmental heritage and foster social awareness on issues of equality through artistic engagement.
This article first appeared on ekathimerini.com on 3/08/2017