Thessaloniki’s Nea Paralia – Maria

Maria approached the B.A.D. team on her own. Being extremely eager to dance for the project, when we only had one finished photo shoot so far, we at first hesitated to agree. When she told us that she has been dancing for as long as she can remember her self we were also taken a little aback in fear she was just exaggerating. Yet, something told us we should cover our next photo shoot with her, and we were amazed from the result…. utterly amazed!

Although dancing is Maria’s passion, she always knew she could not make her living from dancing alone. Following her parents’ advice she operates the family’s hairdresser salon along with her brother. Accomplishing being self sufficient, she now spends all of her free time pursuing her passion, hoping that at some point dancing alone will be enough to sustain her. Trying to express her self through, she has gone through many styles; Jazz, Musical, Greek Folklore, Oriental, Latin, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Break Dance, and a bit of Ballet to top it off. We will not forget to mention that she also sings!

In general, there is not much we can say about Maria without falling short in either a description of her ability to dance or her personality. She is a very creative young woman, very organized and amazingly open to suggestions; as were we when she shared her thoughts and proposals during the photo shoot.

A few words about the New Seaside…
Thessaloniki’s seaside has quite a long story to tell. The Old Seaside (Palia Paralia) covered the part from the city’s port to the White Tower, and was constructed when the Suez Canal Company demolished the city’s sea wall in 1866-1870. That specific 1.5 km long part later merged with the what today constitutes the New Seaside (Nea Paralia). With a total of 4.5 km, the seaside of Thessaloniki has provided citizens and tourists alike pedestrian access to a number of points of interest starting with the First Pier of the city’s port, the Aristotelous Square, the renown city’s symbol the White Tower, the Royal Theater, the statue of Alexander the Great, the “Umbrellas” exhibit, and finally the city’s Concert Hall.

Although the idea came out of the blue (we thank Yannis’ sister for that) and was embraced immediately, the real reason we decided to go ahead and have the photo shoot there was because we wanted to also keep a documented view of the works in the seaside while we are at it. The seaside has been in the process of being renovated since 2008. For the sake of the pedestrian’s pastime the entire work had to be split in two consecutive parts; this way half of the seaside would always be available to the public. The work on the first half officially finished in 2010, but the second half of the renovation, which started in 2011, has left the area around the statue of Alexander the Great in ruins. And that’s exactly where we wanted to have our second photo shoot!

We had two major issues this time. The weather was exceptionally difficult, being the first few days that the temperature of the city plunged to approximately 5-8 degrees Celsius; as you will see, Maria had to pose with nothing more than a tang top and tights. To our amazement, she didn’t even make a mention of the weather; some of her friends, that were present in the photo shoot, did – quite fervently, and under layers of clothes. Maria also had some other arrangements for immediately after the photo shoot, so our time was quite limited. Although the time constrain was present, her ability to communicate with us in a very professional manner helped us complete this amazing photo shoot in a little less than two hours.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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