Kákia – Valaoritou Rooftop

A formidable combination of power and grace, Kákia astounded us when her dancing proved to be amazingly robust but fluid at the same time. This fusion of control and imagination demonstrated a contradiction we were happy to witness during this specific photoshoot. To explain her dancing style and philosophy she had to educate us in the ways of Martha Graham; whose legacy Kákia considers her greatest influence. Kákia is a great example of a very new breed of dancers in Thessaloniki, one that has also been quite fashionable abroad, where the delicate dancing figures and clear cut motion of more orthodox dancing styles give way to physically stronger builds and more robust and abstract motion; which in our heads helps in manifesting a clearer and more dynamic, rather than ordained and expected, set of feelings.

Kákia can only see herself working as a dancer; be that as a performer, an instructor, or a dance choreographer. She never studied dance in an educational institution in Greece but proved her passion when she had to take a big leap leaving Greece to study in the UK (the country she considers the mother of Contemporary Dance). Needless to say, she never looked back and now considers that decision to be the biggest “blessing” on her path to becoming a dancer. After her three-year study programme she promptly returned to Greece, being addicted to the Greek sun and her family. Thankfully, all her efforts and sacrifices were rewarded and she immediately started working in Thessaloniki as a dance instructor. Proud to have worked with many great dancers abroad, she now has the chance to give back to the dancing community by passing all her accumulated knowledge on to others.

When asked about her professional life we were happy to hear Kákia insist that “it’s a huge deal to be able to turn your hobby into your profession.” All in all, this is what she wants to do for many years to come; even if that means until her hair turned white and she needed a walking stick to conduct choreographies, as she noted. We hope that her strength, wits and awkward creativity will be obvious in the impressions our photographs try to immortalize.

Why choose a simple rooftop in Valaoritou…?

In this photoshoot, we viewed the rooftop as being the final frontier between an established and accepted norm, in our case depicted by the ground, and someplace unconventional and lacking form, like the sky. The fact that from a rooftop you get to experience both gave us a quasi-stage for a dancer to portray waving between the two, just like our minds do right before we give in to change.

In our efforts to close a triptych we had in mind (one that started if you remember with Korina’s photoshoot and was followed by Karmela’s), Kákia appeared just in time for the culmination of what we visioned as the individual’s final struggle before accomplishing change. Being quite contradictory itself, Kákia’s style inspired us into creating this final phase where one would find the fine connection between two completely different worlds to also wholeheartedly sever them; the one world the individual is accustomed to and the great unknown the individual tries to get to. With change coming to a close we remember once again that it’s always darkest before dawn – when the contradiction reaches epic proportions in the psyche of the individual, as to which side the individual will decide to dwell, just before the final choice manifests and cements itself.

The recognition of our surroundings, the decision to make a stand, the premature enlightenment, the second wind after we fail and regain our balance, and the courage to leave the old to embrace the new no matter what it brings. These are the stages we might be exposed to during the process of change; these are the experiences we hope will educate us once we find our way to the end of the painstaking process of metamorphosis (if we do decide to take that leap of faith).

Kákia with her graceful power, dynamic motion and her relevant story reminded us of what is necessary to eventually walk towards an unlikely non-meritable change in our lives. It takes strength to face change, critical thinking and determination to survive it, and finally failing and being crazy enough to be persistent against it’s reactive currents. Eventually, the sky might prove to be much more than just the limit, it could be the reward.

Once again we would like to thank Katerina Kolliopoulou for not only waking up early on a weekend, but also helping us with Kákia’s styling.

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