Wisteria Maiden in Serbia: Belgrade International Dance Festival

Antonis Foniadakis

“Wisteria Maiden”, the new creation by Andonis Foniadakis/Apotosoma Dance Co, borrows the title from a Kabuki play that narrates the story of an unrequited love; a girl in a painting that comes to life out of her desire for the man she has fallen in love, only to be rejected and return to her painting in despair.


Apart from the story, what was intriguing for Andonis Foniadakis, is that in Kabuki, all the female roles are interpreted by male actors. The notion of transformation in this context and the questions on the construction of gender that rise were the starting point for a process that was further enriched with other elements that led the piece to explore new directions: disguise, role-play, presence/ab- sence through the use of masks, and the ro- mance of the Other.


The result is a personal universe through the play and distortion of several references, coming not only from traditional Japanese theatre - Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku puppets - but also from Japanese painting, photogra- phy, ghost stories and myths and symbols.


The choreography functions as a ritual and shifts from being a batterie calligraphy to slowing down in order to reveal the power of the precision of the gesture. A continua- tion of powerful images that come and go, reminding us the perpetual aspect of natural phenomena, picturing another representa- tion of nature and revealing the realness of the artificial.