Sophia Lycouris is a London-based dance artist who runs her own independent dance and collaborative projects. Her work explores cross-disciplinary performance and multimedia work (including digital media) that bring together elements of movement, sound and image as part of wider choreographic environments. She has worked as performer, choreographer and assistant choreographer initially in her native country Greece.
She has toured Greece, France and Belgium (as a member of Greek Choreodrama and Nafsika Dance Theatre between 1984 and 1990) and worked in dance productions for Greek television (with Nafsika Dance Theatre and Christodoulos Halaris). She has also worked with a number of Greek theatre directors (including Nikos Parikos and Nikos Hatzipapas) including theatre based pieces, site-specific productions and street theatre) as well as choreographers (including Ersi Seirli).
In 1990, Sophia Lycouris came to Britain to pursue post-graduate studies in dance. Since 1993 she has been experimenting with cross-disciplinary improvisational performance, conducting at the same time full-time doctoral research which was completed in December 1996. In 1996, she founded WITS, a London-based cross-disciplinary women's group which experimented with the cross-over of movement, sound and image in live performance from a 'totally' improvisational perspective. The work of this group (joined by musicians Sylvia Hallett, Ashleigh Marsh and Viv Dogan Corringham and visual artist Gina Southgate) concentrated on feminine attitudes to performance, including the research of fluid and anti-climactic performance structures and non-hierarchical relationships amongst performers and artforms involved. During 1996 and 1997, WITS performed in alternative music venues in London and Essex, as well as at the New Works Festival in Leicester, UK in September 1997. The group became a collective and toured Britain in 1997-98 with the support of the Arts Council of England and organisation/promotion provided by Viv Dogan Corringham.
In Summer 1997, Sophia Lycouris founded KUNSTWERK-BLEND, a London-based company committed to interdisciplinary and hybrid work, for which she created the live piece Stories in D in collaboration with Viv Dogan Corringham. This piece was the first stage of a larger project celebrating the body and was premiered in dance platform REJECTS in November 1997. It was then presented in MOSAICS'98 at Jacksons Lane (London, UK, August 1998) and subsequently developed into a full evening piece for a series of performances at the New York International Fringe Festival (New York, USA, August 1999).
next2, a performance/installation piece which explores notions of corporeality and physical presence, was the second part of this project also created by Sophia Lycouris and Viv Dogan Corringham. This piece was exhibited in Stoke Newington Library Gallery (London, UK, 10-25 July 1998) and later presented in BodySpaceImage, (Nottingham, UK, March 1999) and Digital Summer' 99 (Manchester, UK, September 1999) with live performance contributions by dancer James D'Silva.
The two women artists have also collaborated for yo-land, a live performance piece bringing together movement, text and amplified sound in a specifically constructed visual environment. This piece explores the dark side of maternal moments through re-visiting fragments of original Dada literature. yo-land was presented at Brighton Fringe Festival (Brighton, UK, May 1998), in a number of alternative London venues (Filef Italian Centre, Welsh Chapel - South London, Klinker Club) and at the Y Theatre (Leicester, UK, November 1998). The piece was developed into a full evening performance for The New York International Fringe Festival (New York, USA, August 2000).
Sophia Lycouris is also interested in the connections between live and virtual performance modes, involving the use of digital technology and telematics, with special interest in the aesthetics of such multimedia work and their hybrid character. She was a choreographic participant in interference, an international collaborative choreographic project conducted through the internet and based on the use of Life Forms software. Interference was initiated by GORGEOUS, based in Manchester (UK) and was part of Digital Summer 98.
trans/forms, an internet-based live performance project, was the third part of KUNSTWERK-BLEND's project celebrating the body and was invited by the International Dance and Technology Conference 99 (Tempe, Arizona, USA, February 1999). For this piece, American multimedia artist Nate Pagel, joined the collaborative team of the company including the London-based musicians Viv Dogan Corringham, Lol Coxhill, Michael Kosmides and Knut Aufermann and Finnish choreographer Satu Tuitilla.
Sophia Lycouris has also produced for KUNSTWERK-BLEND, Borderlander, a performance/installation project for which she collaborated with filmmaker/video artist Adam Kossoff and composer/musician Phil Durrant. Borderlander premiered in 'Here be Dragons', 5th Performance Studies Conference in Aberystwyth/Wales, UK in April 1999. The piece was also presented in Mosaics 99, (London, UK, August 1999) and in EURODANS' 99 International Choreographic Competition, (Iasi, Romania, October 1999). "An extended moment of quiet intensity, involving dance, video and sound in a complex web of suggestion …a mind expanding trip to the far flung edges of performance" (Dancing Times, Oct. 99)
Sophia Lycouris has collaborated with The Wakeford Trio (Lucy Wakeford - harp, Scott Dickinson - viola, Alison Hayhurst - flute) to choreograph and perform Toward Syrinx, an evening of sound/movement transformations specifically made for the performance space of Round Chapel in Hackney (London, UK, October 1999) and commissioned by the Hackney Autumn Festival.
In collaboration with composer/musician Michael Kosmides, Sophia Lycouris has developed for KUNSTWERK-BLEND string, an internet-based performance/installation for live performer, theremin player, video camera operator and video editor and includes live webcast. string was originally presented in SHIFTS'00 at the Chisenhale Dance Space (London, January 2000). Live streaming of the video element of this piece was included in 'Loading…please wait', screening of video works especially created for webcast which was part of the Radiator Festival (Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, April 2000). The video element of string was also presented in Kino Ear (sonic video screenings in Leeds International Film Festival, October 2000). The full version of this piece, including live performance and double webcast, was part of 'Between Nature: Explorations in Ecology and Performance' Conference organised by Lancaster University in July 2000 (UK). string was also presented again in 'Performative Sites' Conference in Pennsylvania (USA), October 2000 and Arts, Sciences et Technologies in La Rochelle (France), November 2000.
Sophia Lycouris has also collaborated as choreographer and performer with director David Hughes and composer Charlie Barber to create the opera/theatre piece Shot in the Head. The piece was produced by Sound Affairs company and toured Wales in June 2000 with an Arts for All Lottery grant from the Arts Council of Wales and support from the Musicians' Union.
Some of her most recent work includes:
- the performance/installation homezone, a collaboration between filmmaker Adam Kossoff, composer Phil Durrant and herself, funded by London Arts to create a choreographic environment with 4 performers and multiple audiovisual materials around the theme of the 'home' (Jacksons Lane, 2000)
- the audiovisual installation BODYSIGHT (2001), a collaboration with digital artist Kostas Papakostas, supported by the Dance department of the Arts Council of England with a Capture Award to create a multi-monitor 'video-dance sculpture' with video images filmed through a digital camera attached to a dancer's body (London, The Place Theatre, Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, Nottingham, Broadway Media Centre, Cambridge, The Junction and Hamburg, University of Hamburg),
- live movement-based performance Salve Regina for 6 performers, a collaboration with soprano Denise Alonso (Resolution 2002, The Place Theatre, London)
- Body Provisional(2002), a performative environment for 2 performers and audience which was a collaboration between dance artist Petra Kuppers and herself (Providence and New York, USA) - video installations ROOMS (London, July 2002) and PLANTS (London, August 2002)
- she also collaborated with ODC Ensemble to create a visual/choreographic environment based on video images for their theatre piece 'ODC …after Homer' which was part of the Edinburgh festival (August 2002)
- finally she created the piece building which is a collaboration with composer Phil Durrant to create a choreographic environment for theatre spaces around the action of 'building' with live text, sound, movement and visuals (ICA, London, September 2002).
Her current project (IntelligentCITY) is an interactive installation for everyday built environments which has received a Future Physical commission and research and development funding from London Arts. This is a collaborative project developed with Dutch interactive composer Stan Wijnans and American multimedia artist Yacov Sharir and it will be presented in Grafton Shopping Centre in Cambridge, East England in April 2003, as a performative environment that engages the viewers towards a re-newed perception of the architecture of everyday physical spaces.
Sophia Lycouris holds a PhD in the improvised performance in dance, and has been teaching dance and interdisciplinary practices at The Nottingham Trent University since 1997. She has recently received an Arts and Humanities Research Board fellowship to undertake a 3-year long project in interdisciplinary choreographic explorations.
During 2000, she was a member of the Artists Panel of the Chisenhale Dance Space (London) and has been working for the Steering Committee of the New Work Network (UK) since 1998.
For more information please contact:
Sophia Lycouris @kunstwerk-blend
top floor, 449-453 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 9QH, UK
tel. +44(0)20-77290659, 07947-156533
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