The Thread


A unique experience

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

August 24, 2019 at 21.00

The Thread is an innovative modern dance performance that changes the rules of movement in the contemporary dance

A high standards production that charmed both public and critics at Sadler’s Wells London, now at the famous Ancient Greek Amphitheater of Epidaurus.

“This project is like an excavation both into the past and into the future.”


The Thread s the fascination for the evolution of Movement through tradition and art.

Throughout the ages traditional dances were mixed with contemporary movement. As we go back in time, we see dance. In modern times we see movement. So we ravel and unravel these evolutions through dance, movement and light.

It is not the love of Greece as a place or a country.

It just so happens that Greece, from antiquity until the present day has been a platform for the multiple expressions of the body

The concept of the Thread can be found in many cultures: from the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in ancient Greek Mythology to the Red Thread of Fate in Asian philosophy.

The Thread is the line that runs through time, connecting our present to the past.

The Thread is the common cultural elements that connect different regions, despite the distance between them or their differences.

The Thread represents the fundamental human values that we all share, no matter our religion, our ethnicity or beliefs. It is a notion which is both personal, timely and relatable, and at the same time universal and timeless.

Notes on The Thread

Notes from Vangelis

I have always given priority to memory. If you are able to get immersed into the space we call memory, the higher the probability to make strides to the future with incredible consistency and effectiveness.

In other words, if human beings or a nation know their past and history, they can more positively respond to the present and the future.

I consider myself lucky that I originate from a place never deprived of cultural and spiritual richness across the centuries.

The main drive that made me get involved in this venture was the thorough knowledge of the power of music as a divine power that preceded mankind combining it with dance as a primordial human expression; the co-existence at present of the two elements of my land’s cultural treasure; a holistic approach to mankind evolution.

This project is like an excavation both into the past and into the future.

Notes from Russell Maliphant

Over the years I have had the opportunity to explore a number of projects where the genesis for vocabulary and development has come from a theme.

The piece Afterlight, was inspired by photographs of Vaslav Nijinsky, as well as his own drawings – this formed the foundation of an aesthetic that fed into the creation and informed both the movement vocabulary, the musical territory and the overall visual look of the piece.

Similarly The Rodin Project used the theme of August Rodin, his sculptures and watercolours, around which to gather ideas which shaped the stage aesthetic and the movement language of the resulting work.

So when Georgia Iliopoulou came to me with the idea for a piece based on traditional Greek dance as a foundation, I felt it was an idea I would be very interested to explore.

Some movements in the traditional forms are remarkably similar to ones that have influenced my practice over the years, and others have an entirely different rigour and function at their foundation – I find it enriching to delve into and explore the possibilities of a movement language that forms from the meeting of these different routes.

There is a spirit of community and social sharing that is embedded in much of the Greek traditional dance forms and this project constructs and deconstructs traditional and contemporary movement to create a new perception and enjoyment of dance for today’s audiences.

Working with Vangelis has been an honour and a joy. The musical world he has created has a fundamental understanding of tradition and heritage whilst simultaneously moving into new directions to create juxtapositions I am inspired by and very excited to be part of.

Having the freedom to choose collaborators is pivotal in any project, and having the opportunity to work again with Michael Hulls for the lighting design of the evening is a special point. He always brings his unique understanding of lighting for dance to the stage and allows us to draw on more than 20 years of collaborative experience together.

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Russell Maliphant - Artistic Direction & Choreography

Vangelis - Music

Michael Hulls - Lighting

Mary Katrantzou - Costumes

Eleni Spathia, Takis Karachalios - Traditional Dance Teaching

Georgia Iliopoulou - Original Concept & Producer


Ilias Bageorgos

Dimitris Delis

Lina Demeli

Margarita Dimitriadi

Anastasis Karachanidis

Iro Konti

Mina Letsos Konstantinides

Dimitris Paganos

Georgios Papadopoulos

Maria Papakonstantinou

Themistoklis Pavlis

Myrto Schoinoplokaki

Io Spiliotopoulou

Daphne Stathatou

Alexandros Stavropoulos

Maria Tsingistra

Georgios Tsolis

Christos Xyrafakis

Russell Maliphant

Artistic Direction & Choreography

Russell Maliphant trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. He danced with DV8, Michael Clark, Rosemary Butcher and Laurie Booth – with whom he was awarded a Time Out Live award for raising improvisational dance to new heights. Between 1991 and 1994, Maliphant studied anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, and qualified as a practitioner of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration (or Rolfing) in 1994. These studies inform both his teaching and choreographic work, along with a diverse range of body practices and techniques including classical ballet, contact improvisation, yoga, capoeira and tai chi. Since 1994 he has collaborated closely with lighting designer Michael Hulls, evolving a language where movement and light are intimately connected and the meeting point becomes a new language in itself. He formed Russell Maliphant Company in 1996 and has also worked with renowned companies and artists including Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Isaac Julian, BalletBoyz and Lyon Opera Ballet. In 2002 he received the Time Out Live award for outstanding collaboration for his work Sheer and in 2003 received a South Bank Show dance award for the piece Choice. At the end of that year he created Broken Fall for Sylvie Guillem and BalletBoyz which premiered at the Royal Opera House and received an Olivier award for best new dance production.

Broken Fall was restaged in 2004 as part of the programme Rise and Fall, containing three of Maliphant’s works, and received the Critics’ Circle National Dance award for best modern choreography. Rise and Fall toured for two years and in 2005 Sylvie Guillem invited Maliphant to create an evening of work for them both, culminating in the duet PUSH. This premiered at Sadler’s Wells and received a South Bank Show award and an Olivier Award in 2006. PUSH has since toured throughout the world and continues to do so. Its creation was followed by two artistically diverse collaborations: Cast No Shadow with visual artist Isaac Julien, and Eonnagata which was created and performed with theatre director Robert Lepage and Sylvie Guillem.

In 2009 Maliphant created part one of Afterlight for In the Spirit of Diaghilev, Sadler’s Wells’ celebration of Les Ballets Russes. This received the Critics’ Circle National Dance award for best modern choreography in 2010 and was also nominated for an Olivier Award. Parts two and three of Afterlight followed and toured as a full evening together with part one. The Rodin Project opened at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris at the end of January 2012 and was adapted for film, in a collaboration with the directors Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, and re-titled Erebus.

Maliphant created Fallen for the BalletBoyz, winning the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Modern Choreography 2013, and Second Breath for English National Ballet in 2014 as part of the Lest We Forget programme. His company evenings, continued between 2013 and 2017 with Still Current and Conceal/Reveal and Maliphant curated and performed in maliphantworks 1 and 2 at The Print Room 2017 & 2018.

In 2011, Maliphant was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University.



A Greek musician of international renown and a pioneer in electronic music, Vangelis was awarded the Academy Award for his work on the 1982 film Chariots of Fire. He was also granted numerous awards and distinctions both in Greece and abroad. In 1997, he directed the opening ceremony of the 6th IAAF World Championship in Athletics held in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.

In 2002, he composed the official music for the FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan. In 1999, he composed the music that accompanied the presentation of the official emblem for the 2004 Olympic Games, while he also composed music for the Olympic Torch arrival ceremony to Sydney. His work Mythodea was chosen by NASA in 2001 as the official music for its mission to Mars. NASA awarded him its Public Service Medal to honour this contribution.

As a sign of appreciation of his work in music and his love for space, the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union named the main-belt asteroid 6354 in 1995 after Vangelis.

Mary Katrantzou


Born in Athens, Mary Katrantzou studied architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, USA, and graduated with a BA in textile design and an MA in fashion from Central Saint Martins, London. Her graduation show in 2008, which featured trompe-l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on jersey-bonded dresses, took the industry by storm and established her namesake brand. Mary Katrantzou was dubbed “The Queen of Print” by press, and her work changed the face of 21st century fashion, inspiring high fashion and high street designers alike.

In 2010 she was awarded the Swiss Textiles Award in recognition of her pioneering textile treatments; in November 2011, she received the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent, in February 2012 was awarded Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards. In 2015, Katrantzou received the Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, was awarded Glamour designer of the year, Harper’s Bazaar Breakthrough Designer as well as the British Fashion Award for New Establishment Designer.

Prestigious collaborations have included capsule ranges with Swarovski, Longchamp, Moncler, Topshop or Adidas Originals. Mary has also designed costumes for the New York City Ballet and the Paris Opera. Her work has been exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Dallas Contemporary.

Michael Hulls

Light Design

Michael Hulls is a renowned artistic lighting designer with an established reputation as a “choreographer of the light.” For 20 years, he has been working with and been following the same course as the choreographer Russell Maliphant, walking a thin line between light and movement.

He was trained in dance and theatre at Dartington College of Arts and was awarded a bursary by the Arts Council to attend dance lighting workshops with Jennifer Tipton in New York and Paris. Over the last 20 years, Hulls has worked exclusively in dance, particularly with Maliphant. Their collaborations have won international critical acclaim and many awards. He also worked for many years with Akram Khan (in works for the shadow of man).

Since 2009, he has been collaborating with Sadler’s Wells Theatre, just like Maliphant. In 2010, his contribution to dance was acknowledged with his entry into the Oxford Dictionary of Dance. In 2014, he received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Georgia Iliopoulou

Original Concept & Producer

Georgia Iliopoulou was born in Greece. She studied in Athens and Paris, majoring in international private law. In 1989 she started working independently in the field of culture. In 1991 she founded the cultural production company LAVRIS, and became its president and managing director.

Since then, she has organised major cultural events with prominent international artists and become involved in the establishment of new cultural institutions in Greece, while at the same time actively promoting Greek culture abroad by participating in numerous festivals all over the world with important representatives of contemporary Greek creation of all genres (music, dance, theatre).

LAVRIS Production

Since 1990, the cultural events production company LAVRIS, has won a universal recognition in Greece and abroad, building its identity and character with a qualitative and aesthetic uniqueness, as a presenter and as a producer.

LAVRIS’ activities include all levels of production. From the initial stage of the idea and the first contact with the artists, to finding the appropriate venue and sponsors, as well as ensuring the publicity and promotion of events through all forms of advertising. Furthermore, LAVRIS is able to cover the technical requirements of the most demanding and complex performances.

The key feature of LAVRIS’ choices of artistic events, is the high level of quality and the amplitude of artistic fields: from classical to modern music, from contemporary dance to classical ballet, from theater to family shows.


“reimagining Greece … Myth meets modernity in this profound and thrilling collaboration…. It is unusual but revelatory, a deep forging of the links between past and present, moving and intense.”

The Guardian (24 Mar 2019) Sarah Crompton

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The Guardian, Sarah Crompton
March 2019

“Greece is the word in this scenic cross-cultural odyssey …. It’s a marvellous meeting of simplicity and complexity, and completely hypnotic.”

The Telegraph (16 Mar 2019) Mark Monahan

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The Telegraph, Mark Monahan
March 2019

“An exciting artistic melting pot of luminous style and scintillating ambition. … A breathtaking evening, and like nothing Maliphant has ever done before.”

The Times (18 Mar 2019) Debra Craine 

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The Times, Debra Craine
March 2019
“The Thread is a thrilling show…catch it if you can.” 

London Unattached (20 Μαρτίου 2019) Lucy Foxell

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Lucy Foxell
March 2019
« … And it is therapeutic—ritualistic and therapeutic, ecstasy and exorcism. ”

British Theatre Guide (20 Μαρτίου 2019) Vera Liber

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Vera Liber
March 2019

“… undeniably thrilling .... impressive reworking of traditional dance” The Stage (18 Mar 2019) Neil Norman

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British Theatre Guide, Vera Liber
March 2019

“The result is mesmerising … The Thread is like a healing balm, a vehicle through which Maliphant was able to respond to the zeitgeist with uncanny perspicacity.”

The Arts Desk (18 Mar 2019) Sarah Kent 

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Broadway World, Dzifa Benson
March 2019
“Maliphant has mishmashed traditional Greek and contemporary dance in a way never seen before on the London stage.”

Medium (17 Mar 2019) Oliver Barnes

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Oliver Barnes
March 2019
“While these moves are very simple in execution, they are very hypnotising for the audience to watch. The Thread then also references community and universality.”

Broadway World (17 Mar 2019) Dzifa Benson

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Dzifa Benson
March 2019
 “The dancers form fluid moving patterns that are mesmerising and succeed in evoking an ancient quality that transcends time.”

The Upcoming (16 Mar 2019) Mersa Auda

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Mersa Auda
March 2019
“All production values are immaculate”

Culturewhisper (16 Mar 2019) Teresa Guerreiro

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Teresa Guerreiro
March 2019

“Tethering Modernity to Tradition. … . And when they (the dancers) project their focus outwards, they extend their invitation to the audience, who join in with a lively applause.”

Dance Dispatches (16 Mar 2019)

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The Arts Desk, Sarah Kent
March 2019
“I absolutely loved all of the performances, from the solos to the group dances. They all told a story which felt magical.”

The Live Review (16 Mar 2019) Vada Green

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Vada Green
March 2019


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