Thursday, 18 March 2021

Greek National Opera Ballet's Human Behaviour comes to GNO TV

The Greek National Opera Ballet presents its first production for the Alternative Stage, the modern dance triptych Human Behaviour, on GNO TV. Ioannis Mandafounis choreographs Point of No Return to music by Giorgos Koumendakis, Ermira Goro choreographs Plan B to music by Dimitra Trypani, and GNO Ballet Director Konstantinos Rigos choreographs Lieder ohne Wrote to music by Dimitris Terzakis. The performance will be available on from 24 March to 31 December 2021.

The production and GNO TV are made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [] to enhance the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach

Human Behaviour was initially presented as a modern dance diptych for a limited run of performances on the GNO Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in October 2020. The production was scheduled to come back to the Alternative Stage - this time as a triptych, after the addition of Konstantinos Rigos' choreography - last February, but due to the pandemic performances were suspended.

Aiming at a high-quality result, the performance was filmed in February, with a state-of-the-art eight-camera system and special cinematic techniques.

In Point of No Return, the internationally recognised dancer and choreographer Ioannis Mandafounis composes a modern piece out of dance elements deeply rooted in the tradition of classical ballet. In tune with the music of Giorgos Koumendakis, the GNO Ballet dancers focus on the transparency and authenticity of their moves via the arsenal of classical ballet steps. Although the group experience of their bodies reveals an extremely classical choreographical approach, one may discern the personal identity of the performers as well as a particularly modern treatment of presence and interpretation of movement - obvious elements that indicate the choreographer's regular touch. "Guided by the title Point of No Return, this dance piece highlights classical technique as performed by a dancer of today, without falsifying it. Joy, communication, complex choreography and performing immediacy are some of the elements presented by the dancers and shared with the public", according to Ioannis Mandafounis. Giorgos Koumendakis' music, both in Point of No Return for string quartet (2008, dedicated to the Kronos Quartet) and in Typewriter Tune for violin solo (2004), follows the example of the "anonymous" folksong creators, "recasting or recomposing traditional musical themes while retaining their energy and subtlety, the authenticity of their primordial model, their pulse and their soul".

Ermira Goro, a movement and dance theatre performer always in search for new forms of researching and communicating her ideas, says about the choreography of Plan B: "Plan B is a choreographic experiment on rigorously structured, asymmetrical sonic forms. The dancers move through space in a constantly shifting flux from the particular to the abstract and vice-versa. Plan B, because Plan A proved impossible and Plan C is already taking place". In tandem, the composer Dimitra Trypani likens her music to a "sonic impression of an imaginary videogame in a single-level environment which is to be traversed by the player. However, within this level, there are many 'trap-rooms' in quick, unexpected succession, often without warning. The player's goal, of course, is to survive until they exit the last 'trap-room' of the game".

Finally, the GNO Ballet director Konstantinos Rigos bases his choreography for the third part of this "alternative journey" on three works by the accomplished Greek-German composer Dimitri Terzakis, inspired by the legacy of Greek antiquity and modern Greek history. The Songs Without Words (Lieder ohne Worte), a vocal work from 1994 presented here in its recent (2019) version for viola solo, is a melodic apotheosis based on the musical system of ancient Greece. The composer notes: "To present the infinitesimal melodic nuances and rapidly changing characters, the interpretation of this composition may and must be endlessly free, poetic, songlike, speech-like and, yes, 'old-fashioned' - like in the theatre of ancient Greece". The second work, Resonance of Hell I (Der Hölle Nachklang I, 1992) for alto saxophone and piano, constitutes the composer's emotionally charged reaction to his unbearable childhood memory of the German Occupation of Greece during the years 1941-1944, while the delicate Words in the Wind (Sprüche im Wind, 2009) consists of ten brief "haikus" for violin and piano.


Human Behaviour

Modern dance triptych

Available on GNO TV from 24 March 2021

The production was filmed at the Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera at the SNFCC on 7 & 9 February 2021.


Point of No Return
The choreography Point of No Return is a co-production of the GNO and the CIE Ioannis Mandafounis

Choreography, costume supervisor Ioannis Mandafounis
Music Giorgos Koumendakis
Lighting designer Christos Tziogkas


Plan B

Choreography Ermira Goro
Music Dimitra Trypani
Set & costume designer Christos Delidimos
Lighting designer Christos Tziogkas

Antonis Sousamoglou (violin), David Bogorad (violin), Athanassios Sourgounis (viola), Yannis Stefos (cello)


Lieder ohne Worte
World premiere

Choreography, set designer Konstantinos Rigos
Music Dimitri Terzakis
Costume designer Yiorgos Mesimeris
Lighting designer Christos Tziogkas
Associate architect Mary Tsangari

Guido de Flaviis (alto saxophone), Stefanos Nasos (piano), Antonis Sousamoglou(violin), Angela Giannaki (viola)

With the participation of dancers of the GNO Ballet


 Tickets for the online streaming of Human Beahviour cost 5 euros and can be purchased on

With the admission of 5€ the viewers:

  • can enjoy the show using the platform of GNO TV ( in the comfort of their home, during the time of their preference, through a PC, an ipad, a TV or even a smartphone.
  • can watch the show an unlimited amount of times for a 30-day period, since the first watch.
  • can gain access to the online programme of the show.

Founding Donor of the Alternative Stage & Production donor

Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) []