Biography

Christina Klissiouni is a movement/dance teacher, performer and choreographer based in Athens, Greece. She is also a psychotherapist (Body psychotherapy and Gestalt) and Shiatsu practitioner. Her work is a 25 year long investigation of movement study applying her knowledge and experience from contemporary dance as well as from various modalities in Somatics such as the Alexander technique, Body Mind Centering, Kinetic Awareness, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, J. Skinner, Ideokinesis, Susan Klein techniques. Contact Improvisation has been a broad platform where, as an artist and a movement teacher, she has been creatively integrating both the somatic work as well as her experience from her training as a contemporary dancer to support the students’ process in discovering and developing their physical and emotional intelligence. How does the body function? How does the body contain emotional information that determines one’s ability to express himself/ herself? How does change occur? How do we make choices while we improvise and how do these choices reflect physical as well as psychological patterns on our daily life? These are some of the basic questions that underlie her educational movement work as well as her work as a psychotherapist; in both fields she creates the framework that supports awareness and authentic expression, a containment for people who wish to be living within a natural and healthy relationship to their body in connection to their inner-self. Since 1987, and throughout these years till today, she has been continuously working with movement and dance as a performer/ teacher and a choreographer, exploring the form of CI/Somatic work integrating physicality and philosophy of life, emphasising freedom, flow in relationships and presence in all facets of the human state.

In 2009 she opened Present Body, Center of somatic movement and performance research in the center of Athens where she teaches, organizes laboratory classes and workshops as well as events (performances, lectures, video-dance presentations) wishing to propose a meeting place to enrich the practice safely and creatively.

 

DANCE & IMPROVISATION

Christina Klissiouni was born in Athens. Initially, she studied History and Dance at Deree College in Athens (Bachelor of Arts, 1986) and continued her studies in New York (1986-1991) focusing on contemporary dance forms and more specifically on Merce Cunningham technique attending the professional training program for 4 years, labs with Trisha Brown dance teachers and Jennifer Mueller technique for one year. She regularly trained privately with release techniques such as the Alexander technique for 4 years, on Hatha Yoga, Improvisation and Contact Improvisation.

Through the course of time she studied movement and improvisation attending workshops with significant teachers in the fields of New Dance, Performance Art and Contact Improvisation (the pioneers of CI and many other teachers from the second and third generation of CI), Action Theatre (Ruth Zapora), Authentic Movement, Body-Mind Centering, and in Voice (Meredith Monk Co., Lisa Sokolov, Kostas Iliopoulos, Karen Solomon). Simultaneously, she practiced and studied the Alexander technique in depth with Kim Jessor (Director of  the ACAT in New York) and others. She also studied other Release techniques such as Feldenkrais, J. Skinner, Susan Klein techniques. Contact Improvisation is the base of her movement research and her work as a teacher and choreographer since1987 when she attended her first six month lab with Stephanie Skura in NYC. She works in Athens teaching workshops and continuous classes in the form of on-going movement research laboratories to professionals as well as non-professionals directing her own school, Present Body, Center of movement and performance research.

Since 1991 she taught at the State School of Dance for two years, Athenaeum Music school for 3 years and collaborated with Lefteris Vogiatzis (theater director) and Nea Skini, training his well established company, for seven years. Christina travels abroad often and collaborates with respected colleagues and teachers in the field of Contact Improvisation and New Dance. She has been participating as a CI teacher in more than thirteen European CI teachers’ conferences (ECITE) that take place at different parts of Europe and at numerous international festivals. In 1992 she founded Helix Dance Company. She has taught and performed her work in Berlin, Oslo, N.York, London, Rome, St.Petersburg, Freiburg (International Contact Improvisation Festival) ,Budapest (International Improvisation Festival), Amsterdam and Istanbul. During the last 25 years, she collaborated co-teaching intensive workshops and/or performing improvisation performances with Nita Little (USA), Melissa Matson (USA), Saliq Savage (USA), Ray Chung (USA), Ka Rustler, Nien Mari Chatz (Germany), Mary Prestidge (England), Catherine Hossenlopp (France), Andjela Doni (Russia), Shahar Dor (Israel) and Suprapto Suryodarmo (Indonesia). Since 1998 her work with master teacher Suprapto Suryodarmo deepened her approach to contemplative movement where man comes in contact with nature within and connects himself with his source through ritual, religiousness and awareness of his present being that is mirrored in the process of performance on stage, at the studio, in the street, in nature.

As a choreographer/ performer she has produced a number of dance pieces with Helix Dance Company collaborating with performers from Greece and from other countries. She presented “Dawn’s Well”, “Knots & Roses”, “Embracing the Daemons & the Diamond”, “Dark Blue, Almost Black” Butterfly”, “Silent Decision”, “Typography, Choreography…in continuity” in Greece and other countries. Recently (May-June 2011) she collaborated and performed with Teti Nikolopoulou, Timos Zehas and Constantinos Rizos presenting Present Bodies, a collaborative improvisational site-specific work at the New Museum of the Acropolis as well as at the International Contemporary Dance Festival in Thessaloniki. In June 10th-14th 2012, Christina Klissiouni co-directed and performed together with Teti Nikolopoulou(choreographer, CI teacher) “Present Bodies in Contact”: a CI and structured improvisation event with 10 contact dancers and 4 musicians during the 11th Contemporary Dance festival in Athens, organized by the Choreogtraphers’ association at Chora theatre.

PSYCHOANALYSIS - PSYCHOTHERAPY

Initially she started psychoanalysis (psychodynamics) for herself in New York (1987-1990), and continued group analysis in Athens for another 4 year period (Systemic Group Analysis). By the end of these cycles, she proceeded to another investigation integrating Wilhelm Reich’s theory and work on character analysis and body psychotherapy with her experience as a movement teacher, performer and therapist. She took her diploma as a psychotherapist training at the Institute for Body Psychotherapy in Athens, a school that is acknowledged by the European Association for Body-Psychotherapy and PESOPS (the Greek Association of Psychotherapy). She attended workshops with important teachers in psychotherapy such as Bert Hellinger, Bjorn Blumenthal, Genovino Ferri , Maria Louisa Aversa, Francois Lewine. She also trained in Gestalt with Barrie Simmons on a two and a half year Master course and on Vegetotheray (Character analysis and Body Posture/ Body Alignment) with Alberto Torre for two and a half more years finishing her second master for therapists. She has participated at a number of conferences in Greece offering labs where she combines her experience as a somatic/ movement teacher and a body psychotherapist. The last 14 years she has been  working privately as a psychotherapist at her own practice space. She is a member of the European Association of Body Psychotherapy.

 

ZEN SHIATSU

She started her education and practice in Shiatsu in Athens in 1994, taking her diploma, after a three-year training course, from the European School of Shiatsu that is based in Athens since 1993. She attended a number of workshops with Cliff Andrews and Master Pauline Sasaki. Since that time she continuously offers private sessions at her practice studio. She is also a regular member of Shiatsu association in Athens.