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Sammy Gian & Alexandra Katsarou

Sammy Gian

Sammy is a Kenyan dance instructor and choreographer with a strong background and experience in teaching and in facilitating performances. His formal education started in performing arts in MID (Moving into Dance Mophatong) in South Africa, but his professional experience as a choreographer, performer and teacher runs over 15 years in various African (Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique) and European countries (Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Greece). In his career he was one of the main choreographers and instructors in the organization Sarakasi Trust in Nairobi, Kenya and in the academic program in the Pedagogical University of Maputo, in Mozambique. Since then, he has participated in various festivals around the world and he creates his own productions. His dance identity has different dynamics based on the contemporary dance techniques of Martha Graham and Lester Horton mixed with African and acrobatic elements. Nevertheless, his personal dance style has been influenced by hip hop, house, modern, urban jazz and afrofusion. Since 2016, he has lived in Athens, Greece, where he teaches afrofusion on a weekly basis at the Professional Dance School, Aktina, as well as in dance studios such as DANCCE and Dancevacuum. He also co-ordinates seminars with different themes in different dance schools. Since July 2017, he has formed the Twende Dance Project, a modern dance center and meeting point for professional and amateur dancers and a roof for his dance company. In 2018 and 2019 participates in the Thessaloniki Swing Festival as an African Dance teacher and as a performer and co-organizes the African-American Jazz Dance Project, where he studies African roots in jazz dances. In 2022, he participates with his solo performance in the International Peloponnisos Doc Festival in Kalamata and he creates the dance production “Si Londe '' for children based on the book of Miltos Pistof.

Alexandra Katsarou

Alexandra is a psychologist with training in dance rhythm therapy. She completes her bachelor studies in Psychology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens and in Ballet Teaching Studies from Royal Academy of Dance. Soon as she was looking for the connection between the two paths, she meets the afro american technique of Dance Therapy through Primitive Expression in Paris. As an assistant coordinator of the french psychoanalyst France Schott-Billmann, she completes the training and she actively participates in the coordination of educational seminars and experiential classes in France and in Greece from the International Association Danse, Rythme, Lien Social et Thérapie [DRLST]. Her practice is based in coordinating dance therapy sessions in France Parkinson Association, in the Institut Medico-Educatif Arc en Ciel with kids in special needs and in the Association ENDAT. As she returns back to Greece, she continues her research in the therapeutic function of dance for the classical ballet dancers, she is teaching classical ballet to kids from the preschool age till adults and organises weekly sessions, workshops and events in dance therapy. Her interest in dance anthropology drives her soon on a trip to Africa. She is working as a head RAD ballet teacher in The Academy of Dance and Art in Nairobi, Kenya and she is teaching dance to preschoolers and primary kids to the international private schools of Nairobi, as The Banda School, Braeburn School, St Christopher’s School, Montessori Learning Centre. She has the great opportunity to meet and connect with the rich cultural inheritance from the traditional rituals and dances of the kenyan tribes and she empowers herself as a teacher as well. She teaches more than 100 students from the age of 2,5 years old till adults, they are entering in RAD exams with 100% success and she participates in production of dance performances in the National Nairobi Theatre. In 2016, she is coming back to her home country and she feels the need in founding a dance cultural centre in collaboration with the Kenyan choreographer Sammy Gian, a meeting point where the aerial and structural nature of classical ballet creates a dialogue with the dynamics of African culture.