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Maria Koliopoulou is a female artist, activist, choreographer, performer and dance teacher with immigrant roots living and working in Athens. She earned a scholarship to the Laban Centre fοr Movement and Dance and studied Fine Arts at Vacalo School of Arts & Design in Athens. She practices in the martial art of Aikido and is a founding member of Prosxima Dance Company where she choreographs and performs since 1996.


Her background as an artistic director of Prosxima Dance Company, has given her the opportunity to develop her artistic, organisational and managerial skills, including researching for and creating a number of choreographic works, working alongside with performers of different abilities as well as touring nationally and internationally.



She is an awarded artist of the Dance Research NRW, a scholarship of the NRW KULTURsekretariat – funded by the Ministerium fur Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen. She has been awarded the Jarmila Jeřábková award (2008) at the New Europe Festival in Prague and the 2nd Prize at the International Contemporary Dance Festival of Algiers (2013) in Algiers.



 In the recent years she has presented works commissioned by the: Onassis Stegi,  Athens Festival, Ephorate of Greek Antiquities, International Contemporary Dance Festival of Algiers, Stopgap Dance Company and Editta Brown Company.




As an independent choreographer she has collaborated with the Danish Institute – Bridges between Women Artists, the Neos Kosmos Theatre in W. Shakespeare’s Othello, the National Theatre of Greece in M. Gorky’s Lower depths, L. Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and N. Kazantzakis Zorba the Greek.


With a strong collaborative background, she has been choreographing dance performances for diverse communities, involving people who love dancing, amateurs and professional dancers.  She has been teaching workshops in dance technique, choreography and improvisation in higher education, in universities, in amateur and professional dance schools or institutions, among others the Belgrade Dance Institute and the School of Fine Arts in Athens. Her research for the work Made has been supported by Skånes Dansteater, Dansecentrum Syd and Konstnärsnämnden  in Sweden



Maria has systematically researched and created several choreographic works, worked alongside performers of different abilities, as well as toured nationally and internationally. Her choreographic works have been presented on large- or small-scale auditoriums, on festivals, private institutions, theatres and various urban open spaces among others the: State Museum’s of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki - Off Borders Festival, Danceable#3, Holland Dance Festival, Philippi Festival, Tanz_House Festival - Salzburg, KosmosTheater - Vienna, Balkan Dance Platform - Ljublana, Cycladic Art Museum – Athens, Duo Dance International Festival, Budapest, Fringe Festival – Stockholm.

Her choreographic process has developed through two different phases: a) The [actions] series which are experimental, movement-based performances within a chosen scenic and sound environment. b) Exploring intersectionality through dance: the more recent choreographic creations where she expands her work by further researching on the notion of intersectionality in disability, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.


Collaborating with the Onassis Stegi on different projects, leading workshops for dancers with and without disabilities has given her a deep understanding and experience of inclusive dance training.  More specifically, though the Unlimited Access program, the iDance: Dance without discriminations project and currently the Europe Beyond Access program, she has been choreographing the work ‘the Flight’ for 25 performers for the International "Unlimited Access" Dance Festival and has been leading inclusive dance workshops. Moreover she had the opportunity for two years to work in more than 8 public schools in disadvantaged areas of the city with minority groups, including two special schools, initiating movement and ‘original play’.


She has published the essay, “The development of the Artistic Skills in Dance Teaching”, in Culture and Art- seven essays on dance(Propobos Publications, Athens 2000, Greece).

She has been a member of syndesmos chorou and common platforms, two initiatives that foster a dialogue between choreographers in Greece or exchanging ideas with artists from Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Greece, Argentina, Spain, Great Britain.

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