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painfully painless

July 2023 | Athens & Epidavrus Festival

a dance for pain | dance for a pain | dance a pain | a pain for dance | pain for a dance | pain a dance

Let’s say this is “a dance for pain”.

How does the body in pain move and communicate?

Where are the boundaries between pain and pleasure in an era where the alternation between those two takes place instantly?


The performance painfully painless seeks a sensory, pre-linguistic, unspeakable language

about the tendency for less or more pain as well as the instant transformation of pain to pleasure and the other way around.

By questioning our endurance to pain, our sensitivity and awareness to it, the ensemble approaches this subject matter through methods invented by humans for pain management, and develops the piece along two basis axes, one kinetic and one sonic.

On the one hand, it focuses on the sensation of bodily pain. A body in pain moves in such a way as to always pursue and complete what is not there. It lives, organizes and regulates itself through memories from the time when it was “complete” and healthy. Its movement, presently elliptical, is realized every moment along with whatever is omitted. On the other hand, it guides us to listen to the particular language in which the phantom of pain expresses itself. Performers on the microphone recite mantras, words, instructions on pain management; they laugh, cry, breathe and everything is recorded, played back and gradually converted into audio frequencies. In this piece, the two aforementioned axes cross paths in multiple ways and instantly illuminate connections highlighting social, religious and cultural mandates on pain.


Painfully painless was premiered in July 2023 in Athens and Epidavrus Festival and is part of grape – Greek Agora of Performance is an exciting new initiative by the Athens Epidaurus Festival aiming to establish a platform for Greek artists to communicate with the international Theatre and Dance scene.

the primary principles of the score on a sketch


Performance – Research Eltron Petri, Sofia Pouchtou, Despoina Sanida-Krezia, Despina Chatzipavlidou

Dramaturgical contribution Steriani Tsintziloni

Sound design – Live processing with electronic means Jannis Anastasakis

Visual installation design and construction Natalia Manta

Embedded systems Georgios Roustas

Lighting design Nysos Vasilopoulos

Light designer assistant Tzini Sakaloglou

Photography Kostis Kallivretakis

Photo editing Eftihia Liapi

Constumes Francesca Boutsi

Artistic collaborator Eleni Mylona

External collaborators Filippos Vasileiou, John Britton, Mersianna Eleftheriadou, Kostis Kallivretakis, Giorgos Sioras Deligiannis, Leda Diochnou

Development consultant Rallou Avramidou

Executive production Delta Pi Production & Cloudsdonthaveshape

Choreography – Research Androniki Marathaki

The “Let’s be comfortable in our own skin” dance practice is supported by Mykonos Biennale, Island Connect, Isadora & Raymond Duncan Dance Research Center, Unplugged Dance


Co-production Athens Epidaurus Festival, Cloudsdonthaveshape


Funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports


the NEON Organization for Culture and Development


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