Our Citizen Artists

OUR CITIZEN ARTISTS

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Peter Agardi (Hungary/France)

is a Choreographer, Dancer and Artistic director. He was born in Budapest and studied at the Hungarian Dance Academy. At the age of 18 he left the country to pursue his career mainly as a principal dancer and later as choreographer in dance companies across Europe and the US including Dutch National Ballet, Ballet National de Marsaille, Compania National de Danza Nacho Duato, Victor Ullate Ballet, Peter Schaufuss Balletten and Ballett der Deutschen Oper am Rhein. At the age of 32 he obtained a  Master’s Degree in Cultural Management and Business at the Complutense University of Madrid, and for the past 4 years he has been director of his own dance company, the COMPAGNIE PETER AGARDI. His tasks consist of administrative management as well as artistic leadership and choreographing.

In his creations he seeks both sensational and aesthetic pleasure and aims to avoid convoluted messages and obscurities. He believes all people should be able to engage with a dance performance of very high technical level and unique choreographic language. He thrives to make impact in society by helping to  raise a generation of emotionally rich thinkers with a strong sense of individuality.

At CAI he hopes to learn strategies to carry out his ambitions to create impact driven projects and to reach new audiences with a demand for a high quality art that is less elitist and more accessible to the general public. Through his work he would  like to increase general awareness of the importance dance plays in our everyday life to develop creativity, individuality and personal growth as a society.

http://compagniepeteragardi.wix.com/compagniepeteragardi

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Meher Awachri  (Tunisia/Germany)  

began acting with amateur companies in 1997 and  by 2001 started to work professionally as an actor, director and scriptwriter for a number of groups in Tunisia. In 2008 he participated in a 3 week long training workshop with the Royal Shakespeare company, but his main studies were at the Superior Institute of Dramatic Art of Tunis. His graduation piece there,  D-Sisyphe  was turned into a professional production  which  won the 1st prize in the Thespis International Monodrama Festival in Kiel, Germany in 2012. It was also part of the  Dancing on the Edge Festival  in Amsterdam in 2013 and since then shown in Australia, London, Canada and Kosovo.  

Meher is joining the  CAI project to enrich his know-how in his professional practices, and  hopes that he can learn more about  how to integrate his performances and artistic processes in concrete changes to the reality in which he lives.  http://www.meher-awachri.com/  

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Nour Barakeh (Syria)

is a dancer, Artistic Director of the Vitamin Dance Project and also a graduate from The Faculty of Pharmacy at the Damascus University, Syria. From 2011 she studied at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts-Dance Department, where she studied for a year and participated in several performances and films before she took her turn with the artist Hussein Khaddour in founding Vitamin Dance Project in 2013. She has  since given workshops in contemporary dance to internal refugee children and also prepared a radio program dealing with women’s rights by cynical critique.

Nour believes that combining her scientific academic study with her artistic interests and works, helps her to understand the world from two different viewpoints.

As a member of the CAI project she hopes to widen her horizons by connecting with artists and experts from all over the world and to exchange insights in order to come up with a new vision about this changing and challenging world and find out new ways to help people in efficient ways.

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Chantal Bilodeau (Canada/US)

is a playwright and translator whose work attempts to build bridges: between science and art, between art disciplines, and between cultural and linguistic groups. She serves as the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle — an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight countries of the Arctic. She is also the founder of the international network Artists and Climate Change and was a co-organizer of the Climate Change Theatre Action which presented over a hundred events worldwide in support of the United Nations 2015 Paris Climate Conference. She has written about the intersection of arts and climate change for books, magazines and online publications, and presented at conferences in the US and Canada. She is thrilled to be joining the Citizen Artist Incubator and to have the opportunity to further explore how the intersection of art and science can create a positive and lasting impact on our societies.

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Michael Csar  (Austria)

is currently an Associate for the Boston Consulting Group, specializing in organization design and large-scale transformation. Before transitioning into management consulting, Michael worked as a theatre producer, stage director and production assistant across Europe. Credits include the Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, La Scala, Royal National Theatre, and the Berlin State Opera. Collaborations include directors such as Andrea Breth, Keith Warner, Luc Bondy, Peter Hall, Christoph Schlingensief and Deborah Warner. Michael was a Fulbright scholar and holds an MFA in performing arts management and producing from Columbia University, New York, with a specialization in cultural policy and audience engagement. He believes in the theatre’s potential to expose all the ambiguities of human behavior and to foster a more imaginative society.

As a member of the CAI, Michael hopes to explore new production models for the performing arts that focus on meaningful dialogue between artists and the communities out of which they conceive their work.

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Catinca Drăgănescu  (Rumania)

is a Romanian theatre director and playwright. She also has a degree in advertising and public relations and is currently doing her PhD at the “I.L. Caragiale” University in Bucharest. Her work consists of different interdisciplinary creative research platforms focused around sensitive social and political themes. In 2010, together with a group of artists, she founded a cultural NGO and since then, they got involved in community projects, social interventions and hybrid art projects that use creative work as a tool for empowering the counter- narrative of underrepresented social categories. In 2015, dontcrybaby, a play written by her and Eugen Jebeleanu was published in the volume  Machtbilder. Neue Theaterstücke aus Rumänien and in 2016 she will be the first Romanian artist to be in residency at the Drama League New York.

For her, CAI is a great opportunity of gaining additional knowledge, sharing experiences and connecting to a network of artists and creative entrepreneurs concerned with art as an agent of change in nowadays global society.

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Susana C. Gaspar  (Portugal)

is an actress and director who bases her work in devising theatre and documentary theatre premises. Since 2006  she has worked as an actress, while simultaneously obtaining her higher education from University of Lisbon, in Cultural Sciences — Communication and Culture. Later, she concluded a Master Degree in Artistic Education — Theatre in Education. Directorial accomplishments include: Lampedusa (2011-2012) which was awarded a distinction in the Theatre category at the CPAI Young Creators 2012 exhibit, Body-Merchandise (Corpo-Mercadoria, 2014) and Woman-Man and Third Eve (Mulher-Homem e Coroada, 2014). Susana is interested in creating works that highlight: Human Rights issues, Gender Studies and arts as a catalyst for social change. She participated in the Artistic Research Program rooted in the Studies of Body and Movement — F.I.A. (January-July 2013), in Centro em Movimento, Lisbon and well as artistic residencies in Lebanon, Palestine and Germany.  

Her vision for the future would be having a Europe believing more in the power of the arts, that can actually contribute for further reflection about contemporary issues. As a participant in CAI, she hopes to build new bridges, discover new narratives and get a better preparation for future projects.

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Julia Gonchar  (Ukraine)

is a playwright who also completed  her Bachelor- and Masters degree  in International Business and Management at the  Economic University of Kiev.  She was involved in several theatre projects linking dramaturgy and public relations and  since 2012 is  also part of new drama activists in Ukraine. In 2015 she assisted in the areas dramaturgy and stage direction at the  Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Germany. Her latest theatre projects are: the documentary play “Homeless souls” about lives of homeless people, projects with displaced people in Ukraine and The Polish-Ukrainian Performative Project “Maps of Fear / Maps of Identity”.  

As a participant of the the CAI, she hopes to gain additional  knowledge,  skills and network  to further develop and increase impact through her ongoing arts  projects in Ukraine.  

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Balint Komenczi (Hungary)

is a musician and also a sociologist. Initially he pursued both fields separately, but started connecting them when he realized that music and sound was an opportunity for experiencing collectivity and social interaction. Now he uses music as a tool to provide socially deprived youngsters with the necessary skills for social- and self-expression, while also approaching them with scientific instruments as a sociologist. He aims to give them a voice via music and helps them form communities.

Balint believes the future is about building communities where people can recognize and articulate their joint interest and is highly interested in developing hybrid projects that influence society. As a member of Citizen Artist Incubator he hopes to obtain valuable input and experience that can place his work into a wider and more fruitful context.

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Christina Kyriazidi (Greece/Germany)  

was formed as an actress and playwright in Greece and the UK [University of Exeter]. She has worked as an actress and dramaturge, in Greece, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Ireland, Argentina and  Brazil. In 2010, she founded the international theatre group “Marinaio Teatro” in Berlin and a year later, the itinerant theatre festival “KNOTS: Exchange Meeting of Theatre Groups” with editions in Berlin, Buenos Aires, La Paz and São Paulo. As a playwright, she was awarded by the “Greek National Union of Writers” for her play “AUTUMN MEETING” (2002), while her play “FOREST UNDER THE SEA” (2013) was produced by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture in 2015, and toured in Brazil in 2016, through the award of “FUNARTE”. Her last play “LES MUÊTS / THE MUTES” was selected as one of the 5 european plays on the theme of the European Crisis, for the “PIIGS Festival 2016 – Dramaturgia Sobre la Crisi”. Her plays have been produced so far, in Greece, Germany, Brazil and Spain.

She believes in the potentiality of art as a life-changing tool, art as the catalyst of the socio-political health of a society,  and the need for increased ‘creativity for impact’. She hopes that the CAI will provide her with new strategies, tools and network to further increase socio-political consciousness through her work and reach new audiences.

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Miranda Lakerveld ( Netherlands)

creates innovative staging for opera and classical music, in which the crossing of boundaries between cultures and disciplines is the guiding principle. She aims to develop a new form of opera, which will do justice to the diversity of our societies. For this purpose she has founded World Opera Lab. Recent works include ‘Orfeo in India’ an adaptation of Monteverdi’s   ‘L’Orfeo’, with Indian and European musicians in Ahmedabad, ‘Erda’ a performance/lecture at Dutch National Opera, ‘The Inner Landscape’ at Holland Festival about Sichuan Opera, ‘Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria’, and with communities in Amsterdam-west, combining Monteverdi with Arabic and Turkish traditional music, and ‘Majnun & Leyla’ fusing music and performance practices from India, Iran, Morocco and Turkey. To support her creative work she has done extensive research in which she compared opera to traditional music-drama performances from India, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Guatemala and Tibet. Currently she is writing a PhD on her creative work and research at the University of Amsterdam.

The aim of her work is to create a platform for a dialogue between cultures and maybe even a tool for conflict resolution. During CAI she wants to dive deeper into the complex relation between art, culture and society, hoping to find strategies to influence policy through her art and support sustainable social change.  

www.mirandalakerveld.com      www.worldoperalab.com

AndreaVoets@S.Xanthoulis_161303_7085

Andrea Voets  (Belgium/Netherlands)

is a musician who obtained her bachelor of philosophy and harp in Amsterdam and her master at the Hanns Eisler conservatory in Berlin. Andrea combines her many interests into unique interdisciplinary concert formats, like Latin Lovers (with calligraphy, on the love-guide by Ovid), Born to be Wilde (with word art, on the turbulent life of Oscar Wilde), Noot breekt Wet (on the philosophy of Hannah Arendt) and Xenitia.16 (a concert-documentary, about the feelings that come with building up a new existence, far away from home), which are being performed all over Europe. She teaches her own course of ‘practical music philosophy’ at the Hanns Eisler conservatory. In 2015, she made her successful debut at the Concertgebouw of Bruges. This year, she holds an Elsa Neumann-Stipendium and got selected for the Concerto21-program of the Töpfer Stiftung. She divides her time between the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Greece.  

Because of her investigative attitude, Andrea is constantly looking for inspiration, challenges and new points of view. Her main goal is to bring social relevance into classical music, which got her to apply for the CAI.

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Mohamed Yousry, ‘Aka Shika’,    (Egypt)

is a dancer of Nubian origin who had his first intensive movement training, in Taekwondo from the age of 8.  After graduating from Cairo University with an accounting degree, Shika pursued commercial dances for 2 years before joining the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center. In 2015, Shika’s affinity for African contemporary and traditional dance led him to join Ecole Des Sables in Senegal’s as their 1st  Egyptian dancer. In addition he has studied dance and choreography with internationally renowned teachers such as Olivier Dubois, Francesco Scavetta, Sophiatou Kosssko, Nora Chipaumire, Frey Faust and Reggie Wilson.
Shika’s sees that the CAI is a human, creative and technical pallet of experiences, that will guide him through his ambition to close the gap between Egypt and its African roots.

[in alphabetical order]

Copyright Citizen Artist Incubator 2016