Georgia Petrali was born in Crete, Greece.
She is a dancer, performer, choreographer, director, teacher of movement and dance, founder of Fysalida Dance Group(www.fysalidance.com) and of the International Contact Improvisation Festival in Crete(www.contactimprocrete.com). She speaks Greek, English and French.
She studied classical and modern dance at Dorothy Stevens Ballet & Theatre School in England and continued her postgraduate dance studies in specialising in contemporary dance and choreography at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie in Holland with a grant from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. Having received a bursary for the Dance Web Scholarship Program 2000, Georgia Petrali was Greece's first participation in this international dance festival in Vienna, Austria. She has been participating in a plethora of movement, theatre and dance workshops of significant teachers, choreographers and directors in Greece and abroad.
Abroad, she danced with the John Carney’s Manc Dance Company in England in 1997 in the performance Masked Emotions, and with Jo Corrick’s Terpsicorrick Dance Company in the performance Sweet Sunny South. In 2000 and 2003 she collaborated with choreographer Doris Vuilleumier in Switzerland in the performances Etrange and L’ Homme Qui Marche.
In Greece, in 2003-2004 she danced with Haris Mantafounis’ modern dance group in Strangely Emotional and in 2005 worked with choreographer Natassa Zouka on The Earth’s Gaze as well as with New Zealander Carol Brown on Hertopia. In 2006 she collaborated with Artemis Ignatiou’s Art Company on Cold Water Traces and took part in the advertising spot for Greece Live your myth in Greece and in a documentary for National Geographic.
As an improviser, she has danced at the Polis multipurpose arts venue (Heraklion), at the theatre Pagopoieion 1st floor (Heraklion) for the dance installation performance Rooms, at Giannis Chalambalakis' painting exhibitions (Psychro-Athens) and for an art event by the same painter in collaboration with the Cretan band Hainides (Heraklion).
Since 1998, she has taught abroad classical ballet, contemporary dance and stretching at Helene Cazes’ Dance School (Fontainemelon, Switzerland), at the Dance Art Studio (Lucerne, Switzerland), at Evelyn Schuler’s Dance School (Stans, Switzerland) and at the Montessori school of Lucerne in Switzerland. She has also given workshops on ballet and contemporary dance in Braga, Portugal and on contemporary dance for the Cinevox Junior Company in Neuhausen, Switzerland.
In Greece, since 2002, she has taught movement, improvisation, contact, classical ballet and contemporary dance at the Studio KER (Chania), at the multipurpose arts venue ON (Chania), for the dance group Synkinisi (Chania), for the theatre group Writing Circle (Heraklion), at Horokinisi Dance School (Heraklion), at Horokinisi Dance School (Rethymnon), at the Tangoneon Cultural Group (Heraklion), at the Wendy May Timmons Dance Academy (Heraklion).
She has also given workshops and seminars on contact improvisation and movement at the Onassis Cultural Center (Athens), at the Modulor Dance Space School (Athens), for the municipality of Heraklion, for the Cultural Association of Rethymnon, for the University of Crete (Heraklion), for the Sunny Tango Vacations Festival in Crete and the Contact Improvisation Crete Festival.
Since September 2011, she is an external associate of the Dance Centre based at the Pancretan Stadium’s facilities in Heraklion.
For the summer 2013, she was invited at Ponderosa Movement & Discovery Organization in Germany as a contributing artist in residence and guest teacher, as well as in the Freiburg ContactFestival as one of the international teachers.
Choreographic - Directing Experience
In 2004 Georgia took part in the choreography team of Dimitris Papaioannou and Angeliki Stellatou as assistant choreographer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
In 2006, Georgia Petrali founded the Fysalida Dance, based in Heraklion-Crete to explore, create and present artworks through collaboration with artists, educators, therapists and scientists.
As a choreographer for theatre plays, she has worked with the theatre company of the University of Crete (Heraklion) and the ‘Theatre of Crete’ (Heraklion).
In 2007 she worked with Italian choreographer Luca Silvestrini (Protein Dance Company) as an assistant on the performance Crossroads (Athens). In the same year she also presented the solo performance Flock-the stargazer and the video-art piece Flock-the glass fish as her first personal work.
In 2008 she directed and choreographed the film Wrinkles and Dreams starring the picturesque neighbourhood of Agia Triada in Heraklion, Crete. 120 amateurs, professionals and residents of the local area took part in the film. The entire project involving all these people was based on the concept of community dance. So far the film has won 6 prizes in film festivals in Poland, Greece and Romania, and has taken part in various film/dance/video art festivals in Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Drama, Heraklion, Kilkis, Amorgos, Patra, Larisa, Naousa, Rethymnon) and abroad (Japan, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Atlanta, Jordan, Romania, Canada) as well as in university symposiums and one-day events.
In 2009 Georgia directed and choreographed the video art piece and solo performance Insect. The video art Insect was selected for the 30th International Festival of Films on Art in Montreal as well as for various other festivals. In the same year she also directed the video art piece The 7 deadlies in a relationship.
In 2010 she directed and choreographed the dance video Phobias and the dance theatre performance Moments of Metamorphosis. The characteristics of this specific performance were that it used a winery in the village of Houdetsi Crete to stage the whole production and utilised the change from natural to artificial light, combining the natural beauty of the landscape with the special features of the interior of the winery.
Inspired by the general ‘crisis’ which is occurring, in 2011 Georgia choreographed the solo performance To Trizoni which was selected by Kinitiras Studio to be presented in Athens and also created the dance theatre piece Ma Crise dans Ta Crise which premiered after an invitation in Renens, Switzerland in November of the same year. The dance video of the performance Ma Crise dans Ta Crise won in 2012 the Award for the Best Art Film in the Document. Art. International Film Festival, 16th Edition, in Pitesti-Romania.
Moreover in 2011 she organised the 1st Contact Improvisation Festival on Crete and since then, the popularity of this artistic event indicates that it will become a well established feature in the dance world in both Greece and abroad.
From 2011 to the present day, Georgia has been creating street art performances that can be viewed on Fysalida’s youtube channel, blending together art and activism, community and CI as a way of expressing, moving, acting, sharing and caring.
Beliefs - Aspirations
Through the practice and ideology Georgia teaches and shares with students and associates, she has begun offering ‘free stretching’ in streets and squares, and also organising events to collect food and share ‘social-discussions’ in public spaces, creating small-modern ‘agoras’ by expressing concerns and ideas, wishes and struggles, dreams and reality of every day society-matters.
Georgia and Fysalida have combined with the same group of beloved associates to present street art, short 'activist' performances and video screenings in public spaces by using the body and movement in order to touch upon ‘social’ issues relating to human, nature and the planet. The video and texts and these actions in general, these ‘artistic explorations’ by the Fysalida Dance, take viewers on a journey that knows no bounds, to various festivals around the world and via the internet, with the aim of providing information, creating awareness, sharing and caring.
Taking an architectural look at the various places where an artwork is presented, collaborating with professional and amateur artists and with ordinary people through ‘community dance’, improvising, contact improvisation, dance-theatre and socio-cultural activities and research are characteristic technical features and well-trodden ‘emotional paths’ in the artistic activities and productions prepared by Georgia. Fysalida’s motto is ‘movement inside and outside’ and ‘geo_move’ is the name Georgia Petrali has given to one of the technique and practices she is exploring, applying and working with. ‘geo_move’ is inspired by the body, nature and the environment and is based on the relationship and interaction of all these elements with each other.