2020-2021 Artist in Residence with Public Energy Performing Arts
During the 2020-2021 season, Irèni Stamou is one of the Artists in Residence with Public Energy Performing Arts in Nogogiwanong “place at the foot of the rapids,” Peterborough Ontario. In her new choreography, Bone Stories, Irèni explores multiculturalism, violence against women and restoring our connection to the earth within a series of solo pieces in collaboration with dancer Dreda Blow. She is in the process of re-imaging the logistics of safe and creative audience viewing in site-specific and unusual settings amid COVID-19.
Photo (right) of Irèni Stamou by Anita Erschen-Pappas
Photo of Irèni Stamou by Anita Erschen-Pappas
Irèni(Irene) Stamou is a Canadian choreographer and dance artist. For over three decades, Irèni has created and performed a body of work consisting of 30 choreographies. A graduate of Concordia University/Montreal: Bachelors of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance in 1989, Irèni received the award for outstanding achievements in choreography. She directed her dance company Métaspora Danse (beyond dispersion) from 1994 to 2004, performing as a soloist and creating group choreographies presented in Canada, Europe, New York City and Costa Rica. Her first performances started at Tangente Danse Actuelle where she performed the core of her work for 16 years. Irèni also performed at The Canada Dance Festival, Festival de la Nouvelle Danse, the Multicultural Festival in Ottawa, Dancing on the Edge, Vancouver, Guelph Dance Festival, L’Agora de La Danse, Montreal, and the Ottawa Dance Collective. Irèni received Artist in Residence projects in Lille France (Danse a Lille), Le Usine C, Montreal, Estudio Los Almendros, and Nosara Retreat in Costa Rica.
Irèni received between 1994 and 2004 project-based grants from The Canada Council, The Montreal Arts and letters, Multiculturalism Canada, and The Montreal Arts Council. In 2004 at 40 years old, Irèni decided to start a family and moved to join her partner in Southern Ontario. Irèni performed Tenfold (for peace) at The Art Gallery of Windsor in 2005.
Between 2006-2017 Irèni lived mostly in rural Costa Rica, being a mom, practicing sustainability and studying the Healing Arts. Irèni has received numerous certifications in somatics, yoga therapeutics, aerial yoga and bodywork. In her Costa Rica residencies, Irèni researched somatic improvisational movement for sustainability and longevity, a process that helped her with spinal issues and identifying blockages in the body-mind. Following this exploration, Irèni was one of the winners at The Choreographers festival for her choreography Mia Zoi “One Life,” a solo for Daniel Marenko, a cancer survivor. She travelled to Nicaragua, where she performed and taught workshops for homeless children at La Casa de Tres Mundos. Irèni taught somatic seminars at the University of Costa Rica for the Theatre and Dance departments. Recent choreographies include Body stories; Quartiers Danse Festival Montreal 2015. Oresteia, the Spanish adaptation of the ancient Greek play by Aeschylus with The National Theatre of Costa Rica 2017.
Irèni relocated to Peterborough /Nogojiwanong, Ontario, in 2018 with her family. Irèni participated in the 25th anniversary of Public Energy ‘s community project Transdance a choreography by Bill Coleman. She created new choreographic work and collaborated with local dance artists, Anne Ryan and Janette Fronz: SoulStories 2019, and Bonestories with the dancer Dreda Blow 2020, presented at The Theater on King Small Dances for a small space festival / Public Energy production.
Photo of Dreda Blow by Eryn Lidster