ODC Ensemble (Athens, Greece)
ODC Ensemble is a registered non-profit company based in Athens. It’s a cross-cultural and constantly evolving team of outstanding performers, dancers, musicians and visual artists with a core of Greek, German and French artists.
VYRSODEPSEIO – An innovative cultural space in Athens
ODC Ensemble is based at their own venue, Vyrsodepseio, the biggest tannery of the Balkans in the 19th century (approximately 2,000 sq.). The company transformed it into a multi-stage, versatile space for contemporary performing art, in the post-industrial undeveloped area of Votanikos, in the center of Athens. Its aim is to create a bridge between art and activism. We receive artists in residencies, workshops, master classes, seminars, mobility and educational programs in order to create learning opportunities for students and young artists internationally.
Vyrsodepseio is an evolving grassroots project of synergies and co-operations supporting the growth of innovative, hybrid art, an experiment on how to produce art in “difficult times”. It is a virtual platform of networking between artists, activists, youth groups, students and international organizations. It offers them a space for rehearsing, organizing workshops, and presenting their works.
The company launched a network of young volunteers, artists and activists in different disciplines (theater, music, dance, fine arts, film/video, literature, architecture…) in an exchange towards creating new aesthetics. Recently, Vyrsodepseio launched an art residency program receiving young artists from all over the world. Vyrsodepseio is one of the few cultural organizations accredited in the EVS program (European Voluntary Service) which receives and sends European volunteers to participate in the work of a cultural center in Europe. Vyrsodepseio itself welcomes 3/4 interns per year and volunteers from abroad or Greece to assist the theater and be a part of the team.
ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR:
Site-specific performances/theatre/dance, artists in residency, new dramaturgy, live music, seminars and educational programs such as dramaturgy workshop, performance workshop, visual arts/exhibitions, community and activist projects, media, music and dance festival…
WHERE ART AND ACTIVISM MEET FOR THE COMMUNITY
Target Audience: The Vyrsodepseio draws an audience interested in art and politics, independent of age or nation, and brings them together in common creation and dialogue. The involvement of local communities and volunteers, especially youth groups, is essential to our artistic work. Mixing professionals and amateurs on stage and including communities in the process (more than 20 young people joined the company on stage) is a way to target new audiences, empower them in political and social action by raising consciousness for the community, and to educate people with different expertise and background in common creation.
Learners: Our learners are students, volunteers, drama, dramaturgy and dance students as well as interested amateurs, through workshops, voluntary programs and performances. We constantly extend our network inside and outside of the country to involve participants in creative action which is beneficial to the community, fostering political empowerment and growth of the arts,
Network: ODC Ensemble Company and Vyrsodepseio Art Space are members of the IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts), the ITI (International Theater Institute). Vyrsodepseio is a full member of the Trans Europe Halles Network, which brings together over 50 independent cultural centers all over Europe. The company’s work has been presented internationally at the Edinburgh Festival 1997 and 2002 (UK), the Princeton University (U.S.A.), the Opera House of Cairo (Egypt), LaMaMa Theatre (U.S.A.), the Inauguration Ceremony of the Library of Alexandria (Egypt), etc. and has been funded by the Arts Council, (UK), the Goethe Institute and run under the auspices of the UNITED NATIONS.
The team: Greek theater director Elli Papakonstantinou‘ is the founder of the ODC Ensemble and founder and artistic director of the art space “Vyrsodepseio”. She has developed several educational structures throughout the years, such as platforms – workshops, festivals, networks, youth programs etc.