Christianna Eftychiou was born in Larnaca, Cyprus. She studied contemporary dance at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London and graduated in 2018.
In 2020, she took part in the ‘Sky’ solo project that was part of the Open House Festival in Limassol and participated in ‘Aerologies’, a new work by Amfidromo Chorotheatro company performed at Egomio Cultural Centre. In 2019 she was part of the short duration dance film ‘Out of time’, which has been presented in the Screen dance festival in Stockholm. She also performed at the 19th Choreography Platform in Cyprus in ‘We_men’ produced by the Amfidromo Chorotheatro company and performed on the same event with the company Asomates Dynameis for the work ‘Duet/One’. With Asomates Dynameis she also performed at Dance House Nicosia and Egomio Cultural Centre for the new works ‘Breath’ and ‘Matter’ and worked with the company Pelma.Lia Haraki for the work ‘Mazi’ which was performed at the opening of festival Kypria, in 2019. In 2018 she was part of the first dance performance of Biennale in Larnaca with choreography by Allan Falieri ‘ Must made by all’. Additionally, she took part in a number of projects, such as a music video clip with the band ‘Belua’ for their new song ‘Tony’ and collaborated with the painter Nikolas Antoniou for his new work based on movement, which was presented at the Alpha CK. Art Gallery.
As long as I remember myself I’ve been dancing. It has been the one thing in my life that hasn’t changed over the years. I can’t remember the exact reason I wanted to start ballet, but I can never forget the memory when I was eight years old and my mother came to me with a flier. She told me that finally a ballet school has opened at our village. The next day I went to enroll and it all started from there. I knew early on that I wanted to be a dancer and never doubted my path, even when I got confused stares from people as to why I am not doing something ‘better’ with my life. I just knew they didn’t understand. When dance schools were closed for holidays I always cried and my mother couldn’t understand why until years later. Not dancing for days made me depressed. I started attending ballet classes which was my big love but later on I was introduced to different kind of dances like Modern jazz, Hip hop, Contemporary and Latin. I was always passionate in trying new things and challenging myself into different styles. Growing up this made me realize how much information and movement qualities I can explore and then inform my own movement. It is a never ending conversation with yourself and there is always space for research and improvement, a reason that kept me going.
I have never thought of pursuing a different career, it all came naturally.
When the time came for me to study I couldn’t decide what kind of performer I actually wanted to be. I wanted to be able to perform every kind of dance and that pushed me into starting my studies at a Musical Theatre college in England. However, after spending a year there I had the most enlightening moment of my life. Coming face to face with a reality you first thought suited you, makes you realize what you truly want or don’t want in your life, which for me it is way more important. I have decided I didn’t want to do a bit of everything, I wanted to focus and have the time and opportunity to dig into one kind of art. However, an art that it is so free in its nature it allows its combination with other kind of arts. An art where you can get inspired by anything you can imagine, an art with no boundaries. This for me is contemporary dance. This is what I ended up studying but had never regretted my studies in Musical Theatre, since up to this day it informs and inspires my practice. Feeling lost but going for it anyway, losing your path into something that doesn’t exactly expresses you, makes you learn yourself and helps you unlock different parts of you, parts you didn’t know existed.
Contemporary as I mentioned can be anything and everything and this is how I see it. It starts from any kind of movement or from stillness. From the simplest of movements, walking, to flipping into the air and landing in strange positions. Even though there are several techniques based on it, everyone’s practice and movement is unique. It is always influenced by the time it exists in history which explains its name. There are no rules, your purpose it is not to always entertain but to express yourself as it feels. It doesn’t always have to be beautiful to watch, it can be ugly, make you feel all kind of emotions, but it will be true. There are times you get to be another creature, discover another character and make it your own and there are times you have to show your most vulnerable self on stage and come face to face with your deepest emotions. Not always an easy journey but one of self-discovery and authenticity. For me the greatest reason any kind of art is used, is to portray the worries of society, of the world, to send a message as to matters that concern the artist as a human and invite the audience on this journey. It is always exciting after a show to find out what the audience felt and what crossed their mind. Most of the times everyone has something different to say which tells so much about our perception as humans, how we see the same thing but perceive it completely different ways.
During the years I had never had one role model that I admired and looked up to. I have always been drawn to and inspired by many dancers, my teachers, different kind of artists, my surroundings and my emotions. I came to realize that in different periods of my life I am drawn to artists that best describe my internal world at those moments. A few of the choreographers that I admire, is Akram Khan, because of how his culture influences his work, Ohad Naharin because I find the movement language he has developed not only exceptional but most of all therapeutic and a way for a dancer to break habits, finding new ways of moving. Choreographer Andonis Foniadakis, for how he reaches the extremities of technique and creates something new out of it and Dimitris Papaioannou for I find the way he portrays an idea always pushing the boundaries in unexpected ways.
Dancing for me is a world that I still discover every day and will do for as long as I can. By discovering my art, I am discovering me and this journey is the greatest. It is a way to express my deepest fears, the darkest parts of me, my worries, my silly self, my sensual and loving self and everything that lives within me. It is the way for me to escape reality but to also face it. Coming in communication with myself, having a true connection of mind and body was only achieved through my practice of contemporary dance. It has always been my therapy and even though I felt it, it is at this moment in my life that I am mostly focusing on it.
I am currently in the process of creating a movement practice for people, not just dancers, who want to experience this connection with their body. It will address people who need a safe place to express emotions we are not allowed to express in our daily lives and benefit from its therapeutic effects.
There are a few projects in the upcoming year concerning performances but are still in the process of applying. Adding on, it is the first time I will not only be a dancer but also a choreographer since I am co choreographing a new piece for 2021. I can’t wait for this new journey and I can’t be eager enough to dance on a stage again.