// Marilena fell seriously for photography because of a competition that led her to the wonderful world of capturing moments. Now involved in photography professionally, her goal is to explore without knowing the destination. She shared with us a set of images from the Zeus Open dance competition in Athens.
“Every image, each moment of dance, presents an emotional connection between people.”
What draws you to art?
“I cannot really define what it is that fascinates me in the arts. Maybe what cannot be said in words could be said with a photograph, or any other kind of art. For me, photography is the way to express myself but also to escape reality, and to travel, even for a second.”
What impressed you most about the experience of photographing these dancers?
“The action that froze in a click, the glances, the moments, the colours, and the magic atmosphere of dance were what fascinated me.”
Dance is present in mythology and religions everywhere, not least in the myths of the ancient Greeks. How fitting then that a dance contest such as the one so beautifully captured by Marilena should take place in the home of Zeus and his son Apollo, the god of medicine, music and poetry, and also called the Dancer. In Greek mythology, Zeus himself is sometimes depicted dancing. It is no wonder then, that this competition is named for the ancient Greek chief god.
Dance competitions have become popular globally, thanks also to many dance movies and televised competition shows. The International School, encompassing the categories Standard and Latin dance is most prevalent in Europe. In the USA and Canada the North American School consists of largely the same categories, but calls them Smooth and Rhythm.
The Zeus Open Balkan Cup takes place every year in Greece and has dancers of all ages (some as young as 4 years of age) competing in many different styles and categories, including solo, couples, and group categories. There is a heavy emphasis on Latin and ballroom dancing, but it also features folk dances and even disco for the youngest participants. Marilena photographed the contest in 2019 in Athens.
Enjoy the swirling colours!
Images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the original version.