• Aura CuriAtlas

Aura CuriAtlas Highlights from Cyprus

The company's first international tour brought us to Nicosia, Cyprus, the only divided capital in the world. Our first day in the country, we walked through Nicosia and crossed between the Turkish-speaking north and the Greek-speaking south inside the old city.

As we crossed the border, we learned there is one creature able to move freely, not required to present any identification -- the cats of Cyprus! (The story is that St. Helena, an empress of the Roman empire, brought cats to the island to rid Cyprus of snakes, and now the cats are everywhere ... and we didn’t see a single snake!)

Our goal in creating and sharing our work is to unite people through artistic presentations and exchanges. Aura CuriAtlas was supported in this goal by an invitation from our composer, Sophia Serghi and by Multi Arts Crossings organized by Argyro Toumazou.

U.S. Ambassador Judith Garber wrote of our trip “We see artists and performers as some of our very best partners in bringing people together.”

The Director of Cultural Services, Pavlos Paraskevas noted the goal of promoting “Cypriot music creation through international collaborations with renowned artists and institutions."

To help foster this unification, our posters, printed program, and verbal announcements were made in three languages: English, Greek, and Turkish.

Aura CuriAtlas performed in Limassol at the beautiful Rialto Theatre on November 25. After a reception with folks from the embassy and the local community, we performed The Fool and The World and A Life With No Limits. This was our first opportunity to perform The Fool and The World with Sophia playing her music live.

We experienced such a warm response! Our performances may be nonverbal, but the conversation flowed afterward. It was a pleasure to shake hands with so many people and hear how they were touched by our Tarot imagery and the story of Stephen Hawking.

The following day at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre, Sophia presented a music workshop in the morning and Aura CuriAtlas presented a physical theatre workshop in the afternoon. Our 40 participants included students from different schools and their teachers, as well as local performers focusing on dance, acting, and clown. Everyone dove into the experiences and, by the end, created their own movement journeys.

Marina Pogiatzi of the Future Dance Centre School found our workshop to be “amazing” and invited us to meet more of their students later in the week to introduce them to Acro-Yoga.

We performed our next two shows in the newly renovated Nicosia Municipal Theatre on November 27 -- a matinee for families of A Life With No Limits and a full evening performance of both The Fool and The World and A Life With No Limits.

Once again, Sophia played her beautiful piano pieces live for each of the Tarot cards, and her electronic music helped us weave together the story of Stephen Hawking's life and accomplishments.

We had the pleasure of meeting both children and adults after the performances to ask what they experienced.

"The flow of movement blends together so smoothly."

"You make it look so easy!"

"There are no words for how it feels to watch these interpretations."

The level of response from the Cypriot audiences in both Limassol and Nicosia was invigorating!

On Thursday, we had one more event to present, a lecture on Creativity and Innovation at the European University of Cyprus. Sophia talked about the founding of her company, Aplaud, and Joan, Dan, and Mickey talked about the founding of Aura CuriAtlas. We answered questions from the attendees, using both words and movement to describe our history and think about how our companies can continue to develop.

By Friday, it was time for a lazy day at the shore, so we soaked in some warm rays on Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa.

The Cypriot community was incredibly welcoming and hospitable. We shared several delicious meals and plenty of fellowship throughout the week.

As we headed home, we were grateful for the generous hospitality of our hosts and excited about the possibility of a return.

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