During the 2020-2021 season, Irèni Stamou is one of the Artists in Residence with Public Energy Performing Arts in Peterborough, Nogogiwanong" place at the foot of the rapids," Ontario.
In her choreography, Bone Stories Reimagined, Irèni explores multiculturalism, violence against women and restoring our connection to the earth within a series of solo pieces.
Irèni (Irene) Stamou is a Canadian choreographer, dance artist, yoga, and somatic teacher. For four decades, she has created critically-acclaimed choreography known for its interweaving of contemporary and multicultural dance forms recognized internationally as profoundly imaginative and poetic. Her work he healing arts for balance and well-being, exploring authentic creative expression for daily life and the performance arts.
Born in Athens, Greece, Irèni's family moved to Canada when she was five years old. She grew up in a traditional Greek upbringing within Montreal's multicultural center, a melting pot of arts, culture, and languages. A graduate of Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, majoring with honours in Contemporary Dance. As an emerging choreographer out of the 1990s, Irèni Stamou broke ground with her multicultural content.
“Irèni Stamou brings life to her dance through an awareness of the breath, allowing the energy to circulate, making us feel light enter the heart while illuminating the body.”
Guylaine Massoure – Theatre Notebook Montreal
Irèni founded her dance company Métaspora Danse ( beyond dispersion) 1994-2004, creating solo and group dances performed throughout Canada, Europe, New York City and Costa Rica. In Montreal, Tangente Danse Actuelle hosted her choreographies for 16 years and houses many of her video archives. From this platform, she expanded to national and international venues like The Canada Dance Festival, L'Agora de la Danse, Montreal Intercultural Arts, Guelph Dance Festival, and World Dance, Costa Rica. Irèni Stamou is a recipient of The Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Montréal, and Multiculturalism Canada. Irèni's work has been co-produced by Dans en Kortrijk, Kortrijk Belgium, Artist in Residencies in Danse à Lille, France, Bratislava, and Estudio Los Almendros, Costa Rica. Prominent projects include commissions from The Festival du Monde Arabe and the Jeunes Ballet du Québec collaborating with the Caracalla Ballet in Beirut 2004. In 2017 she choreographed The ancient Greek play La Orestíada by Aeschylus adapted in Spanish by director Luis Fernando Gómez, National Theatre of Costa Rica.
Irèni pursued her interest in somatic movement and alternative healing modalities following spine complications to deepen her awareness of the human anatomy and explore movement research for longevity. Irèni mentored with Nancy Topf of the Topf Technique, New York, a centring and embodied practice. Her curiosity for spirituality, ancient healing techniques and natural movement resulted in practitioner and teaching certifications from Rasa Yoga, The Nosara Yoga Institute, Costa Rica. Lotus Palm, School of Thai Yoga Massage, Montréal and Circasana Aerial Yoga, Nicaragua.
Irèni has lived in Costa Rica for two decades, developing sustainable movement programs and performances in nature. Irèni has taught somatic workshops at The University of Costa Rica. Her work ventured to Granada, Nicaragua, where she performed and taught workshops at La Casa de Tres Mundos and Zen Yoga. Her research and teaching developed as a Resident teacher at Ylang Ylang Yoga, Montezuma, and as a senior practitioner at The Healing Centre, Nosara. Authentic practices like Soma Thai Bodywork, Bamboo Yoga, Soma Restorative Aerial Yoga and Dance Movement Medicine are part of this enriching journey and current offerings.
In 2018, Irèni relocated with her family to Peterborough, Nogojiwanong, Ontario. She is active in the vibrant arts and yoga community and founded Irèni Movement Arts. Presently, Irèni Stamou is one of the Artists in Residence with Public Energy Performing Arts. During these unprecedented times with COVID-19, Irèni continues her artistic and teaching practice, reimagining choreography and movement practices as a healing process for distanced spaces between dancer and audience, teacher and student in safe online sessions and site-specific performances. She is currently reimaging a series of solos for herself and other performers, bringing together collaborators from Ontario, Costa Rica and Québec: Bone Stories Reimagined 2020-21. Recently she presented her site-specific choreography Inside the Sculpture in The Pivot Series October 2020, a Public Energy Performing Arts and Reframe Film Festival Production.