Irèni Stamou is an award-winning Canadian dancer and choreographer who interweaves contemporary and multicultural dance forms that, piece after piece, reveal profoundly imaginative and poetic journeys.
Born in Athens, Greece, Irèni's family immigrated to Canada when she was five and a half years old. She grew up in a traditional Greek upbringing within Montreal's multicultural center, a melting pot of arts, culture, and languages. Irèni is a Fine Arts graduate from Concordia University, Montreal, majoring in Contemporary Dance directed by Elizabeth Langley' ( recipient of the Order of Canada Award). Irèni graduated with honours for outstanding achievements in choreography.
Irèni founded her Montreal-based dance company, Métaspora Danse ( After diaspora/dispersion), from 1994-2007. Spanning over three decades as an independent soloist and choreographer for her company, she toured Canada and Europe and performed in New York and Costa Rica to critical acclaim. Irèni has received commissions for original choreography from dance companies such as Echine Do, Montréal, Festival du Monde Arabe/Les Jeunes Ballet du Québec, L' Ecole de danse du Québec, and Danse en Kortright, Belgium. As weIl Irèni has collaborated and choreographed solos for prestigious Canadian dancers and interpreters Roger Sinha, Ken Roy, Lydia Wagerer, Dreda Blow and Costa Rican Danny Marenko.
"Because her work delves into the human heart, exploring with intensity its sensory and emotional zones while presenting an aesthetic that is at once original and finely wrought, The fine mélange of truly contemporary language and gestures drawn from the treasure-house of traditional Greek dances give each one of her choreographies a unique character." André Martin, Le Devoir, Montreal, Québec
Recipient of The Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Montréal, and Canadian Heritage, Irèni is one of the few ethnic women artists of her time that broke ground in the 1990s with multicultural content and unique choreography.
Irèni has taught somatic workshops at The University of Costa Rica and has received the Choreographers Award for Mia Zoi (One Life) 2008 at Festival de Coreógrafos XX1V, San José, Costa Rica. Irèni collaborated and danced in the Spirit of Athena, a series of short videos created in Costa Rica by Diane Carriere, Université de Montréal, Québec.
2017 Irèni choreographed the ancient Greek play La Orestíada by Aeschylus, adapted in Spanish by director Luis Fernando Gómez for The National Theatre of Costa Rica.
In 2018, Irèni relocated to Peterborough, Nogojiwanong, Ontario. She founded Irèni Movement Arts, practicing the healing arts and dance artistry. Her recent choreographies include collaborations with diverse ballet, theatre and video artists. Irèni received an Artist Residency with Public Energy Performing Arts (2020-21), and Alternating Currents Theatre on King project ( 2023)— and an Electric City Council Individual Grants recipient to support her research and creative process. Recent works include Inside the Sculpture Pivot Festival and Bone Stories at Small Dances for a small stage Theatre on King and Public Energy Performing Arts Pivot II. In 2023, Irèni renewed her passion for solo dance for herself and was selected to participate in Solo Dance Labs and mentorship with Canadian choreographers Denise Fujiwara and Elizabeth Langley .