Section: Meet the Choreographers

Despoina Lloyd Goula & Ioanna Antonarou (GR/UK)

30.07  | 17:00 – 19:30

For information and registrations email to: [email protected]

Vertical dance is an emerging contemporary artistic language that typically uses rock climbing equipment (ropes, harness and abseil devices) to suspend dancers off the ground on a range of vertical surfaces.

The vertical walls become the dance floor. Dancers will have the opportunity to explore the unusual sensation of dancing in the air. We will begin with our feet on the ground rooting ourselves with a contemporary dance warm up, followed by an introduction to the equipment, harness techniques, spatial orientation and learning repertoire from our performance  Swell. Further into the workshop we will use guided improvisation to explore this new vertical territory creatively.

Despina is a multi-disciplined dance artist and practitioner, as well as a qualified yoga instructor based in Athens and North Wales. Despina graduated with a BA (Hons) in Dance from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 2010.

Since 2010 she has specialised in vertical dance. She works for the company Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence as a harness based aerial dancer and has enjoyed performing in many of the company’s works nationally and internationally. In August 2015, Despina received the opportunity to train and perform with ‘Aeriosa’ a vertical dance company based in Vancouver, funded by Wales Arts International. She has worked with the Swiss Aerial dance company Off Off in 2016 and 2023 devising and performing site specific shows in the cities of Basel and Bern. She has trained with international vertical dance artists Julia Taffe, Wanda Moretti, and Lindsey Butcher. In January 2018 Despina was awarded Arts Council of Wales funding for her own research and development project creating an interactive art installation through the medium of vertical dance.

In 2019 Despina premiered her own production which she choreographed and danced in ‘Roots in the Sky’ at ARC dance festival in Athens. She has worked as a freelance dance practitioner for community and inclusive dance-based companies in North Wales, such as Dawns I Bawb, Little Light and Conwy Expressive Arts, developing strong links with local community delivering dance to all ages and abilities. A community class Despina is leading in Athens currently is “Family Dance” a creative dance class for parents and children to dance together.

She is teaching weekly Vertical dance and bungee classes and teaches vertical dance workshops in Greece and Europe.


Ioanna Antonarou was born in Athens, in 1985. She graduated from the Greek State School of Dance in 2012. She is studying at the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering at the University of the Aegean in Syros.

As a dancer – performer she collaborated with: Akropoditi Dancetheatre, Octana Dancetheatre/ Konstantinos Rigos and Iraqi Bodies. In June 2017 she participated in “Day out of Time” project initiated by Vitoria Kotsalou at the Athens & Epidaurus Festival. As an assistant choreographer she collaborated with Christos Papadopoulos for his production “Ion”. In autumn 2016 she collaborated with SQx Dance Company, and she taught contemporary dance at Canadian schools.

She and Natasha Sarantopoulou have been working together since 2017, and together they co-choreographed the performances “Walk Lola Walk,” “It’s better in the  BAHAMAS,” “JAMAIS VU,” and “SAUVAGE.”

In 2019 she created with Despina Lloyd Goula the vertical dance piece “Swell”.

She lives in Athens where she teaches contemporary, classical dance and improvisation. She is a member of the artistic board for the administration and the management of the International Dance & Performing Arts Festival “Akropoditi DanceFest”.

For information and registrations email to: [email protected]

30 July

17:00 – 19:30

Despoina Lloyd Goula & Ioanna Antonarou | VERTICAL DANCE

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