U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography: Open Call to Artists


As part of the Moving Europe program by Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture, the Aerites Dance Company inaugurates the first ever Academy of Choreography in Greece, U(R)TOPIAS and announces an Open Call to interested artists who wish to expand their creativity and knowledge in the art of choreography. Through a two-year program of rehearsals and creative workshops with renowned choreographers and art professionals, from Greece and abroad, participants will have the opportunity to develop their synthetic skills and create their own site-specific choreography, presenting it to the general public in 2023, as part of the programme of Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture. The application period starts on July 28 and ends on August 22, 2021

The Moving Europe program by Eleusis 2023 is focused on youth and dance, creating a dialogue between Greek and foreign artists. The aim of the program is to create a distinctly unique activity in the field of dance, cultivating a field of dance art that is not developed in Greece, to support the creation of new and emerging choreographers and to cultivate a new audience for dance, centered in the city of Elefsina. 

The idea

The lack of possibilities for the academic training of choreographers in Greece, was the trigger for the need to fill this gap, creating a type of Academy that would provide knowledge and creative experience on this art form. With this in mind, the main goal of the U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography action is to start a collaboration with early-career professional choreographers, who are interested in cultivating their skills in the field of composition and choreography. Each choreographer will be invited to come up with a personal ideal, and present it as a work of art. The aim is to showcase the emblematic sites of Elefsina through the site-specific work of choreographers, creating a new map of the city of Elefsina. Through their participation in the academy, they will be able to develop their synthetic skills and shape their own creative approaches, under the guidance of distinguished creators and art professionals, art historians, theorists, as well as producers. 

The theme of U(R)TOPIAS as the common “place” of the project.

The European Capital of Culture can be a great opportunity to rethink Europe as a utopia. What happens if we treat Europe as a region “without place” (from the Greek: ου=not + τόπος=place)? That is, as a place where there is no discrimination or inequality. This turn can be crucial for Europe and could once again create a common utopia for European citizens. The academy is here to reopen the dialogue about this utopia.

The Academy’s name is inspired by the word “Utopia,” which is defined as the ideal place to live. The term was coined from ancient Greek, where “οὐ” stands for “not” and “τόπος” stands for place. Joined, the two words compose “utopia,” i.e., the place that doesn’t exist. The Academy of Choreography is here to redefine this place, with the main goal of establishing today’s utopia, through the knowledge of the past. Utopia transforms to U(R)TOPIAS, self-defining its existence through the Anglo-Saxon prefix “ur,” which means ancient, primitive, original and lending this name to the entire project. As a new manifesto, U(R)TOPIAS is presented in Elefsina, a city with a rich history and heritage, introducing the art of choreography to the public. 

Purpose of the U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography     

The Academy of Choreography is an initiative aimed at shaping the artistic approaches of early-career artists who wish to develop their choreographic compositions. The main goals of the program are the following:

  • To invest in a new generation of artists
  • To focus on diversity and the individual personality of each artist
  • To initiate an artistic dialogue that creates choices during a creative process
  • To create a model of creative workshops that will open new horizons to participants, without sacrificing their personality and uniqueness
  • To provide space for research and experimentation with artistic tools
  • To establish collaborations with young people who will be the “strong voices” of dance in the future
  • To help Elefsina emerge as a meeting point for young and up-and-coming choreographers and as a place of networking with other European and international organizations, active in contemporary dance
  • To kick-start an artistic dialogue between choreographers and the local community, creating site-specific works inspired by the city itself and the needs of its inhabitants

Duration of participation in the U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography

The duration of participation in the U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography is two (2) years and it includes seminars with renowned artists from Greece and abroad, intensive workshops and presentations of personal works by artists / young creators in the premises of the Academy and in the public space of Elefsina. Fifteen (15) artists will be selected to participate in the first year of the Academy and six (6) of them will continue the preparation of choreographies in the 2nd year, at the end of which they will be invited to present their own choreographic work, with a duration of 15 minutes, in public space of Elefsina.

To whom it is addressed

The invitation is addressed to new artists, regardless of age, who are active in the art of choreography and are based in Greece. As a prerequisite for participation, they must have previously presented at least one of their choreographic works. A Degree/Diploma from a Vocational Dance School or another Institution/University in the field of art will count positively, but is not a prerequisite for participation in the Academy of Choreography. Applications from group representatives, collectives, teams, etc., will not be accepted. Dance School students, still in the process of graduating, are not allowed to participate in the Academy.

Very good knowledge of English is considered necessary for participation in the program. 

Application Information 

Applications for participation in the program must be submitted in the period between 28/07/2021 and 22/08/2021 (time: 23.59) via the electronic platform at the link here and must include the following:

  • Contact information, 
  • A Curriculum Vitae (in the form of bullet points, up to 2 pages long, word or pdf file), 
  • A letter of interest (up to 800 words) 
  • A work sample / portfolio (up to 100MB) that will include at least one link to audiovisual material from a previous choreographic project. 

All necessary fields in the application must be filled in, in Greek or in English. 

Application in which the video link is missing or not working will be considered invalid. 

Participation Cost

The cost of participation amounts to the amount of € 500.00 per year and will be paid in a lump sum at the beginning of the work of the Academy, every year. In addition, scholarships will be awarded to two (2) participants from the provinces.

Evaluation Process

The selection of participants will be made by a multi-member team of contributors, featuring renowned professionals from Greece and abroad. The members of the committee will be announced in the near future.

All applicants will receive a reply email in the period between 01-15.09.21. 

It is not possible to receive further clarifications in case of a negative evaluation. 

What the U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography covers for participants

The Academy of Choreography gives the opportunity to young artists to develop their ideas by providing:

  • Expertise and guidance, covering the entire range of the creation and production of a new choreographic work
  • Access to research and work space
  • Feedback on research and the creative process by renowned professionals in the field
  • Networking with other artists, programmers and international networks
  • Budget (1,000 €) for the development of an idea to 2nd year participants 
  • Provision of basic audiovisual equipment for the creation of a new work of art, during the 2nd year of the Academy
  • Inclusion in the artistic programme of Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture, with a new project that will be created during the 2nd year of the Academy
  • Audiovisual recording of the program
  • Promotion on social media and newsletters

As part of the program, participants must have a physical presence during the course of the workshop and intensive courses. The workshops will take place one weekend each month, while the intensive courses will take place quarterly with the first two lasting one (1) week and the last one taking place in the summer of 2022, with a duration of 15 days. 

The program of research, rehearsals / preparations and work of the participating artists will be formed by them, in consultation with the organizers.

Any travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the participants.

Find the detailed terms and conditions here.

For any information about the U(R)TOPIAS Academy of Choreography, the Open Call and the electronic application, candidates can address their questions exclusively via email to .

Additional Information:

*The participation of the selected candidates in the program is subject to the signing of a final contract between ELEFSINA CAPITAL OF CULTURE MUNICIPAL SA and the AERITES DANCE COMPANY. In case of cancellation of the above contract, ELEFSINA CAPITAL OF CULTURE MUNICIPAL SA bears no responsibility against the selected candidates, as well as any third party.