Special Connecting Event (Online)

Dialogue with an Artist

To inspire the students with the spirit of artists, from Day 1 to Day 4, a dialogue with an artist is included. Each day, a distinguished performing artist visually shows his or her artistic work and is in dialogue with students and educators. Each Session is moderated by a student of a Network Member Institution.

Note: The actual time may be subject to change, depending on the progress of the event on the day.

>>Click here to watch the Live Streaming.

To participate, please email to secretariat(at)iti-unesco-network.org

Day 1 | Monday, 13 December 2021 | 16h00 Paris Time

Samoa & New Zealand

Choreographer, stage director, designer, artist
International Dance Day Message Author

Lemi Ponifasio is acclaimed internationally for his radical work as a choreographer, stage director, designer, art installations, and collaborations with many communities.
Born in Samoa, Lemi Ponifasio founded MAU in 1995, a platform that brings together traditional and contemporary Pacific and Maori artists, thinkers and communities from the fields of oratory, ceremony makers, kapahaka, theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts.
MAU focuses on arts and culture, avant-garde, and thought. MAU seeks to transform the theatre’s power source, challenge the authority of theatre, and re-examine and question our current concept of what is human. It organizes new art, workshops, symposia, and community meetings; activities to build new systems of knowledge and new cultures to confront the political-cultural-ecological and scientific predicaments of our time.
Lemi Ponifasio gives the name MAU as the philosophical foundation and direction of his work, the name of his work, and the communities he works with. MAU is the Samoan word meaning what we need to hold to or truth. Lemi’s collaborators are people from all walks of life, performing in factories, remote villages, opera houses, schools, marae, castles, galleries, and stadiums. His projects have included fully staged operas, theatre, dance, exhibitions, community forums and festivals in more than 40 countries.
Lemi Ponifasio has presented his creations in places such as the Festival d’Avignon, Lincoln Center New York, BAM New York, Ruhrtriennale, LIFT Festival London, Edinburgh International Festival, Theater der Welt, Festival de Marseille, Theatre de la Ville Paris, Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, Holland Festival, Luminato Festival Toronto, Vienna Festival, Santiago a Mil Chile, the Venice Biennale and in the Pacific region.
His recent works include Chosen and Beloved (2020) with MAU Wahine and NZ Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem (2020) with MAU, House Of Night and Day (2020) exhibition at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Transfigured Night (2020), Love To Death (2020) with MAU Mapuche, Santiago Chile.
More information about Lemi Ponifasio can be found on the website of MAU, of International Dance Day (with his message) and on Wikipedia (with the list of his performances).

Moderator: Ege TOLGA, Bilkent University, Ankara / Turkey

Day 2 | Tuesday, 14 December 2021 | 16h00 Paris Time


Stage director, writer, visual artist, cultural manager

Elli Papakonstantinou connects notions of myth and gender philosophy by revisiting the classics and creating immersive experiences. She is the founder of the international company ODC Ensemble. After living in the UK for over a decade, Papakonstantiou returned to Greece during the crisis and her engagement with civic movements at this time was pivotal to shaping her ideas. Named a Visiting CCRMA Scholar at Stanford University and a visiting scholar at Princeton University, she has been awarded twice a Fulbright Artist’s Award.

Papakonstantinou was commissioned by the European Capitals of Culture “Valetta18” (Malta), “Eleusis21” (GR) and ‘Pafos17’ (Cyprus) and presented her work for the European Parliament for Culture in 2017. Her creations have toured internationally at the Centre Georges Pompidou/ IRCAM (FR), Brooklyn Academy of Music (US), Operadagen Festival (HL), Neukollner Oper Berlin (DE), Romaeuropa Festival (IT), LaMaMa E.T.C. (US), the West End (UK), National Theatre of Greece (GR) and more. More information about Elli Papakonstantinou can be found on her website.

Moderator: Tejas HIRAH, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore


Day 3 | Wednesday, 15 December 2021 | 16h00 Paris Time

Stan LAI (LAI Shengchuan)

One of the leading playwrights & directors in the Chinese speaking world.

One of the most celebrated voices in the contemporary Chinese theatre, Stan Lai (Chinese 賴聲川) has been called "The best Chinese language playwright and director in the world." (BBC) "The preeminent Chinese playwright and stage director of this generation." (China Daily) "Asia's top theatre director." (Asiaweek) "The most celebrated Chinese language playwright and director in the world and his body of work - which to date includes over 40 original plays - has redefined how we think about the art form itself. " (Broadway World)
Born in the U.S., Lai began his creative career in Taiwan, and now his works are performed all over China and the Chinese speaking world, as well as in the West, in an illustrious career that spans over three decades. His oeuvre includes milestones such as That Evening, We Performed Crosstalk (1985) , credited with creating a new theatrical form and revitalizing the dying art of crosstalk (xiangsheng) in Taiwan, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land (1986), called by the New York Times as "the most popular contemporary play in China," The Village (2008) described by the Beijing News "the pinnacle of our era of theatre," his epic 8 hour A Dream Like A Dream (2000), called by China Daily as "possibly the greatest Chinese-language play since time immemorial," and his latest Ago, which has been hailed as “a new kind of theater, one equipped to respond to the pressures of the 21st century.” Lai has also written and directed two widely acclaimed feature films, The Peach Blossom Land (1992) and The Red Lotus Society (1994), the former which received top prizes at the Tokyo, Berlin, and Singapore international film festivals. Lai is also an acclaimed opera director (Dream of the Red Chamber, San Francisco Opera) and event director (Deaflympics Opening Ceremony, Taipei 2009). His awards include Taiwan's National Arts Award, which he has won an unprecedented two times (1988, 2001), "Man of the Year" for Cultural Affairs, Newsweek China (2010), and a Star on the Walk of Fame at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (2019).
In 2013, Lai co-founded the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, which has become one of Asia's top festivals. In 2015, he founded Theatre Above, a 699-seat venue in Shanghai dedicated to the performance of his works.
Lai holds a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught extensively at the Taipei National University of the Arts, and at Berkeley and Stanford. His book Stan Lai on Creativity is a best seller in China and Taiwan. His plays have been published in numerous Chinese editions including a recent 17 volume set (Beijing, Citic Press), as well as in English versions from Oxford and Columbia University Press. Selected Plays of Stan Lai, 12 plays in 3 volumes, will be published in English by the University of Michigan Press with release date Dec 20, 2021. Lai is currently Artistic Director of Performance Workshop, Taiwan, Theatre Above, Shanghai, and Co-founder and Festival Director of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, China.

Moderator: Silvana Zuluaga GÓMEZ, Red de Escuelas de Teatro – RET, Bogota/ Colombia


Day 4 | Thursday, 16 December 2021 | 16h00 Paris Time

South Africa

Dancer, choreographer, educator
International Dance Day Message Author

Growing up in Johannesburg in the 1970s and '80s, Gladys Agulhas was first exposed to dance at a young age. By the time Gladys entered high school, dancing had become her abiding passion. After school she studied at the Johannesburg Art Foundation from 1988-89. She has studied Integrated Contemporary Dance Teaching in Switzerland with renowned teacher/Independent Artist Adam Benjamin from London. Gladys Agulhas is the founder of AGULHAS THEATRE WORKS (ATW/Choreographer/Dance Practitioner) and an independent performer, nominee and winner of numerous Contemporary Choreography and Dance Awards in South Africa, ex-senior dancer for the former Johannesburg Dance Theatre. She also worked with PACT Dance Company and performed with various other companies in South Africa. Agulhas was the recipient of the Women’s Day Award in Eldorado Park for the promotion of Arts in the community. Agulhas is involved with Dance in Education, and is co-founder of the Kliptown Arts Foundation. She teaches at various institutions and Companies. She was involved in Shuttle 99, Dance Education Exchange programme between the Nordic countries and South Africa. Agulhas is a proud member of World Dance Alliance Europe and of WoVA (Women’s Voice Arts Africa). In 2004 - 2007 ATW travelled, performed and conducted integrated Dance workshops in Switzerland, Holland and Sweden. She won the first Prize reception of the Department of Arts and Culture “MOSADI WA KONOKONO” (Woman of Substance) National Award 2007. More information about Gladys Agulhas can be found on the website of The Presidency of South Africa and of International Dance Day.

Moderator: César MAEKAWA ABE, Alicia Alonso Dance Institute, University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid/Spain