Q&A: Anton on his new contemporary dance tale about modern narcissism, ‘Narcifixion’

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Eustathios Petros Antonopolous, who goes by the stage name Anton, is becoming one of Australia’s revolutionary dance artists.

Anton’s newest performance, ‘Narcifixion’, will be performed at Riverside Theatres from 13th to 15th May and is set to showcase his longstanding contribution to the dance performing industry.

Led by performers Anton and Brianna Kell, Narcifixion is a highly detailed contemporary dance duet that examines identity in the digital age. Inspired by narcissistic behaviour epidemically prevalent across social media and people’s ever-increasing addiction to the lustrous screen, the dance of NARCIFIXIONexplores two physical characters, who are in a constant state of exhibiting and observing themselves and is set in tune to an electronic music score created by Jai Pyne.

Anton spoke with The Greek Herald ahead of Narcifixion’s premiereto dive deeper into the performance theme, what he hopes to reveal about narcissism in the modern era and how he draws influence from his Greek Australian heritage.

Artists: ANTON (left) and Brianna Kell (right) – Photographer: Jhuny-Boy Bora

Q: NARCIFIXION is a ‘dark and humorous work about narcissism’. What were your reasons for choosing this theme?

A: The concept of narcissism has a long history stretching back to ancient Greek and Roman
times. Through the ages, and long before the phenomenon of digital technology and social media, many renowned artists sought to tackle the complexities of issues related to personal identity. Over the centuries, a great number of writers and psychoanalysts have dived deep in the human condition to unravel and to explain what human behaviours and inherited pathologies are ignited and wrapped up in subjectivity.

But today, there is a new level of identity analysis (read crisis) described as ‘approval conduct of oneself’. It plays out through social media as a daily event of epidemic levels as social media is arguably the most popular online activity across the globe with 3.5 billion users representing approximately 45% of the world’s total population. On average, ‘users’ (including – we’ll admit – the creative team of NARCIFIXION) spend approximately three hours per day observing and sculpting content for social media platforms.  – real life (sometimes fictitious to various extents), online personas, and characters come to ‘life’ in the pursuit of creating the outward appearance of the perfect life.

“How we really live and what is imagined becomes blurred, perceptions become warped, and personal growth is compromised.”

Q: Similarly, what compelled you to create a story highlighting narcissism in the screen space?

A: “2021 is the opportune time to tackle the impactful themes of narcissism and global reliance on technology for self-moulding. How we have become so self-motivated to cultivate a perverse obsessed image distracting ourselves from meaningful connection and in making this work, we have been able to reflect on our own personal social media identities and hope that audience members will be motivated to examine their own social media practices and how they construct reflections of themselves in the virtual digital spaces.”

Q: This is your latest venture in the dance theatre area, what makes NARCIFIXION unique and special compared with your previous works?

A: NARCIFIXION uniquely intersects through the choreography virtuosic dance and physical characterisation to create an enticingly strange movement land scape that is dense, superficial at times profoundly absurd.

Q: Can you talk about your Greek background? How does it influence you in your work?

A: My fondest and most heartfelt memoires as a child growing up, are being with my beautiful yiayá who has passed. We would together Greek dance in the lounge room and listen / sing Greek music blaring in the car zipping around 1980’s Sydney. Her infectious zest of life, joy and spirituality gave me so much energy to dance and to be creative. I hold those experiences close and they influence my work today, in the way I approach quick rhythms and patterning in the choreography I make and her memory always reminds to, no matter what sort of dance I am making to celebrate and share the expression dance with generosity and delight! Thank you yiayiá for all the love you gave me!

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