I create multidisciplinary performances across different forms of art, from music and theatre to dance, visual arts, and literature, with a special emphasis on the political, collectivity, and new media. My aesthetic agenda is two-fold: challenging the "theatre of convention" and mobilizing citizens as an integral component of the art-making process.
While revisiting the classics and creating immersive experiences, Elli Papakonstantinou connects notions of myth, philosophy and major narratives of our days. Named a Visiting CCRMA Scholar by Stanford University and a visiting scholar by Princeton University and nominated twice with a Fulbright Artist’s Award, Papakonstantinou shaped her ideas from the civic movements that emerged in Greece during the crisis. She is the founder of the international company ODC Ensemble. She writes and directs all of the company’s works with a wish to challenge what opera and music theatre is all about.
Elli has been commissioned by European Capitals of Culture “Valetta18” (Malta), “Eleusis21” (Greece) and ‘Pafos17’ (Cyprus) and has presented her work for the European Parliament for Culture in 2017. Her creations tour internationally including representing Greece at PQ (official Hellenic participation Prague Quadrennial 2015).
Papakonstantinou has lived in the UK for over a decade and has created and presented her work in international festivals and venues like: Edinburgh Festival (UK), BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) New York (US), Operadagen Festival (HL), Neukoellner Oper Berlin (GE), Megaron National Concert Hall (GR), LaMaMa E.T.C., New York (US), the West End (UK), National Theatre of Greece (GR), Inauguration Ceremony of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (EG) and more.
During the crisis in Greece, Papakonstantinou engaged herself beyond the “usual” role of a theatre director to become politically engaged entrepreneur, founded and directed Vyrsodepseio, a 3,000 sq.m. art space in Athens. Vyrsodepseio served as a vibrant hub for horizontal politics and synergies (2011-2017).
Most recent creations (2019) include Oedipus: Sex with Mum was blinding that premiered at the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), New York, and The Kindly Ones presented at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial in Austria. Her show “Aède Of the Ocean and Land” was presented in New York and globally through Zoom in September 2020.
She is currently invited to present The Kindly Ones at the Camp des Milles Memorial in the frame of the La Manufacture/Festival Avignon 2021. To further research the site and enrich the play accordingly she has been honored with a writer’s residency invitation from the renowned Center National des écritures du Spectacle, la Chartreuse. In parallel, she has been commissioned by the National Theatre of Sweden (Dramaten) to write and direct the piece “Alcestis” expected to premiere on October 2021.
It was as if a bomb exploding at the foundations of Athens Festival…
Papakonstantinou and her ensemble do not beat around the bush: what they really mean to do is to (re) negotiate our turbulent historical present.
Iliana Dimadi | Athinorama | 16.06.2016
Α trip to Utopia…
If theatre is an empty space that is meant to be revisited, with each new performance presented at Vyrsodepseio, Papakonstantinou restructures the entire space to match her dramatic concept.
Dimitris Tsatsoulis | Eleftherotypia | 03.06.2013
Explosive and epic work, by turns horrific and hilarious, appalling and endearing, is wonderfully brought to the stage thanks to Ellis imaginative direction…
Dimitris Maronitis | To Vima | 30.08.2009
Elli Papakonstantinou dares to speak out about painful things…
Elli Papakonstantinou dares to speak out about painful things, both in Greece and abroad, toys with clichés and turns them upside down… After all, we should know by now that Papakonstantinou has a talent for bringing to life such moments of euphoric anarchy.
Giorgos Voudiklaris | Popaganda : At the Athens Festival premier | 16.06.2016
Elli, οne of the best representatives of Greek avant-garde, never seizes to surprise us…
ELLI’s 3 STRONG POINTS
Audience engagement: Elli shapes theatre into live experiences, driving audiences to long promenades within industrial spaces.
Music: Music works in a transcendental way, taking audiences into a space-time beyond the ordinary.
Extroversion: Her work evolves through international residencies and collaborations…
Maria Kryou | Athinorama | 28.01.2018
A performance that made us believe, 500 years ago, Shakespeare was actually writing for Greece in crisis…
Christos Zografos | Eleftherotypia | 27.02.2014