Looking for Totoro + Hunger

Focus on Creation

Jun 11, 2022

Orsolina28 Art Foundation's summer festival dedicated to emerging talents in contemporary dance returns to the Open Air Stage.
Young international artists will bring to the stage notes of their new choreographic works to share with the audience of Focus on Creation in absolute preview.

Free admission | Performances begin at 19:30

Looking for Totoro - Danae & Dionysios

Looking for Totoro - Danae & Dionysios
Aims on spreading contemporary dance to isolated communities, located away from urban centres. Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s movies “Princess Mononoke” and “My Neighbour Totoro”, it will reflect a mysterious but friendly, magical yet familiar creature, and approach the youngest in order to move their curiosity to meet it. This unusual creature will transform the atmosphere by adding a dreamy and magical dimension, while dance and movement will still remain the main focus of the performance. By adopting the same principals as in Miyazaki’s films, we want “Looking for Totoro” to be an opportunity to create fantastic worlds which echo the problems of ours. A simple but powerful narrative, leaving viewers contemplating important issues and resonating emotionally with the audience. We want to use our art to influence the younger generations and bring them closer to a conversation about environmental issues. To arise the most vital question: how can we inspire the youngest? Our aim with “Looking for Totoro” is by understanding the reasons why we have reached a point of crisis, a need for balance between the young generation and nature is more than needed.

Dancers: Danae Dimitriadi and Dionysios Alamanos


Are two artists from Greece. They have been collaborating since 2015 and so far they have created three productions, UNCIA, ATMA and Free At Last: Rerooted, while an umbrella of activities for outdoors spaces called “Pilgrims”, is currently in creation process. Individually, they have danced for companies and choreographers such as Akram Khan Company, ZfinMalta Ensemble, Mavin Khoo, Jose Agudo, Hellenic Dance Company and more.
As apprentices of nature, its animals and indigenous civilisations, they create stories from the side of the one who was or still is untamed. True facts and myths of tribes and wild animals which didn’t make it or didn’t adjust become the canvas of their stories. Ιn their creations they propose harmonic relationships between nature and its living beings, breaking the stereotypical hierarchy, while the dreamlike atmosphere which usually wraps their work takes the audience into a journey in space and time where it becomes a witness of a conflict between chaos and order. Trying to balance between accessible and pioneer, they support the idea that art is a universal medium of communication which can create a dynamic yet fragile language.

Together they created their first production “UNCIA”, which has been touring internationally, counting more than 55 performances in 11 countries and has received 8 awards around Europe. Later, they created the full evening show “ATMA”, which has been touring in Europe, Asia and Latin America and “Free At Last”, which was created under the production house of Theater Rotterdam. In 2021, supported by the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, they created a new version of “Free At Last” - “Free At Last : Rerooted” which premiered in Athens, Greece. With Club Guy & Roni’s initiative they directed the video dance “Oasi” in order to raise support for the Doctors Without Borders within the platform of a 24h Art Carousel. Furthermore, they have collaborated with Nikos Lagousakos and the director Angela Aló for the opening ceremony of Noor Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with Robert Wilson’s art objects. Their latest project, “Pilgrims”, is being constructed around the idea of additional outreach of contemporary dance in greek provinces. Their latest production is commissioned by Staatstheater Braunschweig has premiered in February 2022.
At the same time, they create projects for postgraduate programs and professional dance schools such as “FRE3 Bodies” in Barcelona, “PERA GAU” in Kyrenia and “EPDCYL” in Burgos, while giving workshops internationally.

Hunger - Mike Tyus

Hunger - explores human sexuality and relationships through the language of movement. Within every human relationship a carnal and primitive instinct exists, irrepressible, untamed, animal in nature. The fairytale version of relationships does no longer hold true: there has been a shift in narrative and an uncovering of what is actually real. There is a constant juxtaposition within the relationship between pleasure and pain, joy and contempt, power and submission. Hunger explores the play between sex and food and the primitive need to consume and be consumed.

Dancers: Mike Tyus; Joy Isabella Brown; Derion Loman; Madison Olandt; Alejandro Perez; Ryley Polak


Is an award winning dancer, choreographer, and creative director from Los Angeles California. He has been performing and creating dance works for the stage, print, and screen for over 15 years. Tyus has created branded campaigns for Vaara, Anthropologie, Veuve Clicquot, Club Monaco, and Abercrombie & Fitch. He performed with Cirque Du Soleil in “IRIS” at the Kodak Theater in LA and “KOOZA” as “The Trickster” - “a devilish ringleader”. Tyus Joined Pilobolus Dance Theater in 2013 performing works by Sidi Larbi Cherkoui, Penn & Teller , and Isreali choreographers, Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack, while also creating company repertory that is still performed today. He has worked with Apple and The Broad Museum to create short dance films during a time when live performances were not possible. In the 2021/22 season Tyus was commissioned to create stage works for Visceral Dance Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Manhatten Youth Ballet, Ziru Dance, Utah University Senior Class, and The Lines Ballet Training Program. He also choreographed a Facebook spot directed by FKA Twigs and a music video for Nigerian artist Adekunle Gold . He is a founding member of Jacob Jonas The Company and an Associate Producer for Films.Dance. His print work has been featured in Vogue Italia, W Magazine, and LALA Magazine. Community and Creation are at the core of Tyus’ mission and continue to drive his efforts in crafting work that feeds the human spirit and reflects the times in which we live.

Is a self-taught acrobat and performing artist who works to bring the underground sport “Tricking” to the forefront of movement culture. Filling in the gaps between dance, gymnastics, and martial arts, her style focuses the merging of acrobatics within contemporary dance. Joy joined Jacob Jonas The Company in 2017 having never danced prior and since has toured and worked on campaigns for brands that include Nike, Sony, Adidas, Under Armor, Twitter, and Spotify. Over the course of the pandemic she partnered with the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and graphic artist Barbara Kruger to create a full length campaign inspired by Women’s Day. Her focus on dance filmmaking has led her to numerous commissions for brands such as Veuve Clicquot, Vaara Designs, and Love Watts. Recent years of movement exploration with creative partner Mike Tyus have brought about a new stylized movement vocabulary dubbed “Acro Flow” which aims to make the tricking and acrobatic vocabulary more accessible while exploring new connections and pathways of movement.

Is a Multimedia Artist/Dancer based in Los Angeles. He holds a B.A. and B.F.A. In Psychology and Dance, respectively, from the University of California Santa Barbara. He began his career in Ballet Hispanico’s Second Company, where he performed at a variety of different events. Most notably the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. He then went on to tour internationally and domestically with Pilobolus Dance Theatre from 2013-2017. Derion joined the cast of Diavolo Architecture in Motion in 2017 for America’s Got Talent, and then toured with the company full time. He was also Divisional Finalist on NBC’s World of Dance Season 3. Currently he works as a freelance choreographer with an array of organizations including Google, Portland Opera, and The Los Angeles Dance Film Festival. He most recently set works on Dallas Black Dance Theatre II and UC Santa Barbara Senior Dance Company.

Is a Los Angeles native dancer, choreographer, and director. She grew up as a high level gymnast for 12 years, but upon taking her first jazz class, she completely switched passions. Madison graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Psychology. During her college career, she performed in Royce Hall, Glorya Kaufman Hall, at TedEx UCLA, toured China with Academy of Villains Contemporary Company, performed for Katy Perry, Kanye West and upon graduation, stumbled upon Diavolo Architecture in Motion. She worked for Diavolo for 2 and a half years, notable performances include the Kennedy Center, America’s Got Talent, and the Ahmanson Music Center as a co-choreographer and principal role. Madison also performed with Jacob Jonas The Company, notable performances include The Wallis BH and Hollywood Bowl. She performed and choreographed on Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance, Season 3, receiving a nomination for a World Choreography Award. Madison has choreographed original works on Whim W’HIM Seattle Contemporary Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theater, the University of Santa Barbara Senior Dance Company. She choreographed Chinese Pop Star, Jackson Wang’s “BLOW” music video and is currently choreographing for the Coachella Main Stage.

Is a first generation Mexican-American from Los Angeles, California. He was first introduced to dance at of 12. He joined a street dance crew in which he choreographed works to compete and showcase internationally. Alejandro's passion continued to unfold as he enrolled at Hamilton Performing Arts High School to begin refining his techniques. He is a recipient of scholarships at UCLA, Jacob's Pillow Ballet Summer Programs 85th Anniversary GALA, & Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. He has performed with VERSASTYLE, ISHIDA, Mike Tyus, dawsondancesf, ZiRu Dance, PonyBox and several other companies in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Alejandro is now projecting his voice as a choreographer throughout California and has recently set a work on the LINES Ballet Training Program. Dancer/Choreographer/Producer/Director.

Is a dancer, artist, and acrobat that currently lives in Los Angeles California. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Commercial Dance from Hussian College In Studio Los Angeles in May of 2021 where he was the recipient of the Joe Tremaine Scholarship for choreography. While in College, Ryley was signed to the Movement Talent Agency and began auditioning and working professionally in Commercials, Movies, Music Videos, and Live Stage performances. Most recently you can see Ryley in the “Vroom” Flake the Musical ad which aired during Superbowl LVI. He has worked with incredible choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Mike Tyus, Ambrose Respicio, and Derek Piquette alongside companies like Acrobatic Arts, CLI Studios and more. His education also broadened his perspective of the entertainment industry through acting and film classes which play a huge role into Ryley’s understanding of storytelling and experiencing art. He currently teaches weekly classes at Millennium Dance Complex in Orange County and multiple other studios in California, however, is fervent about remaining the student. While Ryley was finishing his degree during the pandemic he was introduced to Countertechnique by his teacher Rosanna Tavarez. He began studying this movement system outside of school classes. Recently Ryley was selected to attend the One Body One Career Countertechnique intensive in NYC to learn from founder and creator Anouk Van Dijk where he will continue to expand his knowledge of dance, movement, and the human body. This never ending passion Ryley exudes for dancing and acrobatics is motivated by the healing abilities of their combined artistic and athletic qualties in which he hopes to share through his many creative outlets.