Manlike is inspired by the stories of women who had to become men. The 'sworn virgins' of the Western Balkans took vows of chastity, dressed and lived like men in order to avoid the harsh treatment that women usually experienced.
Milena Ugren's movement style is incredibly evocative - dramatic, terse, based on tense isolations of different parts of her body interspersed with moments of release. Coupled with Koulas' vocal percussion, she creates a quietly violent and subversive duet that raises stark questions about gender.
This full evening choreographic work continues Milena Ugren Koulas' choreographic research, which explores the narrative of Balkan sworn virgins in an abstract manner. Exploring gender, Ugren employs ideas of androgyny, as a methodology for feminist inquiry of ancient rituals of women who played with oppressive patriarchal modes as a survival strategy. This work is a continuation of her previous work she who stays, which was based on a synergetic relationship between the choreographer and musician influencing each other’s physical and sound actions. Ugren’s choreographic and movement style is instantly recognisable. This is supported and juxtaposed by Giorgos Koulas’ circular style of percussion, which he performs with his voice.
Choreographer / dancer: Milena Ugren Koulas
Musician / performer: George Koulas
Composer: Tasos Stylianou
Lighting Design: Aleksandar Jotovic
Costumes: Ase Lazarou
Supported by: The Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus / programme Terpsihori 2013