Iris Karayan is a choreographer based in Athens. She studied dance at the Greek State School of Dance (2001) and completed a Master of Arts in Performance and Culture at Goldsmiths College (UK) in 2007. She is a founding member and choreographer of ZITA Dance Company. Her works have been presented in Greece and across Europe. In 2010 she was awarded with the 1st prize of the Jarmila Jeřábková Award in Prague for her works A time to mourn (2009) and Legacy (2009). Her work Mothers (2012) was selected by Aerowaves (2013) and Dancenet Sweden (2014). The same work has been widely presented in European venues and festivals. Alaska (2016), an Onassis Cultural Centre commission, premiered in Athens and was presented in Le Quartz, Scene nationale de Brest during DañsFabrik and at the Kalamata International Dance Festival.
She collaborates with artists from various fields and has been actively involved in two collectives based in Athens, Syndesmos Chorou and The Collective Choreography Project. She was part of the curatorial team of IDENTITY.MOVE!, a transnational platform for theoretical and artistic research focusing on the Eastern Belt of Europe (2013-2015).
Since 2013, she has been leading a movement and improvisation workshop for people with and without visual impairment within the Onassis educational program. In 2017, she was a resident artist in SAARI (FI), supported by the Kone Foundation. She has taught choreography and improvisation at professional dance schools since 2007 (University of Peloponnese, Greek State School of Dance, Rallou Manou School of Dance).
Her works have been funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Athens Festival, the Onassis Cultural Centre, and the J F Costopoulos Foundation. For the year 2018-2019, she was awarded a Fulbright Grant for her artistic research in New York (USA). In 2020 she has been granted with a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship.