A Shield of Dreams – A(r)CT: Art can ACT


A performance for children (from 4 years old) and teenagers

A physical theatre and contemporary dance performance based on Miguel de Cervantes book “Don Quixote” that targets young audiences as well as adults.

Continuing to draw inspiration from literature, we choose to dive into the world of dreams and imagination, through this novel, a station for hispanic and further literature history. Having dance and physical theatre as a main medium, we aim in giving life to a very special book in a way that makes it accessible and attractive to young and older audiences. Our work “A Shield of Dreams” is directly influenced by the writing style appearing in the book and therefore has evident satirical and humorous elements as well as strong performativity. We create an imaginary world using movement, music, costumes and other visuals where four characters are transformed into knights and conquer all that imagination can reach. Windmills that become giants, wizards that find their inner peace, unsuccessful fights and endless adventures are inviting the audience to close their eyes, hold on to their dreams and become part of a unique experience.

A Shield of Dreams explores movement and dance as the main medium of narrating a story. It allows the viewer to enter an imaginary world and follow the journey of the characters that appear on stage!
Following our own narrative line we present a different version that still communicates some of the fundamental values and thematic ideas of the novel, approaching the characters from the eyes of a child and attempting to connect the real world with that onstage.
Like Don Quixote himself we stay true to our vision that art acts as a medium of social change and we create a performance that acts as a motivation and reminder of the significance of imagination and creativity not just for children but  adults too.
So let’s open the page and let the journey begin…

Choreography/ Concept: Eleni Papaioannou
Music Design: Panos Chountoulidis
Costume Design: Melissanthi Spei
Set Design: Dimitris Konstadaras
Narration: Lampros Papageorgiou
Performance and creative input:
Emi Amerikanou, Eriketi Andreadaki, Michalis Saganis, Tasos Nikas.

Duration: 45 min.
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/568173824

The performance will be followed by a workshop for children 4-12 years old by A(r)CT company

The creative movement and improvisation workshop will be based on the physical theatre performance “A shield of dreams”. Therefore, we will interact and explore together some of the techniques and thematics that developed over the creative process of this work. Our young participants will have the chance to follow Don Quixote on an imaginary journey to magical places, discovering new ways of moving their bodies. Through movement improvisations and theatrical games, the participants will find out what teamwork, cooperation, freedom of speech and self-esteem mean. We will learn to tell stories with our body, to dance with all our senses, to move collectively and respect ourself as well as the others. The workshop aims at emphasising the value of creative movement and expression at every age.


Eleni Papaioannou

Eleni Papaioannou is an independent dance artist specialising in contemporary dance, physical theatre and improvisation. Eleni was born in Athens, where she began her dance training. In 2014 she completed her undergraduate studies at London Contemporary Dance School and she has since worked professionally with various choreographers and artists such as Thomas Steyaert, Mariela Nestora, Sofia Mavragani, Luca Silvestrini, Joanna Kalm, Seke Chimutengwende, Livia Rita, Alexis Blake, Sophie Nuezel and Marie Forbes, Anders Duckworth and Daniel Persson. In addition, she has participated in the Erasmus+ programmes “Eurolnvasion”, “Peace Games” and “A Beloved Enemy”.  Eleni has taught in dance institutions across the UK and Greece and she has also co-facilitated workshops worldwide (Mexico, Thailand and India) in local schools and orphanages.  In 2014 Eleni found the performing arts company “A(r)CT: Art can Act”, with the idea that dance and every art form should serve as a medium for sociopolitical change.  She has since been exploring the ideas of artivism, performance in public space as well as authentic movement and spontaneous choreography and she has created and presented various works for outdoors and indoors settings.  Through A(r)CT Eleni aims to create accessible, interactive art by combining dance, text, music and visual arts. Her main intention is to communicate a meaning related to our everyday life, our social and human existence and the contemporary world, allowing people to engage with what they see and respond to it actively.  https://epapaioannou.wordpress.com 

Panos Chountoulidis

Panos Chountoulidis is a London based sound designer and composer specialising in film, stage performance, commercials and VR. He has closely collaborated with film directors, choreographers, dancers and artists in various stage performances, short and feature films and other artistic projects. He loves creating unique sonic atmospheres, effects and music according to briefs and really enjoys the creative “dialogue” when collaborating with other professionals. On his free time, he usually finds himself experimenting on designing sound and music by using various recording techniques, synthesisers and audio manipulation tools. Recent works include the show “Look, little man” directed/choreographed Eleni Papaioannou and the feature films DAU. Natasha and DAU. Degeneration which were selected for the Berlinale 2020 festival. https://panoschountoulidis.com

Melissanthi Spei

Melissanthi Spei is an Athenian Fashion Artist. Her heritage, coming from Greece, in combination with her creativity, inspires her to develop contemporary and sculptural garments. Part of her identity as a designer is to use industrial materials for something historical and old through the exploration of traditional arts and crafts and their projection to contemporary aesthetics. Spei has graduated from MA Fashion Artefact at London College of Fashion in 2013. She has been nominated as one of the winners at Maison Mode Méditerranée Endowment Fund 2021-2022, awarded with the Tajima Fashion Tech Prize 2021 and the 2021 Big See Fashion Design Award Winner for Greece, a winner at ‘Find Your Inner North – Modern National Costume’ by Nordic Design Society in 2019, an Avant-Garde finalist at World of Wearable Art 2018 Awards, Accessories finalist for ITS International Talent Support 2013, International Research Award finalist for the Ancient & Modern Prize 2014 and represented Greece during the EU presidency exhibition at Malta Fashion Week in 2017.   Spei has also participated at the Innovative Costume of the 21st Century exhibition at A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, Moscow in 2019, at Venice Biennale 2018, Arnhem Mode Biennale 2013 ‘Fetishism in Fashion’ & FETISHISM: Obsessions in Fashion & Design’ at Trapholt Museum in 2016 both curated by prestigious Lidewij Edelkoort. Her work revolves around folklore culture. https://www.melissanthispei.com

Emi Amerikanou

Emi Amerikanou is a dance artist and teacher, born in Athens, where she completed her studies in contemporary dance at Rallou Manou Professional Dance School. During her studies and until now, she has attended a variety of workshops, such as improvisation, contemporary, motion with visual arts, choreography, ballet technique, etc. She has been an active member of the “Skytali”, an educational dance program, for about five years. As a performer she has worked with choreographers such as Polina Kremasta, Angeliki Stellatou, Maria Koliopoulou and as a choreographer with Marianna Lazari, Eriketi Andreadaki, Eleni Papaioannou for the projects “Clown |?|” , “Man in bowler hat”, “Walls Between Us” and more. In recent years, Emi as a performer has been collaborating with Ar(c)t for the works “Look, little man”, “A shield of dreams” choreographed by Eleni Papaioannou, and as a dance teacher for the educational action “The museum otherwise”. Since 2014, Emi has been teaching contemporary dance, ballet and improvisation in schools of Athens and was a dance teacher in the Public High School of Arts during the season 2019-2020.

Eriketi Andreadaki

Eriketi Andreadaki is a dance artist, choreographer and teacher based in Athens, Greece. She studied contemporary dance at Rallou Manou Professional Dance School and Media and Communications at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. She continued her studies at London Contemporary Dance School where she joined the schools postgraduate company EDge (2015) and graduated with a Masters in Contemporary Dance. She has worked with choreographers such as Robert Clark, Siobhan Davies, Itamar Serussi , Joanna Kalm, Tom Roden & Anna Williams, ArCt, Vervain Theatre and Polina Kremasta/ Creo Dance Company. Since 2017 she has been choreographing her own work and in 2018, she co-founded ΦΕΜ dance group with Danae Morfoniou. Her work has been performed at Blue Elephant Theatre, London, Rabbithole Theatre, Athens and Television Control Centre, Athens.

Tasos Nikas

Tasos Nikas was born in Athens.  He is a graduate of the National School of Dance in Greece, since 2019. He has danced for the Leon and Wolf company of Christos Papadopoulos in the project《Elvedon》in Salzburg, Innsbruck, Ribadavia in the period 2021 and also in the project《Ion》in Oslo, Paris, Rotterdam and Bern in the period 2019-22. Also, with Adonis Foniadakis Dance Conpany in the project《Salema Revisited》in Megaron Athens Concert Hall, Nicosia, Kuopio and Thessaloniki in the period 2021. He has collaborated with the Balich Worldwide Show in Saudi Arabia. And, he has participated as a dancer in a production of the National School of Dance and the 《Athens and Epidaurus Festival》, in June 2019, with the choreographers Adonis Foniadakis in his piece《KOSMOS》and Christos Papadopoulos’《Exercise 27》.  Finally, during and after his studies, he remains active in attending workshops and searching for new stimuli in Greece and abroad.  He has attended workshops of Victor Rottier, Guy Shomroni, Spencer Dickhaus etc.

Michael Saganis 

Michael Saganis is a contemporary dance and physical theatre performer based in Greece, graduate of the professional dance school “Aktina” in Athens. He has been part of various professional performances and had collaborated with artists and choreographers such us Eleni Papaioannou, Ios Antonopoulou, Marianna Lazari, Orpheus Zafiropoulos and Petros Spyropoulos. In addition to dance, Michalis has been part of a theatre group for six years which enabled him to further develop his ability to express through body and speech.
Michalis is truly enthusiastic and curious about performing and communicating even the slightest feelings and ideas via his movement while being on stage.

The event is finished.


11 Jul 2022




Apollon Theatre
Vardaka Square, Ermoupolis

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