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Loukia Kokkinopoulou-Kotsopoulou

Choreographer
She was born in Athens in 1915. She began taking dancing lessons at a young age at the schools of Koula Pratsika, Marie Raymond and Emmy Speck-Melissinou in Athens, as well as piano lessons with Ivi Pana. She continued studying in Europe for four years at the schools of Gret Palucca and Vera Mahlke (Dresden), as well as alongside top choreographers, such as Harald Kreuzberg, Mary Wigman, Bronislava Nijinska and Agrippina Vaganova. She made her debut as a dancer with a solo recital at the Marika Kotopouli Theater (1937) and the Royal Theater (Hamlet, 1937). During 1937-40 and 1953-55 she collaborated with the National Theater as a principal dancer and choreographer. During 1957-68 she regularly worked with director Dimitris Rontiris in presenting ancient drama plays around the world: Europe, Israel, U.S.A., Latin and Central America, Canada, former USSR, etc. She choreographed Mexican dancers at the Mexico City Olympic Games, participated in the “Ballet of the Five Continents” representing Europe with the ballet “The Continuity of Greek Dance from Ancient Greece to the Present Day” and was awarded the Mexico City medal (1968). She gave solo recitals in Greece and abroad. She taught at the Piraeus Conservatory (1956-59) and authored a study on the chorus in ancient drama. She was passionately devoted to staging Greek folklore dances and bringing to light the art of folk forms of dance expression. She collaborated with the Greek National Opera during 1941-58 as principal dancer and choreographer, where she choreographed dance inserts in 14 operas and operettas staged in 22 new productions and/or revivals. Most of them were foreign and Greek works staged by the GNO for the first time: The Tales of Hoffmann [Les contes d’Hoffmann], Rhea, Manon, La traviata, Carmen, Rigoletto, Orient [Anatoli], The Merchant [O pramateftis], The Mother’s Ring [To dahtylidi tis manas], Aida, etc.