Giannis Flery(Papandonopoulos)

Dancer, Choreographer, Actor
He was born in Patra in 1914 and died on 10/08/2001. He began studying law at the University of Athens, but dropped out to work with Greek touring troupes as a self-taught dancer and actor. He debuted in 1934 at Attic’s theater and then at Rialto Theater in an operetta. His professional career began in 1937, when he appeared as a duo with dancer Lisa Pozelli. He joined Costas Nikolas’ first classical dance group and worked with him for seven years (1937-1946). He worked in the musical theater as dancer and choreographer. He fought on the Albanian front and joined the ranks of Greece’s National Liberation Front (EAM). He maintained a long-term collaboration with dancer Linda Alma. The highlight of his 65-year-long career was his hiring, along with Linda Alma, by Édith Piaf for joint appearances in the Parisian theater Étoile (1946). This Parisian period of his career lasted for seven years, during which he also worked with Charles Aznavour and Yves Montand (1946-1953). He toured in Europe and USA. He attended choreography classes at the Metropolitan Opera New York. Upon his return to Greece in 1952, he reappeared in the independent theater scene, as well as in revues and comedies. He took part in about 40 feature films, mainly by Dinos Dimopoulos, while he choreographed all of Yiannis Dalianidis’ musical films. He became known as “the Fred Astaire of Greece.” He collaborated with the National Theater, the National Theater of Northern Greece and the Amphitheater. In the period from 1958 to 1999 he choreographed ballet segments in the GNO operetta productions of The chocolate soldier [Der tapfere Soldat] (1958), The Bat [Die Fledermaus] (1992/93, 1997/98, 1998/99) and Apaches of Athens [Oi apahides ton Athinon] (1984/85, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1990/91).