RETURNMaria Kousouni

Maria Kousouni

She was born in Athens. She holds the “Vaganova” dancer and dance teacher diploma by the Despoina Grigoriadou Higher Professional Dance School, where she studied under Kalina Bogoeva, Boriana Rizova, Milena Simeonova and Evridiki Grigoriou. Her career began in 1999 when she was offered to work with the ballet of the Vienna State Opera. She worked with that Opera for five years (1999-2004), dancing numerous roles in major standard repertory ballets, such as: Romeo and Juliet (Cranko/Prokofiev), Spartacus, Medea, The Firebird, The Rite of Spring and Boléro (Renato Zanella), The temple dancer [La bayadère] (Natalia Makarova), Zorba (Lorca Massine), Giselle (Chernikova), Petite Mort (choreography by Jiři Kylian), Slingerland (William Forsythe), Polyphonia (Wheeldon), Pas de deux and Theme and Variations (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky), The nutcracker (Strømgren/Tchaikovsky), Adagio Hammerklavier] (van Manen), etc. She danced three times at the New Year’s concert of Vienna. She has also collaborated with the Ballet Center Hamburg (Ballettzentrum Hamburg – John Neumeier) and the Hamburg State Opera, where under the guidance of John Neumeier himself, she danced in the ballets: Requiem, Nijinsky, Preludes CV, As you like it and Death in Venice, Nutcracker, The wayward daughter [La fille mal gardée] (Ashton), Sleeping Beauty, Mahler, Mahler IIV, etc. In 2001 she won a Special Prize at the International Dance Competition of Luxembourg. In 2007 she was hired as principal dancer with the GNO Ballet. She has danced starring and/or basic roles in ballets: Zorba (Massine/Theodorakis), Giselle (Muhamedov/Adam) Eugene Onegin (Muhamedov/Tchaikovsky), The pirate [Le corsaire] (Pitipa/Adam), Gioconda’s Smile [To chamogelo tis Tzokondas] (Zanella/Hatjidakis), Journey to eternity [Taxidi stin aioniotita] (Zanella/Karaindrou), The Snow Queen (Barra/Glazunov), Romeo and Juliet (Zanella/Prokofiev), etc. In addition, she choreographed the GNO production of the operetta The bat [Die fledermaus]. She teaches at the GNO Professional Dance School.