More about Kalliopi Venieri / by Vincent Guy

”Sculpture enables me to continue my work as a dancer in a new medium. I feel the movements of the dance in my fingers as I work the clay.”

Kalliopi’s talent was first discovered by Anthony Tudor. She went on to perform with American Ballet Theater and the Marquis de Cuevas Company, then became Principal Dancer at Dutch National Ballet, Hamburg Opera and Geneva Opera House.  She worked with some of the 20th century’s greatest artists such as George Balanchine, Leonid Massine, Serge Lifar, Marcia Haydée and Rosella Hightower. 

Leonidas de Pian, Dance Director of Liriki Skini and Megaron Musikis, knew Kalliopi’s career from the start; he wrote (in Fessa, Dance & Theatre, 2003): “I met her when she was 15 on tour in Argentina with the Rio ballet. Then again in Brazil where her style and technique were immensely appreciated by Leonid Massine [....] He invited her to join his group in Europe, but the American Ballet Theater made her an offer which she chose instead. With them she danced solo roles which were very demanding technically. Then she joined Dutch National Ballet, and danced Swan Lake, where she was considered the best Black Swan in Europe and received congratulations from Galina Ulanova”

Until recently Kalliopi ran La Danse, a classical ballet school in Agia Paraskevi, Athens; there she choreographed more than 50 new ballets. She now works full-time as a sculptor.