Dancer on a journey – stopping at Thessaloniki, Lisbon and Amsterdam

Hello everyone!  My name is Martina, I’m a dancer and choreographer, and today I want to take you on a journey through my recent adventure at the Explorez Festival hosted by Zid Theatre in Amsterdam.  

In February 2023, I embarked on a Digital Residency with “Theatre in Palm,” which led me on an incredible journey of self-discovery and artistic exploration. Little did I know that this residency would open doors to a digital workshop and an opportunity to showcase my work at the prestigious Explorez festival hosted by Zid Theatre. Join me as I recount my memorable days in Amsterdam, immersing myself in the city’s artistic atmosphere and connecting with fellow artists from around the world.  From the digital residency to the solo performance workshop, and finally, the opportunity to showcase my work, it has been an exhilarating and transformative experience. So let’s dive right in! 

Digital Residency at “Theatre in Palm” in Greece  

In February 2023, I was fortunate to participate in the Digital Residency program organized by Theatre in Palm and hosted by The Cube, a non-profit organization in Thessaloniki, Greece. This virtual experience allowed me to connect with artists from all over the world and exchange ideas and inspiration. It was an incredible opportunity to explore new techniques, collaborate with fellow artists, and challenge myself creatively. 

Sharing Knowledge in Lisbon  

A few weeks after the Digital Residency, I was honored with the chance to teach a workshop in beautiful Lisbon, in  Fest and the first Theatre in Palm  ‘’Theatre Academy’’, among other workshops from the field of theatre. It was a fantastic opportunity to impart my knowledge, guiding participants through the intricacies of YfD workshop, which is a specialized ”yoga for dancers” class, including elements from improvisation, yoga, and performance. 

Check out my thoughts on couple of the workshops fresh after the experience:

Hinge On! Dance Workshop 

Puppetry Workshop

Digital Coffe Talk: Building a Solo Performance 

After the residency, I was thrilled to learn about a Digital Workshop on building a solo performance, facilitated by Karolina Spaic, the director of Zid Theatre and our workshop instructor. The theme aligned perfectly with the stage I was at in creating my own solo work. The workshop provided valuable insights, guidance, and feedback that helped shape my performance and push my artistic boundaries. 

Open Call to Explorez Festival  

During the workshop, Karolina shared an exciting opportunity with us—an open call to the Explorez Festival at Zid Theatre in Amsterdam. Without hesitation, I decided to apply, hoping to showcase my work on an international platform and connect with artists and art enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. 

Journey to Amsterdam  

To my delight, my application was accepted, and I was invited to present my solo performance at the Explorez Festival. Packed with excitement and anticipation, I embarked on a journey to Amsterdam, ready to immerse myself in the city’s vibrant arts scene. Upon arriving, I instantly fell in love with Amsterdam’s picturesque streets, charming canals, and rich cultural heritage. 

The Amsterdam Adventure  

Arriving in Amsterdam, I was immediately captivated by the city’s charm and artistic energy. The first day, I had the pleasure of witnessing three distinct dance performances that showcased the versatility and creativity of the local dance scene. Each performance left a unique impression on me, igniting my own artistic inspiration. 

On the following day, I had the chance to attend a concert featuring a mesmerizing blend of Ethiopian and jazz music. The combination of rhythms and melodies transported me to another world. Later, we all gathered to share a meal of delicious Ethiopian cuisine, fostering connections with fellow artists from all corners of the globe. 

The Explorez Festival was a celebration of creativity and artistic exploration. It provided a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work, exchange ideas, and network with professionals in the field. One of the highlights of the festival was the chance to meet and connect with artists from all corners of the world. We shared our experiences and exchanged artistic philosophies. 

Final day of the festival  

The day I had eagerly awaited finally arrived, and I took the stage alongside other performers from all over the world at the Explorez Festival. I presented my work in progress, a three-part solo ‘’LAGO’’. 

Inspired by the Greek tongue-twister game “Ehis LAGO?” (Do you have a rabbit?) and the musicality it produces. A broken ballet solo incorporating different dance genres and spoken phrases by chatbots, where an existential career question is expressed as if it were a game: 

“- Do you have an audition? 

– I have an audition. 

 Do you have a chance?” 

The opportunity to present my work in English, incorporating elements of both theater and dance, was an exhilarating experience. The audience’s response and the camaraderie among artists further fueled my passion for my craft. 

Exploring Amsterdam’s Art Scene  

After the performance, I took advantage of the remaining one day to explore Amsterdam’s rich cultural offerings. Renting a bike, I leisurely pedaled through the city, marveling at its picturesque canals and iconic architecture. I visited renowned museums, immersing myself in the works of great artists from different eras. 

To enrich my experience, I decided to take a contemporary dance class at a local dance school. The class not only expanded my technical skills but also allowed me to connect with dancers from diverse backgrounds. It was a beautiful reminder of the universality of dance and its ability to bridge cultures and languages. 


My time in Amsterdam, from the digital residency to the Explorez festival and the exploration of the city’s artistic wonders, was an unforgettable and transformative journey for me as a dancer and choreographer. The connections I made, the performances I witnessed, and the moments of self-discovery have all left an indelible mark on my artistic path. Amsterdam will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I look forward to embarking on more adventures that fuel my passion for dance and choreography.

Thank you to Theatre in Palm, The Cube, Zid Theatre’, JÁ Theatre and everyone else who helped me through this journey and made a dream come true! Stay tuned for more exciting experiences and artistic endeavors as I continue to explore the boundless world of dance. 

The writer is Martina Kosta-Diankova, a dancer, choreographer and performance artist from Greece.

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