Aesthetically (Hydra) is perfect, the very epitome of that flawless anarchy which supersedes, because it includes and goes beyond, all the formal arrangements of the imagination.
In the summer of 2012 the Hydra Small Dance Festival took place for the first time. Over 20 artists visited the island to share their practice with locals and travelers alike. Upon evaluation a stage-based festival no longer presented a suitable format to develop and share contemporary choreographic practice. Building on the enthusiasm and core-principles of the first Hydra Small Dance Festival, the organizer of the original festival, dance-artist Vitoria Kotsalou, joined forces with choreographer Michael Kliën to create an entirely new format and organisation.*
From 2013 onwards, R.I.C.E., an acronym that purposefully stands for a multitude of meanings,has provided new and meaningful conditions for the development and distribution of contemporary choreography and dance. Historically, the acronym first appeared at Daghdha Dance Company (Ireland) in 2005 as the virtual ‘Real Institute of Cybernetic Epistemology’ and resurfaced as a Social Choreographic Network in Frankfurt (directed by dramaturge Steve Valk). In this final reincarnation R.I.C.E. signals a new kind of cultural institution and organisation, that thinks, moves and acts attuned to its time.
For its inaugural activity in September 2013, R.I.C.E. provided a home to international artists and thinkers to live and work amongst the community of Hydra. As a unique hybrid of festival, gathering and think tank, R.I.C.E. placed artists without the framework of a stage or the spectacle in the heart of the town. Since then numerous activities were initiated (with RSOD at the heart of it) and R.I.C.E. became a registered Greek non-profit organisation in 2016.
Building on the tradition of 20th century history of Hydra R.I.C.E. provides a home for outstanding creative minds of our times. Through the island’s unique cultural constellation, that has entangled tradition and contemporary thought for decades, Hydra continues to be transformed. R.I.C.E. unlike the many transient visitors who simply offer their goods to the island, aims to engage the community of Hydra, to connect with the island and its inhabitants as the very site, the body of choreographic work.