“Football is about so many things: memory, history, place, social class, gender (especially masculinity, but increasingly femininity too), family identity, tribal identity, national identity, the nature of groups. It is essentially collaborative, even socialist, yet it exists in a sump of greed, corruption, capitalism and autocracy.” In his book “What We Think About When We Think About Football”, the philosopher Simon Critchley attempts to make sense of it all and to establish a system of aesthetics – even poetics – of soccer.

Driven by similar concerns, the eleven-member Stereo Nero Dance Co. and the choreographer Evi Souli have created a performance rooted in soccer’s fast footwork, short sharp breaths, shoots, dribbles, passes, marking, and tackles. Both literally, and metaphorically. Because in “442 or a Game Without Score”, the multi-dimensional world that manifests around the black-and-white goddess that is the soccer ball unfolds like a game of constantly shifting dynamics, arrangements, and formations.

As a team sport, soccer is founded on collective action. But every team is made up of distinctly separate individuals. How does the individual function within the collective when this doesn’t serve the rules? How easy is it for the collective to accept what is different? What happens to non-conventional outsiders? The resistance of a coherent whole towards all that is foreign is intertwined with the dominance of the strongest in the thrills and freedoms afforded by shootouts and tackles. What wins out in the end? The lyricism of the bodies, the passion, the ecstatic joys of victory, the disappointments of defeat, and the non-stop battles for supremacy – both on and off the pitch and, at the end of the day, both within the collective and beyond it.

Onassis New Choreographers Festival 8, Main Stage, 2021

Direction & Choreography: Evi Souli
Rehearsal Director: Katerina Foti
Original Music: Jan Van De Engel
Dramaturgy: Gina Stavroulaki
Dramaturgy Consultant: Prodromos Tsinikoris
Set Design: Marilena Georgantzi
Lighting Design: Marietta Pavlaki
Costumes: 2wo+1ne
Production Management: Stereo Nero Dance Co. / Katerina Foti
Line Production:  Alexandra Foti
Performers & Co-creators:  Vasilis Arvanitakis, Ilias Bageorgos, Katerina Foti, Dimitris Kitsos,    Christiana Kosiari, Dimitris Lagos, Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Dimokritos Sifakis, Alexandros Stavropoulos, Aineias Tsamatis, Kostas Tsoukalas

Photos by Andreas Simopoulos

The number 442 that appears in the work’s title refers to the 4 – 4 – 2 soccer formation, which places four players in defense, four in midfield, and two strikers out front.

Set Design, 2021

Boards of the iterations of the set, 2021
Boards of the iterations of the set, 2021
Boards of the iterations of the set, 2021