Artemis Ignatiou, is a student of the legendary Maria Chors, and her participation in six Olympic Games Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeong Chang 2018, and the Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010, Innsbruck 2012, Nanjing 2014, Lillehammer 2016 – is proof that she is a worthy successor of her acclaimed teacher. Despite the important legacy of her predecessor, Artemis Ignatiou manages to successfully execute - with respect for her Ancient Greek heritage - one of the most important cultural events of the planet which attracts millions of viewers across the world: the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony.
She teaches on a volunteer basis the harmony of the movement, inspired by ancient pottery and the harmony of the ancient Greek sculptures and thus contributes to the dissemination of the Ideals of the Games and the Olympic Spirit to the whole world, and especially to young people. She has studied Dance at prestigious Dance Schools in New York, such as Merce Cunningham, Movement Research and Martha Graham, as well as theater at H.B. Studio (Herbert Berghof - Uta Hagen). The Official Choreographer of the Lighting Ceremony of the Olympic Flame, is today the Vice President of Greece’s Union of Choreographers, the secretary of the Greek department of the International Dance Council of Unesco and is a Member of the Commission of the Ministry of Culture, for the audition and graduation exams in dance. She is a graduate of the National School of Dance and has studied theatre at A. Davis’ drama Studio. She has also studied History of Art at the Athens Archaeological Society and at the Hellenic American Educational Foundation.
She is the founder of the ART Dance Theater, where she presents many performances in various festivals, both in Greece and abroad. In 2007 she was Greece’s representative at the 10th European Festival of Modern Dance which took place in Cyprus. In 2008 she participated at the Opening Ceremony of the 6th Cultural Festival of Beijing for the Cultural Olympiad China 2008 and in 2014 she participated at the Festival International De Sousse 2014, in Tunis. She has also participated at festivals in Germany, Serbia, South China, and Greece. She was the choreographer for the Lighting Ceremonies for the European Youth Olympic Festivals in Pnyka, Panathinaikon Stadium and 10 other European cities, where she was the high priestess.
Ms Ignatiou is a Professor of Dance-Movement at various Drama Schools, including the National Theatre, the Athens Conservatoire and others and has choreographed many theatre plays and operas. From 2010 until 2012 she collaborated with the National Olympic Academy of Greece in the framework of its program “Olympic Education Day”, as director for reviving the history of the first Modern Olympic Games of 1896, in Kallimarmaro Stadium. In 2016, she was selected by the Municipality of Ancient Olympia as an ‘honorary citizen of Ancient Olympia’.
“I was born in Thessaloniki and I was raised and live in Athens, but the city of my heart is Olympia…”, she said during an emotional speech, stating that she considers this title to be the utmost honor and proves her deep connection with this holy region. “The lighting of the Flame is the connecting link which unites the Olympic Games and reminds the whole world that everything started in this country. Olympia exists and will exist even without the Olympic Games, but on the contrary there can be no Olympic Games ever, without the Lighting Ceremony at Olympia.”