I founded the Illium Center in 1980 and have directed it ever since.
In the late 70s I was working on a ship. I taught Pilates to the passengers. One morning I arrived by ship in Santorini at dawn. I fell in love with the unique light of Greece and the power of the rocks.
When I first viewed the house, which is Illium's home, I was taken up on to the roof. There is a wonderful view of Lycabettus Hill. I thought, "This is it. This is where it should be." Right from it's inception the center offered Pilates classes, which we referred to as "Body Control" or "Body Conditioning". No one had heard of a man called Pilates.
I taught Hatha Yoga from the start. After some years, when I started practicing Reiki and Cranial Sacral therapy, I am convinced of the total connection and interrelationship of the body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Adriana was born and bought up in London, England. She attended ballet classes from a young age. She graduated from Oxford University where she studied French and Italian literature. At the same time she studied contemporary dance and Iyengar and Hatha yoga with Penny Nield Smith. She participated in student performances as a dancer and choreographer. She continued her dance studies in Paris for a year and was then awarded a Whitbread scholarship to study at the London School of Contemporary Dance for 3 years. It was at the school that she was introduced to Pilates through Alan Herdman with whom she worked closely. In 1978 she taught contemporary dance and Pilates at the Bella Hutter School in Torino, Italy.
She moved to Athens in 1979 from which time she was employed by Jenny Colebourne as a Pilates teacher. She teaches in Greek, English, French and Italian. In the beginning she taught barre et sol to children and participated in contemporary dance performances but in the end she preferred Pilates as it allowed her to improve her dance technique, to avoid injuries and to give birth effortlessly to her two daughters.
Her way of teaching Pilates has been enriched by her participation in Tai Chi classes (Petros Kouropoulos), Feldenkrais, Alexander technique and Spineworks (Teresa Blunt).
The teachers who have most influenced her are Don Farnworth (classical ballet), Jerome Andrews and more recently Solange Mignoton (Pilates) and Lena Trifonopoulou (Fascia Therapy).
Adriana has been practicing Astanga Yoga for the last 10 years with Eleftheria Lagoudaki.
Lila Chroni is a graduate of the Kripalu School in Massachusetts, USA, with a Kripalu Yoga Teacher and Kripalu Yoga Dance Instructor. She has practiced various kinds of yoga such as ashtanga, yin, partner, bikram and others as well as in zen meditation.
She practiced classical dance since the age of five. She has been teaching modern and contemporary dance, jazz and has participated in seminars at Alvin Ailey School as well as in dance therapy seminars. She has attended traditional Greek dances, flamenco, tango and other dance classes. She learned butoh's technique and has attended seminars and participated in performances in Greece and abroad with leading masters such as Masaki Iwana, Tadashi Endo and others. She has attended seminars of various healing techniques such as reiki, access consciousness, healing codes, theta healing, and more.
She has taught yoga, meditation, Kripalu yoga dance and butoh in Greece and abroad (Bali, Malaysia), uses her healing techniques to help those in need while continuing her lifelong education.
IOANNA TZARTZANI holds an honors degree in Sociology from Panteion University of Athens and a degree in Dance Teaching (Ballet and Contemporary dance) from the Greek Ministry of Culture. She was awarded an MA in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey UK, where she also completed her PhD thesis, titled: "Interplays of Ethnicity, Nationalism and Globalisation within the Greek Contemporary Dance scene: Choreographic Choices and Constructions of National Identity".
She has taught Dance Research Methodologies, Somatics, Dance History and Critical Theory in the Theatre Department in the University of Peloponnese, at AKMI college and at Despoina Gregoriadou’s Professional Dance School. She has been a member of the editorial board for Χορός plus magazine and has written articles and dance critiques for Athens News journal and Choros International Dance Journal. Ioanna is a qualified Body Control Pilates instructor and has been teaching in Athens since 2004.
Musician, stage and film actor and sound designer, JOE TORNABENE has been sound designing, performing, composing, and exploring performance practice for music, dance and theater for over 44 years. He has been researching the dynamics and creative possibilities of improvisation and embodied performance practice in multimedia contexts in the USA and Europe. He has taught experiential workshops concerned with the relationships of Performance, embodiment, movement, music, sound, and improvisation in major dance, theater and music academies in 10 countries.
He has taught at the American Dance Festival, the Bates Dance Festival and American College Dance Festival conferences. He has taught sound design workshops at the Institut Supérieur des Techniques Du Spectacle, Avignon, France. Two of his sound designs have been placed in the permanent collection of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in New York, and a composition for dance into the Special Permanent Collection of the Library of the Arts of Virginia Commonwealth University, USA in 2016.
Joe taught at The School for New Dance Development (SNDO), Amsterdam, from September 1994 until June 1995. He was Director of Sound for the Cloitre des Celestins Theatre at the 50th Festival d’Avignon, 1996. He is a former officer of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance and for five years was the Music Director and Adjunct Professor of Music for Dance for the Department of Dance and Choreography of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, USA.
Published articles about Joe’s teaching and performance work have appeared in numerous international journals in three languages – including the prestigious American journal Contact Quarterly.
In Greece, he has taught in various venues including Nellie Karra’s Advanced School of Dramatic Arts, APXH, Deree College, Kinitiras Dance Theatre and Synergio Technon.
He has worked extensively with the award-winning dance company Lathos Kinisi directed by Konstantin Mihos, and with the handicapped dance company Dagipoli. He was also an actor with Theatro Technis (The Art Theatre of Greece).
He was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Award at the 46th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Greece) 2005 for his role in Kyriakos Katzourakis’ film, Sweet Memory.