MAMAZA is a structure in which choreographic work is explored, developed and produced through acts of creation and transmission.

The company was originally founded by Ioannis Mandafounis, Fabrice Mazliah and May Zarhy in 2009. Since 2015 the company is run by Fabrice Mazliah and May Zarhy and it has evolved into a dynamic structure in terms of the definition of roles and working relations between the involved partners, opening up into new collaborations and redefining the formulation of working conditions in each new project.

MAMAZA has developed through their work, a choreographic space, which questions the existing tension between the visual image and the physical feeling it produces in the viewer, or rather between the physical image and the visual feeling. Collaboration is a central element of MAMAZA’s approach to creation, feeling that a sharing of voices is crucial to any form of creation - that it doesn't lead to an artistic compromise, but rather to a re-enforcement of the essential elements that the piece asks for. Each new project demands re-configuring one’s role in relation to the others, the possible partners for the creation, as well as the type of project, the specific physicality and approach that the theme asks for.

As opposed to a typical company structure, MAMAZA asks to create a platform for creation in which consistencies of structure are challenged and style is put into question, while the work remains consistent and coherent. Their work, springs from a marriage between the dancer and the choreographer into one - an enhanced performer responsible to his/her performance. These choreographies propose a live exchange with the audience, where experience is at the core, involving the spectator to be an active responsible viewer, one that observes and questions simultaneously.


Mandafounis & Mazliah have known each other since the years of childhood and after independent and successful dance careers, they re-met each other in The Forsythe Company, where they first got to know Zarhy in 2005. The two were dancing at the company while Zarhy was assisting during that creation. After seeing each others' work: Mandafounis & Mazliah's duo "P.A.D." (2007) and Zarhy's solo "Y" (2008), the three felt that they shared an interest in a sort of bareness of work, where the essential elements of what choreography might be are questioned. They then decided to collaborate on their first common creation "Z.E.R.O." in 2009.

Since then the trio has created many stage works as well as “enacted thoughts” - choreographic works which take place outside of the theater space and reposition choreography in the realm of social and public spaces.

Their work has been co-produced and presented worldwide and they have been based in Geneva Switzerland and in Frankfurt Germany, where they are currently based. MAMAZA has been Associated Artist in deSingel theater in Antwerp Belgium for the season 2011-2012 and a resident company in Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt thanks to the support of the Doppel Pass program of the Bundes Kultur Stiftung Germany between 2012-2014. With their piece "Pausing" (2012) Ioannis Mandafounis and May Zarhy have been selected to be part of Modul-Dance 2012 and the "Reso - Réseau Danse Suisse". Between the years 2013-2015, the company was touring with the project "ASINGELINE" in different African countries thanks to the kind support of the Goethe Intitut. Since 2015 the company is run by Fabrice Mazliah and May Zarhy.