Neli Poulopoulou is a theater director, acting trainer and performer. She was born and raised in Messinia, west Greece. She graduated from Higher School of Dramatic Art Theater of Karolos Kount and continued her education on ODIN Teatret practices with Roberta Carreri, Torgeir Wethal and Anna Machairopoulou (ALLO OMMA).
She met contemporary dance in the lessons of Androniki Marathaki and work on Butoh dance next to the choreographer Atsushi Takenouchi (Jinen Butoh), with whom she collaborated as a director and dancer.
She trained in Brazilian percussion with Ravi Magnifiquie, Marivaldo Paim, Marquinho da Dona Geralda and Giba Goncalves, and Afro-Brazilian dance at the Diaspora Caltural Center in Salvador, Brazil, and with Rosangela Silvestre, Zomo Massai, Carlos Ujiama.
In 2003 they founded with Emilia Bouriti the company Syn+ergasia, and together they created the performances "Apollo-Dionysus", "Towards-Hymn to Demeter" and "Western Steps", doing research on the correlation between ancient greek mythology and Butoh.
Neli has worked as a director, actress, dancer and performer in Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Balkan Festival/Bulgaria, National Theater of Poland, GRECJI Festival, Aeschylia fistiva/Elefsina, Festival of Greek Choreographers, Roes Theater, Badminton Theater, Fournos Theater, Booze Cooperative.
The main element of her work is the research and creation of a special kinetic and phonetic language.Her work includes elements of different traditions and cultures, seeking the common element between people and the bridge that connects tradition with modern culture.
She teaches theater and dance seminars and she has collaborated with National Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
Her latest performances are the trilogy "Human zoos / The cage / The interview / The being" (Antifascist Festival of Performing Arts, 2016/ Art factory 2017/ Rematia Festival 2017/ Open studio Art Cpace 2018/ Public spaces 2016-8, (KET) 2018/Pocket theater Festival 2019), "Au Talk", a performance based on automatic speech and prayer (Quilombo Centro Cultural 2019), "Koon in Exarcheia-Occupation and Resistance" (Roads of Exarcheia 2020) and "Mother / Wife / Freedom" Butoh performance (Public space, Lefkada 2020).
Neli is the co-founder of the cultural organization QUILOMBO and the artistic director of Quilombo Lab.