Evelina Papoulia is one of the most popular leading actresses in Greece with award-winning performances and collaborations with renowned artists. She is a complete artist who devotes herself to the combination of drama, dance, and music while engaging audiences with her energy, passion, and excellence.
Evelina Papoulia was born in Athens. After watching Coppélia on television at age 6, Evelina decides that she will become a ballerina. Promptly she begins ballet lessons with an extraordinarily high level of commitment and passion for that age. Her disciplined dedication to training leads her to spend her summers in London attending summer courses in the Royal Academy of Dance to perfect her technique. Her childhood dreams of becoming a principal dancer seem to come true when immediately upon her graduation from the Anna Petrova Professional Dance School and R.A.D, the Greek National Opera offers her a position as a soloist in their company. However, Evelina declines the offer and moves to New York City to study in the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and at the same time she becomes a member of the Omega Dance Company.
While in New York City, a nagging knee injury forces her to contemplate switching careers into musical theater, she studies at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute with acclaimed teachers like George Loros, whom Evelina credits as one of her mentors, and in the process falls in love with acting. She begins her career with roles in productions like West Side Story at The Rockwell, Marat / Sade and The Maids at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Circle of My Life at the Marilyn Monroe Theater and the short film Something is Cooking.
Not being able to renew a work permit, she is forced to return to Greece. She auditions for Aliki Vougiouklaki's production of My Fair Lady and she lands a small part. From then on her career grows exponentially with roles in both theater and television productions until she is catapulted into fame when offered the lead role in the television series Two Strangers, a romantic comedy which was to become one of the most successful tv productions ever with back to back reruns ever since the show's completion. Marina Kountouratou, the character she portrays in the series, offers her the opportunity to showcase her triple threat talents and naturally, from then on, becomes a favorite choice to star in musical productions.
Not wanting to be typecast, Evelina steers clear of roles similar to the one that made her famous and continues her career starring in dramas both in theater and television. She also stars in her first movie playing the seductive Catherine and she is awarded with a Shooting Star at the Berlin International Film Festival. Of course, musicals are always part of her repertory with Sally Bowles in Cabaret being one of her favorite portrayals. And in 2005 she raises the bar when she takes up the challenge of directing Hedwig and The Angry Inch and starring as the title role, making her only the third actress in the world at the time to have played this amazing character.
Parallel to her acting career, she launches the rock group Zand The Band and as their lead singer, they perform around the country as well as collaborating with BLE, a popular band in Greece. Their first work though is a musical, aptly named, MuzicAll which Evelina writes, directs and choreographs. The show is met with great enthusiasm by audiences which prompts repeat performances the following season in a bigger venue. The group also composed all the original music for her next directorial effort, a play co-written by Mary Kaldara and herself. The Thirst largely deals with the pitfalls of fame and how it can entrap people in an astoundingly visual production choreographed by Evelina.
Despite her busy schedule, she finds time to teach in institutions like the Athens Conservatory, mostly dance, musical theater and improvization, and also serve as the Artistic Director of the Anna Petrova Professional Dance School. In her classes, Evelina has developed a new dance technique which she calls Primal Dance because it promotes natural bodily expression through the externalization of primordial movement. And of course, being the dancer that she is, Evelina also becomes the obvious choice for the judge's seat in the first two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance in Greece.
Throughout the years, no matter how successful her performances are, like the bewitching Loa, a woman scorned, in the rock opera Demons, the award-winning Victoria Grand in Victor/Victoria or the critically acclaimed Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons, Evelina never rests on her laurels. She always looks forward to the next challenge and how she can set the bar even higher. And no matter how her story will end someday, people will always say, she did it her way.