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Our mission:

Using the power of performative arts with emphasis on music and dance, we aim to unite people through shared, transformative experiences while promoting intercultural dialogue.

About Us:

In 2022, Erini Tornesaki and Aristoula Toli joined forces and founded Avlés, an international arts organization, incorporated in the USA and Greece.


"For us, Avlés ("Yards" in Greek) symbolizes the “sharing” of experiences in the yards of houses, in plazas in the villages of Greece, or even in unexpected places in the cities that we live in. This “sharing” has the power to unite humans and cultures. Through our programs we want to "open the circle" for a more inclusive world. We invite you to join us on this journey." - Erini & Aristoula

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Co-founder / Artistic Director

Vocalist and educator Erini Tornesaki aka "Erini" grew up in a musical family on the island of Crete, Greece. She played the piano and cello and performed with her hometown’s string orchestra and choir. As a descendant of Greek-Anatolian refugees, Erini’s mother introduced her to the Greek - Anatolian musical tradition. Erini studied Contemporary Vocals at Bimm at age 18. Being cast as the only vocalist of the show “Kurios” by Cirque Du Soleil in 2014, Erini toured for 3 years, performing a total of 1074 shows. Going on to complete a Master at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute paved new paths of experimentation for Erini as she redefined the constraints of genre and birthed a new sound combining Greek traditional music with contrasting genres such as, jazz, pop and classical music. Erini has had the opportunity to showcase her musical heritage at Carnegie Hall, WOMEX 2023 and has collaborated with Grammy award-winning artists such as Danilo Perez, Luciana Souza and Terri-Lyne Carrington. Erini is also a professor at the Berklee College of Music and presents workshops and lectures of Greek traditional music in universities including Harvard, Princeton, Tufts amongst others. In recognition of her efforts to preserve Greek-Anatolian culture, Erini has been awarded the Greek America Foundation’s 40 under 40 Award and the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Traditional Arts Fellowship.


Co-Founder / Deputy Artistic Director

Raised in Athens, the dancer, educator and cultural researcher, Aristoula Toli always had an unbreakable connection to her origin from Epirus, her community and her family tradition. Traditional dance was the most immediate expression of this connection and since primary school Aristoula became committed to studying it deeply. Graduating from the Physical Education and Sports Science (PESS) Department of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, with a specialization in Greek Traditional Dance, Aristoula is currently a postgraduate student in the humanities field of "Dance Studies'' at the same university. Aristoula has been teaching traditional dance in cultural associations and unions since 2009 and she conducts seminars and workshops on various dance topics including the theory behind the practice. Additionally, Aristoula is a professional dancer. Aristoula’s most memorable moment in this profession has been performing the characteristic dance from her village in a performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. As a researcher her interests are centered around dance ethnographies, performance, life narratives, performing arts based on popular culture, the politics of culture and the construction of identities in the light of anthropological and ethnochoreological approaches. She participated in the research team for the creation of an ethnographic documentary on the subject of the dance “Koulouriotiko Hasapiko: Folkloric approaches and ethnographic aspects in the cinematographic lens” under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

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