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A symphonic hit in Athens October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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The NDR Symphony Orchestra, based in Hamburg and one of the world’s most renowned classical music ensembles, will perform at the Athens Concert Hall this Sunday and Monday.

The 61-year-old, Hamburg-based NDR Symphony Orchestra, which has been led by some of the world’s most esteemed conductors, will be in the Greek capital for two performances at the Athens Concert Hall this Sunday and Monday.

The orchestra, with Christoph von Dohnanyi at the podium, will present works by Stravinsky, Haydn and Tschaikovsky. The NDR will perform the suite from Stravinsky’s ballet “Pulcinella,” Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.

Founded in 1945, the orchestra’s artistic identity was built by conductor Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, who, over a 25-year tenure, spread the NDR’s fame beyond Hamburg.

The orchestra toured Germany for the first time in 1949 and performed in Paris a year later. Major tours followed soon after, and the NDR quickly established an international reputation as one of Germany’s leading symphony orchestras.

Conductors the caliber of Wilhelm Furtwengler, Hans Knappertsbusch, Eric Kleiber and Otto Klemperer all led the NDR, as guest conductors, during Schmidt-Isserstedt’s tenure.

The long-serving artistic director was succeeded in the 1970s by Moshe Atzmon and Klaus Tennstedt. Gunter Wand’s extensive two-decade span at the orchestra’s helm, which began in 1982, rates as one of the most pivotal in the NDR’s history. Wand was named a lifetime honorary conductor in 1987. He remained at the NDR’s artistic helm until his death, in 2002. Wand’s reign was a fertile period for the orchestra, whose international reputation was further bolstered by its interpretations of work by Anton Bruckner.

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Flying monks return for more shows October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Stage & Theater.
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Performances in Athens will start at the Coronet Theater tonight and run to November 5. A tour will follow.

The legendary flying Shaolin Monks have returned to Athens for another series of performances. Shows will kick off tonight at the capital’s Coronet Theater and will run to November 5. The group will then embark on a tour around Greece which will run to the end of January.

The show, titled “Shaolin – The Spirit” chronicles a young student’s quest for the absolute truth and his guidance by an old Shaolin teacher. All that is set against a backdrop of dance, theater, kung fu and meditation.

The Shaolin motto is that the mind takes over the body, which leads to amazing stunts such as breaking granite with your head, walking on a ladder made out of knives and throwing all your body weight on just two fingers.

Abstention from violence > For the past 1,500 years the monks, based in the Shaolin temple hidden away in the mountains of the northern Henan province, have studied the traditional Chinese wushu, which is the root of all Asian martial arts.

Thousands of monks, some of them very young, engage in daily training under very harsh circumstances, so as to achieve perfection and the absolute victory of mind over body.

It is a tradition of peace, harmony and spirituality, forgotten for many years because of war and interventions. The Shaolin are undercover warriors who preach abstention from violence via the peaceful method of kung fu.

The Coronet shows will be followed by shows in Patras (November 6 and 7), Alexandroupolis (November 12), Thessaloniki (November 17 to 19) and Volos (November 20). The dates for the rest of their tour have yet to be announced.

At the Coronet Theater, 11 Frynis and Hymettou Streets, Pangrati, Athens, tel 210 7012123.

Greek fashion broadens scope October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion & Style.
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Fourth edition of Diners Athens Collections InStyle unites local and international talent
Members of the Hellenic Fashion Designers Association. The majority of the designers are showing their Spring/Summer 2007 collections at Zappeion this weekend.

For the fourth time in its modern history, Greek fashion is convening at Zappeion Hall. A four-day style extravaganza, the event brings together local and some international talent.

Under the auspices of the City of Athens, the Ministry of Development and ELKEDE (Technology and Design Center), the fashion week, which kicks off today and ends on Monday, will feature catwalk shows, a showroom for business, exhibitions and more.

Expected to visit Zappeion this weekend are thousands of visitors: fashion industry professionals, style lovers as well as an array of local and international buyers and press. The fourth edition of the Diners Athens Collections InStyle appears to be at its most ambitious yet, taking on a few new dimensions.

«This time our aim is to take advantage of the fashion week on a commercial level,» Daphne Valente, president of the Hellenic Fashion Designers Association (HFD), organizers of the event, said.

«We have to change the perception of buyers and clients alike, to show them that something really exciting is going on in Greek fashion. One way to do this is to invite local buyers, for them not just to attend the shows, but to visit the showroom.

«Another point of focus is to develop production lines for the designers and that is why we have opened our doors to local fashion manufacturers who create their own labels,» said Valente of the association’s decision to allow apparel companies to show at Zappeion. The designer is collaborating with local apparel manufacturer La Stampa and Vergina shoe makers.

The addition of foreign designers on the Greek fashion calendar is also another indication of the association’s desire to broaden its horizon and reach out to a larger audience. Coming to Athens to show their Spring/Summer 2007 collections are Cypriot designers Erotokritos, Mitsu Mitsu and Afroditi Hera as well as Georgian Avtandil.

«We can’t compete with other fashion capitals such as Milan,» noted Valente. «But one way to attract attention is by developing a center for the Balkans and the Mediterranean region. In this way we could offer an incentive for visitors to see something new.»

Besides the guest designers, the following HFD members will present collections at Zappeion: Andria, Angelos Bratis, Aslanis, Celia D, Chara Lembessi, Christos Costarellos, Christoforos Kotentos, Christos Maillis, Costas Faliakos, Daphne Valente, Deux Hommes, Dimitris Dassios, Erifilli, Katerinalexandraki, Kathy Heyndels, Konstantinos, Lena Katsanidou, Loukia, Makis Tselios, Maria Mastori, Mi-Ro, Parthenis, Simeoni, Smaragdi, Vassilios Kostetsos, Vassilis Zoulias, Veloudakis and Yiorgos Eleftheriades.

On Monday, the fashion week’s final day, the catwalk will be taken over by local manufacturers La Stampa, Giannetos, Merit, Nota, Bitsianis, Arts Maxima by Makis Tselios, Minerva, Lucifer, Attrattivo and Crool. Also at Zappeion, a number of Greek shoe manufacturers collaborating with local designers will present their goods at the Hellenic Shoes Exclusive Collections.

While the private sector continues its support of the Diners Athens Collections InStyle (Citibank’s Diners Club International card is, once again, the event’s principal sponsor), the state is sustaining its contribution with a Ministry of Development fund for the fashion week’s publicity and promotion. Much more, however, is required.

«It would be nice to see aid coming from other ministries, such as Tourism and Culture,» said Valente.

Complementing the catwalk action are two exhibitions (both open to the public). Following a display of clothes by London-based Sophia Kokosalaki and a group show of photographers focusing their lenses on the black dress six months ago, fashion education continues at Zappeion with an exhibition of Greek fashion’s Old Masters.

«Six International Greek Fashion Designers» features pieces by pioneers of Greek style who enjoyed fruitful careers in this country and abroad.

Garments by diaspora Greeks such as Alexandria-born Jean Desses and Greek-American James Galanos (a Nancy Reagan favorite) as well as those by locals Yiannis Evangelidis, Dimis Kritsas, George Stavropoulos and Yiannis Tseklenis are going on display at Zappeion for the duration of the event. All items stem from the permanent collection of the Papantoniou Museum in Nafplion.

Also on the fashion agenda is «Style Re-Invented,» a photo exhibition by InStyle-Smirnoff North.

Thebes planning a new archaeological attraction October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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The site will protect and showcase finds from the cult of Hercules
Among the many archaeological objects found on the plot of land in Thebes was a statue of the mythical hero Hercules and a lion.

Two years ago exciting finds related to the cult of Hercules came to light on a plot of land in Thebes, sparking international interest and prompting the Greek Culture Ministry to plan an archaeological site in downtown Thebes.

On Tuesday, the Central Archaeological Council decided to appropriate a 343.76-square-meter plot at 13 Polyneiki Street, in order to protect and showcase the archaeological remains related to the cult. That site held a wealth of finds (including more than 300 groups of ceramics) that will help researchers further examine the area’s history.

Among the finds were architectural remains from the Bronze Age, sections of flooring (some of them from the Christian era), Mycenean potsherds, finds which indicate the existence of a temple, and inscriptions that refer to the cult of Hercules and one that is dedicated to Megara.

Also found was a sculpture of Hercules with the lion, a bronze tripod, a pit of votive objects, sacrificial knives and colored potsherds depicting the feats of the mythical hero, Dedalic statues, a 7th century AD kore, and other 5th century BC sculptures. All the objects found on Polyneiki Street indicate that the site was in use from the late 8th century BC to 480 BC.

The site to be expropriated is on the southwest side of the Acropolis of Cadmeia, about 200 meters south of the gates of Electra. The Thebes tax authority valued the land at 62,000 euros.

Tough Euro draw for Greece October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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European champions Greece face a tougher challenge to retain their crown next year than they did in reaching last month’s world final, coach Panayiotis Yiannakis said after yesterday’s draw for the Madrid tournament.

Triumphant at the last Euros in 2005, and losing finalists at September’s Worlds in Japan, Greece have been drawn in Group A with Russia, Serbia and the winner of an additional qualifying tournament. “This is perhaps a more difficult competition than the worlds,” Yiannakis said. “You always have to beat strong teams if you want to do something special, though.”

Spain beat Greece 70-47 to win this year’s world final and hosting next year’s Madrid tournament gives the Spanish a great chance to win their first European title. The world champions, runners-up five times in the Euros, were drawn in Group B along with Croatia, Latvia and Portugal.

Group C drew Germany, Turkey, Czech Republic and Lithuania. Group D comprises France, Slovenia, Italy and Poland.

FIBA Europe president George Vassilakopoulos said, “Europe has six of the top eight teams in the world at the moment so this tournament will be very competitive.”

Theanan Seaview Villas, Cyprus October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Hotels Cyprus.
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Complete Holiday Enjoyment

Theanan Seaview Villas > Where you receive value for money when renting a luxury villa which has all the comforts you need.

Everybody wishes they could take a luxury holiday in a foreign land and Cyprus is a first choice for most of them nowadays. Cyprus is first choice because of its great range of holiday villa accommodation, fantastic climate, Cypriot lifestyle and natural beauty.

Theanan Seaview villas are dream destination, when it comes to selecting holiday villas for rent in Cyprus. Theanan Seaview Villas has established a loyal following of returning guests through focusing on excellence in customer service and quality. The company also continues to expand its services for their high-quality, luxury holidays villas.

Theananvillas.com offers selection of holiday villas for rent in Cyprus. There is a selection of luxury villas situated in Coral Bay/Sea Caves of Paphos. You will get best quality villa accommodation with private swimming pools. Theananvillas.com has many special & last minute deals. These deals offer you great discounts and:
(1) Complimentary welcome food hamper supplied on arrival with all bookings of 7 days & over.
(2) Free air conditioning.
(3) Discounted car hire.
(4) Discount vouchers to local business.

On Theananvillas.com you will also find other great types of services like car hire, flights, taxi hires and details of wheel chair facilities.

Have you ever dreamed of getting married in Cyprus? Theanan Seaview Villas can get you in touch with dedicated wedding consultants who can organize a truly memorable wedding for you. Couples who will be getting married during their stay at Theanan Seaview villas will receive a Gift of a congratulatory basket of champagne, chocolates, flowers & other treats.

Theanan Seaview Villas is the dream destination to fulfill your dreams of luxury living in within your holiday budget.

For more information > http://www.theananvillas.com or Call  + 357 99475604.

Cyprus a golf haven October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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Cyprus is to market itself as the golfing Mecca of the Mediterranean in the coming years as property developers and construction firms plan new high-quality courses aiming to attract the attention of connoisseurs of the sport.

There are currently only three golf courses on the island but with another 14 projects in development, the Cypriot tourist board is hoping that high-spending golfers will flock to the Republic.

The move is part of a long-term goal to attract a more affluent tourist market that will not grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons such as the youth market, which caused the country’s tourism to boom in the late 1990s.

However, the authorities are very conscious of the damage that could be caused by a mushrooming tourist market and so are keen to preserve the country’s prime assets, particularly its environment.

Kate Hamilton a spokesperson for Home Overseas, noted that despite the commitment to new golf courses, there would not be unrestrained development. “There is only a certain amount of development that can happen especially where golf is concerned, because there isn’t room enough for a lot of golf courses,” she said.

However, the limited land space may benefit investors in the future as it will put a cap on supply, which would then draw up prices if tourist and housing demand remained strong.

Last month the Financial Mirror reported that the average house price rose by 1.6 per cent in August, according to the BuySell Cyprus Home Price Index, representing 8.5 per cent annual growth.

It is this stability that is attracting investors; private individuals seem comfortable investing in a country that is developing slowly because it means that the area surrounding their acquisitions will be protected from the sprawling developments of mass tourism. A gradual increase in property prices and rental yields is a factor that cannot be offered by many competing countries in the east of Europe.

In addition, the fact that English is widely spoken means not only that private individuals find it easier to conduct financial transactions but is also a sign that the cultural divide is not as marked as it is in some European property hotspots.

Cyprus is home to some 60,000 British expats and as flights can be bought for around £120 return, there is always a strong UK presence on the island, a feature that is making the country feel like an extension of the homeland, but blessed with 300 days sunshine a year.