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St. Thomas Department of Art History celebrates graduating seniors April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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The University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, USA, announced that its Department of Art History celebrates graduating seniors at Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Department of Art History will celebrate the accomplishments of its graduating seniors, at its Undergraduate Research Symposium Friday, May 4. The symposium, which begins at 3:30 p.m. in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium, will be followed by a reception in the lobby gallery.

Research presentations will be given by graduating seniors on following topics: “Images of Mary in Early Christianity”, “Good Boys Don’t?! Youths in Pederastic Courtship Scenes on Greek Pottery”, and “Kinetic Architecture: A Re-Evaluation.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (651) 962-5560.

South Yorkshire Police, UK: Appeal for Information, Rotherham April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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ATTENTION TO OUR BRITISH READERS OR ANY OTHERS WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP > If you can help or provide concrete information please read the following, click the link, and get in touch with the British Police. Thank you. 

Police at Rotherham have released the attached photographs to the media in the hope they will enable them to trace the rightful owner of a digital camera.

Photographs on the camera appear to be holiday photos of a location possibly in Greece or the Greek Islands with the last photograph being taken on 3 October 2006 so the assumption is that it has been either lost or stolen and abandoned since that date.

Read more and view the pictures at > South Yorkshire Police

Explore Greek, Roman art at The Met April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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metexhibition.jpg  This photo provided by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York shows a detail from the Badminton Sarcophagus, on display at the Museum’s new Greek and Roman galleries.

What: The new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Where: 1000 Fifth Ave., New York City.

When: Friday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; closed Monday.

Admission: $20; $15, seniors; $10 students; free, under age 12.

Information: Call 1-212-535-7710 or visit www.metmuseum.org

Consecration held for Greek church April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora.
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As part of their church’s 100th anniversary, parishioners at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral gathered this weekend to consecrate the Panagia Chapel.

“The chapel is actually 21 years old, but its consecration never took place,” said the Rev. Christopher H. Stamas, the church’s pastor. At a service on Saturday, the chapel was washed and emptied except for relics of the saints, which were brought in and placed on an empty altar table.

“The time has come for the chapel to be officially consecrated, which is a very symbolic ceremony,” said Metropolitan Methodios, bishop of Boston, who led the ceremony. “In essence you are not consecrating bricks and walls, you are consecrating the parishioners of the community. It’s like a re-baptism and a manifesto of our unity with faith.”

The four-hour ceremony included readings, music and rituals. “It’s a very special time for the cathedral and for the members of the church,” Stamas said. “Consecrating a chapel is something you do only once, since the relics of the saints will never be moved again.”

In honor of the church’s 100th anniversary, the chapel was completely renovated. “It’s a beautiful space, filled with Byzantine style mosaics and stained glass windows. Most of our baptisms, weekday services and even some weddings are performed there,” Stamas said.

St. George’s was founded in 1907 on Auburn Street in Springfield. The church moved to its current location at Memorial Square in 1940. In addition to the consecration, the church will hold several other celebrations in honor of the 100th anniversary including a Greek festival in September.

“Basically, it’s about reaffirming the mission of providing the gospel to those who need it and to celebrate the very rich history we’ve had here in Springfield,” Stamas said.

The celebration will culminate when Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States, will be on hand to celebrate vespers and the divine liturgy on November 17 and November 18.

Sony in trouble for using slaughtered goat April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Games & Gadgets.
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Electronics giant Sony is in hot water after using a decapitated goat as a party centerpiece in Greece at The God of War 2 launch showcase held in Athens, Greece, on 1st March 2007, to promote the launch of a video game.

The meal greatly upset animal rights advocates, the British Sunday Mail reported. The party, held in Athens, reportedly used the beheaded goat as the centerpiece of a celebration of the launch of “God Of War II” for Sony’s PlayStation console, the London newspaper said. Guests were even allowed to reach inside the goat’s stomach to eat offal meant to resemble the animal’s intestines.

The party also featured topless girls and a chance for guests to pull live snakes from a pit. Images of the party were reportedly printed in the company’s official PlayStation magazine, and the company has since apologized.

Animal rights advocates were not the only ones upset. The Mail reported Sony received many complaints about the message such use of a slaughtered animal sends to youngsters. “God Of War II,” known as a very violent game, features characters from Greek mythology.

UPDATE >

It’s a slow news day so back to that bizarre Sony press event in Greece. The company has furnished Kotaku.com with its side of the story. Predictably, it turns out that the goat was not slaughtered onsite and games journalists were not invited to eat offal from its still warm body cavity. The goat was apparently ‘sourced’ already dead from a local butcher. I wish I could have heard that phone conversation.

Read more at > Sony responds

Athens Olympic Stadium, a basketball temple April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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The 2007 Final Four will take place at OAKA, where Panathinaikos has played since moving from Glyfada Stadium in 1995. That was the year that the Indoor Hall of the Olympic Sports Complex was opened, and since then it has hosted all the major basketball events in the world. With the addition of the upcoming Euroleague Final Four, OAKA will have the privilege of being the only court responsible for hosting a complete cycle of the world’s most prestigous basketball events.

The Olympic Indoor Hall of Athens is considered to be one of the most renowned basketball temples worldwide. A few weeks after its completion, in June 1995, the European Championships for men was the very first event to be held there, with the national team of Yugoslavia returning from a three-year ban and winning the gold in a thrilling final against Lithuania. Croatia took the bronze medal and Greece came fourth. Twenty days later, OAKA hosted the Word Championships for junior men, where Greece beat Australia in the final game and captured the gold medal, while Spain ranked third and Croatia fourth. Among the junior world players that summer, Dimitris Papanikolaou from Panathinaikos, Luis Scola from Tau, Pepe Sanchez and Carlos Jimenez from Unicaja, and Trajan Langdon from CSKA Moscow are now returning, 12 years later, to play the Euroleague Final Four in the same arena, OAKA.

In summer 1998, OAKA again took the spotlight of international attention thanks to the Men’s World Championships. With the current coach of Panathinaikos, Zelimir Obradovic, on the bench, Yugoslavia beat Russia in another thrilling final, decided on a block shot by Zeliko Rebraca against Mihail Mihailov, and thus conquered the title. The U.S. team, without NBA players due to a lockout, took the bronze medal, while Greece ranked fourth.

In August 2004 OAKA experienced its most brilliant moments, with the final round of the Olympic Men’s Basketball Tournament. This time the NBA was here, but the U.S. team failed to obtain what they had missed six years previously. Argentina came up big, beating Italy in the final to win the gold medal, the country’s biggest achievement in any Olympic team sport. The U.S. team captured the bronze medal, Lithuania ranked fourth and Greece took the fifth place. Two of Argentina’s gold medalists from 2004 – Scola and Sanchez – return now to try to prove that OAKA brings them good luck. The ultimate good luck can only come through for one of them, but both have other precedents in OAKA. Sanchez won the 2002 Euroleague title with Panathinaikos, while Scola and Tau last year beat Panathinaikos in a do-or-die game at OAKA to reach the Final Four in Prague.

After the 1995 European Championships for men, the World Championships for junior men, the 1998 World Championships for men and the 2004 Olympic Basketball Tournament, now the Euroleague Final Four is another link to be added in this bright chain. It marks the third time that Greece is hosting a Final Four for third time. In 1993, at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Athens, Limoges beat Benetton Treviso in a controversial final game sealed by the outstanding defense of the French team. Current Tau Ceramica boss Bozidar Maljkovic led Limoges to its upset victory. PAOK came third and Real Madrid ranked fourth. Seven years later it was Thessaloniki’s turn to host a Final Four. PAOK’s Sports Arena in Pylaia welcomed the best four teams of the competition, with Panathinaikos edging Maccabi Tel Aviv in a final game full of emotions. Former Maccabi player Oded Katash led the Greens to the victory. There was crying as the fans of both teams were cheering and singing for him on the way from the arena to the airport.

It’s only the fifth time in history of the contemporary Final Four that a team has the opportunity to win the trophy in its own home court, and Panathinaikos cannot take much hope from past results! Amongst the four teams which have previously tried to become European champions at home, only two, Barcelona in 2003 and Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004, have reached that goal. Kinder Bologna in 2002 and CSKA Moscow in 2005 failed to do so, therefore one way or another Panathinaikos is going to tip the balance in favor of playing at home, or not.

Related links > http://www.oaka.com.gr

Dancing the American Dream April 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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Three Greek choreographers create a triple-bill expressing what the term means to them today

Three leading Greek choreographers have been invited by the National Opera to present their individual understanding of the American Dream at the Acropol Theater. Constantinos Rigos, Fotis Nikolaou and Zoe Dimitriou have come together and created a triptych, which premiered last week and will run on May 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

For Dimitriou the American Dream is all about speed. Taking an abstract and formalist approach, the choreographer uses music by minimalist pioneer Stephen Reich to create “Limen.” “The object,” explains Dimitriou, “is to create structures that correspond to what America is today, which to me, is the result of formalist relationships. The piece is more abstract, minimalist, than symbolic or theatrical.” The young choreographer, who made a stunning debut at the Kalamata International Dance Festival, drawing the attention of National Opera Ballet Director Lynne Seymour, studied at the National School of Ballet in Greece and under Trisha Brown in New York. In 2005, she completed postgraduate studies at the Laban Center for Contemporary Dance in London. She wowed audiences and critics in Greece from her very first collaborations with the Horeftes and Lathos Kinisi ensembles, while she has also worked with acclaimed choreographers in New York and London. Dimitriou also teaches at the Laban Center, the Rambert Dance Company and Independence Dance.

For Fotis Nikolaou, “the Statue of Liberty is tired of standing, a cheerleader is bored of smiling, a baseball player wants to throw down his glove, and an empty room,” is how he describes his choreography, “Lonely Rooms.” “I tried to transport the great American Dream into a single room and to sense the loneliness tired people bring out behind closed doors,” he explains. “I drew from my experience of living as a student in New York, that huge place with so many contradictions that makes you think it can fit an infinite number of things. A huge puzzle with unbelievable loneliness. That’s what I focused on. The piece took a political slant on its own. I’ve chosen certain symbols, American emblems that are easy to recognize. I use them in passing and look more at what is behind them, the do’s and don’ts. We are stuck on the American Dream, but that’s just a pretext. It could just as easily be the Greek dream,” he says. Nikolaou also graduated from the National School of Ballet and continued in New York on a scholarship from the Koula Pratsika Foundation. He is currently the artistic director of the X-it dance ensemble and has created works that have been presented in Cyprus, Athens, the Lyon Dance Biennale and the Athens Festival. He was also a member of the creative team behind the opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

From 1994 to 2005, he was a permanent member of the Omada Edafous dance company and has collaborated with Oktana, Sine qua non, Lathos Kinisi, Elatirio, Ad Lib, Zouzou Nikoloudi’s Horika and Haris Mandafounis, as well as with the Athens Concert Hall and the Karolos Koun Theatro Technis. His previous collaboration with the National Opera was in this season’s “Orpheus and Eurydice,” which he choreographed.

“The show must go on” is a phrase that sums up the American Dream for choreographer Constantinos Rigos, whose piece, “A Little Piece/Peace of America” comprises the third part of the evening at the Acropol.

The music is Cole Porter and the atmosphere from a particular era: musicals, Broadway, glitz and vanity. On the other bank of his mental river are Johnny Cash and the Wild West. “The choreography is based on the concept of entertainment,” says Rigos. All the songs are performed live by the Apodrasi quintet, like a concert accompanied by illustrations of the lyrics. In a single choreography that runs 35 minutes, Rigos has tried to use every way in which a dancer can work. On pointes, in character, barefoot. He presents faces one can encounter in any Western society, which represent the American Dream, which is also a global dream: to succeed in becoming someone. The piece also contains commentary, thought and a number of symbols that represent America. “It is quite political without being in-your-face,” says Rigos. “It doesn’t adopt any particular position, but anyway, it isn’t a black-and-white kind of subject. What is the American Dream? The need to believe in the moment. What is it that touches me personally about the American Dream? It’s duration. The belief that there is a place where anything can happen.”

Rigos established the Oktana dance company in 1999, and later, from 2001 to 2005, also served as artistic director of the National Theater of Northern Greece’s Dance Theater. He has worked in theater, opera, television and cinema, and has also shown works of art at museums and galleries.

Both his 1995 choreography “Daphnis and Chloe” and his 1996 “Five Seasons” received State Dance Awards, while in 1997 he received the Melina Mercouri Award for choreography. Last February he choreographed the National Opera’s production of “Les Sylphides.”

At the Acropol Theater, reservations tel 210 3612461.