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Cypriot Antiquities from Stockholm on exhibition April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Cyprus, Arts Museums.
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Cypriot Antiquities from the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm to be exhibited for the first time in the Cyprus Museum, in Nicosia

The Minister of Communications and Works, Mr Harris Thrassou will inaugurate next Thursday, 26 April 2007, in Nicosia, an important exhibition of Cypriot antiquities which have been in the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm since 1931. The ceremony will be honoured with the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Desirιe of Sweden, who will be arriving in Cyprus shortly.

The organisation of the exhibition, titled “The Swedish Cyprus Exhibition 1927-1931”, was realised through the close cooperation between the Department of Antiquities and the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm. It is worth noting that the Cyprus Prize of Archaeology for 2006 was awarded to the Swedish Cyprus Expedition, on the anniversary of 80 years since its arrival in Cyprus, for its contribution to the archaeology of Cyprus.

The excavations, conducted between 1927-1931, and the publication of the results shed light on all the periods of the archaeology of Cyprus, from the Neolithic to the Roman and filled in important gaps in our knowledge.

The exhibition comprises 120 objects from the excavations of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition in various parts of Cyprus, which after the completion of the excavations and in accordance with the Antiquities Law of the time, formed part of the collections of the Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm.

The inauguration will be held at 7.30pm., next Thursday, at the Cyprus Museum and the exhibition will be open for the public until July 22, 2007.

Maxmara launches bridal wear line April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion & Style.
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Italian fashion house Maxmara is launching a bridal wear range

The new collection will feature 20 to 30 different styles in a range of three colours, white, ivory and pink. Customers can choose from different styles including empire waist dresses, halter necks in luxurious chiffon, taffeta and duchesse satin.

The collection will be complimented by veils, stoles, costume jewellery and footwear, all of which are produced in-house. Maxmara will launch the range for a trial run later this month in 50 stores in France, Italy, Germany and Greece.

A spokesman for the company said: “We are responding to a specific request by our customers. The company prides itself on offering its clients options for every occasion. Bridal wear was still a big gap.”

Prolific scorer Gekas to move April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Bundesliga’s top scorer, on 18 goals, signs four-year deal with Leverkusen, club reveals

Greece’s international Fanis Gekas, the German Bundesliga’s top scorer who plays club-level soccer with Bochum, has signed a four-year contract with Bayer Leverkusen, their club manager Rudi Voeller revealed over the weekend.

The 26-year-old, who has been capped 14 times for Greece, scored his 18th goal of the season in Bochum’s 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt. Gekas will move at the end of the season, Voeller said.

Gekas has been on a one-year loan to Bochum from Athens club Panathinaikos, where the striker was also a sharp shooter but fell out of favor last summer when the club signed striker Dimitris Salpiggidis.

Gekas was the Greek league’s top goal scorer in 2005 with 17 goals and was runner-up in 2006 with 15. Leverkusen boss Voeller, whose side won 2-0 at home to Nuremberg, did not disclose how much his club will pay for Gekas. Italian club AS Roma had reportedly also expressed an interest in acquiring the Greek striker.

Voeller also said Brazil defender Juan would be leaving Leverkusen at the end of the season. German media reported that Juan was set to join Roma for a fee of 9 million euros.

The Greek National Team’s coach Otto Rehhagel has shown in increasing preference to use Gekas in more recent games. The National Team currently lies second in Group C for the the Euro 2008 qualifiers with 12 points from five games. The group’s top two teams advance to next year’s Euro 2008 finals.

‘Nixon in China’ final performances in Athens April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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Peter Sellars talks about his work > Final performances of the opera take place this week in Athens.

In the world of opera, the merest mention of Peter Sellars’s name causes a stir. Every staging of Mozart’s works in the 1980s by the now 50-year-old director generated alternating waves of indignation and enthusiasm, depending on the age, expectations and temperament of the audience. His “Cosi fan Tutte” was set in a restaurant, “Le Nozze di Figaro” was at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, “Don Giovanni” was in a ghetto, and “Zaide,” one of the great composer’s earliest works, never completed and rarely performed, was staged last year at the Mostly Mozart festival in London and focused on illegal immigrants.

In 2001, Sellars staged Bach’s highly popular Cantata, BWV 82, as the swan song of a man dying in hospital. According to a review in The New Yorker at the time, one member of the audience at this performance stormed out screaming, while others said that it was one of their most important experiences with respect to Bach’s music. His staging at the Glyndebourne festival of Handel’s oratorio “Theodora,” in which the entire choreography is played out by the chorus using its hands, has gone down in history.

The inspiration behind John Adams’s “Nixon in China” also belongs to Sellars. In 1983, at a time when former US president Richard Nixon’s name conjured up only negative associations, Sellars met with Adams and pitched his idea. This opera marked the beginning of a long partnership that included “The Death of Klinghoffer,” “A Flowering Tree” and more recently “Doctor Atomic,” an opera inspired by J. Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the first atomic bomb.

Sellars was unable to attend the Athens premiere of “Nixon in China”, organized by the Greek National Opera and staged at the Athens Concert Hall last Friday, as he was busy working on the staging of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. On this production he worked with acclaimed video artist Bill Viola, raising expectations of a “21st century Tristan,” according to the local press.

The distance between Athens and California did nothing to quench the enthusiasm and vitality in his voice during a recent telephone interview. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am that I won’t be able to make it,” he said. “And I’ve never been to Greece.”

Sellars fondly remembers the days when they were staging the first production of “Nixon in China.” “I will never forget the artistic energy of those days,” he said. “We had gathered a group of many different people, and the mix was explosive. Where can I begin: fantastic music, choreography, so many young, creative artists. I think that ‘Nixon in China’ succeeded in covering a wide range of emotions, something quite unusual at the time for opera. I mean that it had a lot of humor, but there were also a lot of dramatic scenes. It was not just a comedy or just a drama. It is a story that brings out mixed feelings.” As far as Adams’s music is concerned, he does not think it is minimalist at all. “It is anything but,” he says. “It is rich, with humor and so many songs. I assure you, it is the opposite of minimalism.”

Though some may today regard the figure of Nixon as one belonging in the past, the issue of China remains as topical as ever. “We have more China today that ever before,” says Sellars. “Look at how much China you have in your own home, how much China you wear going to work; China is everywhere. I would actually say that when we first staged the opera in the 80s, China was just an abstract idea to most people.”

Nixon, in contrast, was anything but abstract during those rocky times. The Americans loathed the president who had become embroiled in the Watergate scandal. How far did the opera succeed in changing the public’s view of Nixon? “Look, there are still a lot of folks who hate him. I wouldn’t say that impressions of Nixon have changed, only that the debate is now open. You can’t get rid of historical figures that easily. And don’t forget that the other lead character in the opera is Mao, also a very highly charged political figure. Many believe that Mao was a monster, but we show moments of Mao’s which illustrate that he was more than just one thing.”

Sellars admits to facing something of a dilemma when it comes to classical versus 20th century opera. “With the older works we see the same thing we see in cinema: People like going back to the classic masterpieces. New productions are also based on everything that existed before. You can recognize a lot of moments of classical opera in modern works. But that’s not the issue. The issue is to transfuse new energy into a work that was written one or even two centuries ago. That’s what it’s all about. What the audience sees on stage has to have something to do with his own life, today, in April 2007.”

The final performances of “Nixon in China” will take place on Wednesday and Saturday. For information, tel 210 3612461 or 210 7282333.

Exciting spring theater festival April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Stage & Theater.
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Attiki Cultural Society’s annual event brings internationally acclaimed plays, performers

Charlotte Rampling and Bernard Verley in August Strindberg’s ‘La Dance de Mort,’ currently at the Theatre de la Madeleine in Paris. The production travels to Athens in May.

According to the French daily Le Monde, the world of August Strindberg fits Charlotte Rampling “like a glove.” The British actress is currently performing in “La Dance de Mort” at the Theatre de la Madeleine in Paris until Friday. Critics are hailing her sensitivity, stage intelligence and maturity in the role of Alice, a former leading theater actress who has given up her career for her marriage. Greek audiences will get a chance to enjoy Rampling’s performance during the Attiki Cultural Society’s third spring festival.

Directed by Hans Peter Cloos and co-starring Bernard Verley and Didier Sandre, the performance is one of the festival’s five productions.

The festival opens on May 9, with additional performances on May 10 and 11, at the Horn Theater, with Peter Brook and “The Grand Inquisitor,” an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevski’s “The Brothers Karamazov,” starring Bruce Myers. The story unfolds in Seville during the dark times of the Spanish Inquisition: A man who looks like a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, a silent part, is arrested and interrogated by the Grand Inquisitor.

Strindberg’s “La Dance de Mort” follows at the Pallas Theater on May 12 and 13. Also at the Pallas, the Royal Shakespeare Company will stage “Richard III” on May 21 and 22. In this production, Shakespeare’s play is adapted by Sulayman Al-Bassam in the form of an Arabian tragedy featuring a live orchestra and 28-member acting troupe. The play takes place in the feudal society of the desert palaces, where oil reigns supreme. Directed by Al-Bassam, the play is performed in Arabic with supertitles. The production takes a look at the often misunderstood wealth of the Arabian Gulf, commenting on its traditions, musical heritage and rituals.

A world premiere is up next at the Pallas Theater on May 28, 29, 30 and 31, with a new production by Robert Wilson, who came up with the concept, and Turkish composer Kudsi Erguner. “Rumi: In the Blink of the Eye” features nine dancers, two vocalists and seven musicians from Istanbul. Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273), a Sufi poet born in what is today Afghanistan, is considered the greatest of Sufi mystics and was the founding father of the Mevlevi Order, known as the Whirling Dervishes. For centuries, the Whirling Dervishes performed rituals unknown to the West, until travelers in the 19th century spoke about what they had seen on their travels. Over the last few decades, Whirling Dervishes have become a popular tourist attraction for European audiences. Wilson’s production aims to bridge two artistic sources: the tradition of the East, with all its mysticism and Sufi heritage, and contemporary Western creativity through narrative, movement and sound.

The festival’s last production is scheduled to take place at the Pallas Theater on June 4 and 5. The production features a popular stage and cinema pair, namely Gerard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant, interpreting all the roles of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata.” The performance, adapted from the original play by Laurent Dispot and directed by Jean-Paul Scarpitta, features Depardieu in the men’s roles and Ardant in the female parts. 

Choreographers explore the American dream April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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The production opened at the Acropol Theater yesterday.

The latest National Opera dance production, a three-part performance by three acclaimed Greek choreographers, is titled “American Dream.” Constantinos Rigos, Fotis Nikolaou and Zoe Dimitriou pose questions and provide answers about the essence of the American dream, about our perception of the USA and its culture and explore how close or far away we are from our personal “American dream.” The production opened at the Acropol Theater in Athens yesterday and will run tomorrow to Thursday, on the weekend, as well as May 2 to 6.

The production is full of images, feelings and impressions of America as we imagine it to be. It kicks off with Zoe Dimitriou’s “Limen.” “Focusing on America, I was inspired by American composer Steve Reich’s compositions,” notes the choreographer. Fotis Nikolaou’s “Lonely Room,” with music by Dimitris Kamarotos, comes next. Constantinos Rigos closes the triptych with “A Little Piece Peace for America,” with music by Cole Porter and Johnny Cash, performed live by the Apodrassis music ensemble. Immigrants, superheroes and people from daily life all join forces to create a mosaic of images. “American Dream” is performed by the Greek National Opera Ballet dancers Mania Karavassili, Mitsi Stergianou, Antonis Koroutis, Evridiki Isaakidou, Vassia Bizindi, Vanessa Kourkoulou and Thanassis Solomos, among others.

At the Acropol Theater, 9-11 Ippocratous Street, Athens, tel 210 3643700.

Economist Conference in Athens April 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Shows & Conferences.
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A three-day Economist conference, again entitled “Round-Table with the Greek Government”, and focusing on the theme of “New priorities at global level”, opens Tuesday at a coastal resort southeast of Athens, the 11th such conference to be organised in Greece.

The Economist 11th Roundtable with the Greek Government reflects the important role played by Greece, as a SE European country and EU member, for peace, security and the consolidation of democracy in the wider region. The broad participation of officials of public life and important international personalities indicates the success of the Economist conferences in Greece, according to Economist public relations chief in Greece, Panayotis Tsafaras, which he said have become an institution in the country and point to Greece’s geostrategic and economic importance in the wider region.

Speakers at the conference include Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, main opposition  leader George Papandreou, Ministers, Euro-MPs, ministry heads and corporate CEOs.

Foreign speakers include EU Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia, US ambassador to Greece Charles Ries, former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, ministers and representatives of southeast European countries and the Arab world, senior officials of international economic organisations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.