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Marcos Baghdatis in China Open September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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China Open Tennis Tournament 2007

Defending champion and fifth seed Marcos Baghdatis will be in action Tuesday against Chinese qualifier Shao Xuan Zeng.

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, seeded fifth this week, defeated Croat Mario Ancic in last year’s finale here.

Baghdatis, who is ranked 18th in the world, was the first Cypriot to win an ATP title when he beat Croatian Mario Ancic 6-4 6-0 here last September.

A star-studded dance gala soon at the Pallas September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera.
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Soloists from Bolshoi, Mariinsky meet on stage > Stars on stage. Ilze Liepa and Mark Peretokin are two of the 12 Russian soloists scheduled to appear in the upcoming dance gala at the Pallas Theater in central Athens.

What happens when Svetlana Zakharova meets Ulyana Lopatkina on stage? “Super Stars Gala: Bolshoi and Mariinsky,” is billed as a unique meeting of 12 leading artists from Russia’s top two ballet companies, namely the legendary troupes of the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky theaters. The star-studded dance event is scheduled to go on stage at the Pallas Theater in Athens on September 20, 21, 22 and 23. Proceeds from the four exciting performances will benefit the Association of Families for Mental Health.

In Athens, ballet lovers will get the chance to enjoy interpretations by world-renowned dancers, such as Madezhda Gracheva, Ilze Liepa, Andrey Uvaron, Mark Peretokin, Oksana Matvienko, Ivan Kozlov, Faruk Ruzimatov, Sofia Gumerova, Morihiro Ivata, Denis Matvienko as well as Svetlana Zakharova and Lopatkina. The soloists will be accompanied by the Bolshoi company’s corps de ballet.

“I’m very pleased to appear in Greece for the third, consecutive year,” said Ilze Liepa at a recent press conference. Liepa, the daughter of famed soloist Maris Liepa, further noted that this year’s dance extravaganza will feature a number of surprises.

For instance, besides excerpts from ballet’s more classical repertory, Athenian audiences will also appreciate contemporary choreography, including two works especially created for Ilze Liepa, both of which will be presented internationally for the first time in Greece.

On the subject of appearing alongside such distinguished colleagues, Liepa noted: “I don’t feel any kind of competition, I’m thinking more of collaboration. When we all get together, I’m very excited for all that we are going to share.”

Also present at the recent press conference was fellow soloist Mark Peretokin who said that the upcoming performances will allow local audiences to view new trends in Russian ballet, on the one hand, while enjoying “gems of classic Russian tradition” on the other.

The Super Stars Gala program will open with Bizet’s “Carmen” based on a choreography by Alberto Alonso, followed by scenes from various works, including “La Bayadere” and “Don Quixote.”

Pallas Theater, 5 Voukourestiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3213100. For tickets: Elba Spectacles, tel 210 6728080, Spectacles, tel 210 3246888 and online at www.ticketart.gr 

Innovative group back with Balzac September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Museums, Stage & Theater.
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The Altra Terra theater group’s ‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ is now on at the Benaki Museum

This time last year, they presented a stage adaptation of the Wim Wenders’s film “Wings of Desire” inside a bus that made its way through the streets of Athens. Now, for its latest project, the recently founded Altra Terra theater company is staging Honere de Balzac’s “The Unknown Masterpiece” at the Benaki Museum. The production premiered last night and is scheduled to run until September 30.

The venue for this production may not be a bus in motion, but it nevertheless remains another unorthodox project. Theatergoers will need to stand among works of art as they face the questions raised by Balzac’s work on issues such as existence, art and love.

Commenting on the experience that audiences can expect, the play’s director, Grigoris Hadzakis, noted: “A course, a ride, a night at the museum, a type of theatrical tour.”

Balzac’s timeless questions concerning art, presented via a meeting among three painters, act as the driving force behind this ride. ‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ is the ultimate guide for anybody who wants to become involved with art; it’s a work that can also function in theatrical form,” Hadzakis explained.

Altra Terra was founded two years ago. The group made its debut with Randal Viscovich’s “The Beast” at the Altera Pars Theater in Kerameikos, Athens. “The team’s nucleus has remained the same. The actors have changed. We’re interested in offering the audience a real experience, the tie between actor and theatergoer,” said Hadzakis.

The stage props for Altra Terra’s latest project were designed by Danae Hatzaki. The lighting was designed by Sakis Birbilis. The music, written for the performance, is by Neon. Animation featured in the production is by Vaggelis Christodoulos. The 14-member cast includes Kleon Grigoriadis, Roza Prodromou, Makis Benakis and Byron Katritsis.

Benaki Museum, 17 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue and 1 Koumbari Street, Kolonaki, Athens, tel 210 3671000.

The sounds of weddings and funerals September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Festivals, Music Life Live Gigs.
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The emotion of intimate family occasion brought to life by the father of Yugoslav rock

Tales of weddings and funerals isn’t what one would expect to be the focus of attention in a live concert but for Goran Bregovic and his gypsy band there’s nothing quite like all the emotion conjured up at these intimate family occasions.

Keen to tell the world that he sees each concert that he gives as a festival of its own, it’s an event where one can experience both joy and tears at the same time. Fans on the other hand, claim that Bregovic creates music that our souls recognise instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance.

As one of the most famous modern composers of the Balkans, Bregovic arrives in Cyprus this week as part of a busy European tour. He will give two concerts within the framework of this year’s Kypria Festival.

Organisers have chosen outdoor venues steeped in history and culture to match the intense atmosphere of the concerts. The first performance will take place on Friday evening at D’Avila Moat in Old Nicosia, while the concert to follow on Saturday will take place at Paphos Castle Square. Brought to you by Alma Productions, the whole occasion is tipped as being equally sensational as last year’s much talked about Joaquin Cortes concert, organised by the same group.

Tales and Songs From Weddings and Funerals > Goran Bregovic in concert as part of the Kypria Festival.
September 14. D’Avila Moat, Nicosia. 8.30pm. September 15. Castle Square, Paphos. 8.30pm. Tickets £15/£10. Tel 25 661466. For more info > www.almaproductions.net For online tickets > www.interticket.com.cy

The Cyprus Skydiving Boogie September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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This coming week the skies will be open for the Pegasus Skydiving Federation’s second annual Cyprus Boogie, a week-long festival of unique airborne excitement with a host of courses and parachute disciplines taking place to attract old hands and provide a learning opportunity for those new to the sport.

The skies over Cyprus are to be opened for the Pegasus Skydiving Boogie from September 15 to 21 with a variety of skydiving disciplines included within the programme. No longer a case of simply jumping from a plane with a parachute, offshoots of the sport include formation skydiving, ‘birdman’ wingsuit flying, sky surfing and free flying, among others.

This year’s Boogie aims to build on last year’s test event to develop wider interest in skydiving in Cyprus, as organiser Chris Lazarides explains, “Last year we included some disciplines which are still relatively new to Cyprus, for instance free-flying. We invited and subsidised a renowned expert, Andy Ford, to come and teach the skills here. The skydivers loved him; they learned new tricks and made significant progress, it was a really good learning experience for the sport,” he says.

A competition schedule will also be included but, as with all the events, the emphasis is to be on fun and promoting skydiving to new recruits. “This year we are placing greater emphasis on introducing new people to the sport and to help them to progress through the BPA system,” says Chris. With several course options available to newcomers from a ‘taster’ tandem skydive to a fast track Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) course, Chris is confident that the Boogie will attract more skydiving converts on the island.

Semi-formal competition events including accuracy landing and formation skydiving are scheduled throughout the Boogie and although run under Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) rules the objective is fun and gaining experience rather than world class competition. “We want to introduce the events but we are not pushing skydivers to feel they have to be able to compete at a high level. It will be a relaxed competition and participation is our main aim,” says Chris.

The Federation is also keen to bring more locals into the sport and is offering subsidies worth up to £150 for anyone taking an AFF course during the Boogie.

All the action this week is to take place at Kingsfield Airfield near Dhekelia, a military skydiving centre which is also home to Kingsfield Parachute Club, a civilian organisation providing weekend jumping and British Parachute Association (BPA) courses.

Second skydiving Boogie > Saturday September 15 – 23, 7am – 7pm. Practice jumps and jumping at dusk. Fun jumping available on Sunday 16 – Wednesday 19. Night jumping taking place on Thursday 20. Friday 21 Parachute displays at noon in addition to 16-way jump with two aircraft at 2pm. Kingsfield Airfield near Dhekelia. For more information visit > www.thecyprusboogie.net

For more information about skydiving courses contact the Cyprus Combined Services Parachute Centre (CCSPC) on info@skydiving-cyprus.com or visit > www.skydiving-cyprus.com 

Cyprus wins two gold medals in ISSF Skeet Championship September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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Cyprus clinched two more gold medals in the ISSF World Shooting Championships 2007, which took place at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Nicosia.

Cypriot Champion George Achilleos won the gold medal in skeet, with 148 hits out of 150.

Cyprus’ National Skeet Team, with George Achilleos, Kyriacos Christoforou and Antonis Michaelides, was pronounced World Champion with 364 hits out of 375, followed by the Czech Republic with 362 hits and the US with 359.

Greece rebounds to snatch late victory September 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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European Champions’ thrilling 81-78 win over Croatia, with last-second three-pointer, virtually seals Eurobasket quarterfinal spot

Vassilis Spanoulis hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to lead Greece over Croatia 81-78 yesterday in the European Championship. The win virtually assures Greece a place in the quarterfinals. Greece now meets Portugal tomorrow in its last group game ahead of knockout competition all the way to the end, beginning with the quarterfinals.

After Croatia’s Marko Popovic hit his two free-throws with seven seconds left to tie it at 78, Spanoulis, the former Houston Rockets guard, dribbled the length of the court before slipping off his marker to knock down a wide-open shot from nearly a meter behind the line.

Dimitrios Diamantidis, who hit some clutch threes down the stretch, led Greece with 23 points, while Mario Kasun led Croatia with 15.

Greece went into the game having lost to world champion and host Spain, 76-58, last Friday night in a repeat of last summer’s final for the world title. Although the pre-match talk had been about Greece looking for revenge for their defeat at the Worlds, the more pressing matter was to regain momentum.

Spain were roared on by a partisan crowd and quickly put Panagiotis Yiannakis’s side under pressure. They led by eight at the end of the first quarter, and stormed away in the second to lead 45-24 at the midway point and there was no way back.

Although Greece had a 36-32 advantage in rebounds they failed to trouble Spain mainly because they shot just six of 25 (24 percent) from three-point range. Joao Gomes scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds yesterday to help Portugal beat Israel 94-85.

Portugal, which qualified for the tournament with a 69-49 win over Israel last September, also got 20 points from Francisco Jordao. “This victory is confirmation of the work we have done in our preparation and of the attitude we have, which is to go out and win every game,” forward Joao Santos said.