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Dance seedlings flower on stage March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera.
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27-03-08_ndt.jpg  Dance magic. Jiri Kylian’s “Toss of a Dice”. Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon’s “Silent Screen”. The Nederlands Danse Theater at the Athens Concert Hall for performances on 27, 28, 29 and 30 March at 21:oo hours.

A dozen dancers gaze into space while their bodies stand motionless like Japanese symbols on stage. Susumu Shingu’s striking sculpture is suspended from the roof, conveying the feeling that we are facing the dancers of the future. That is choreographer Jiri Kylian’s «Toss of a Dice», but he has more surprises in store. The famous Nederlands Danse Theater is set to present a highly interesting program at the Athens Concert Hall until Sunday, starting tonight. The Dutch company, one of the world’s most acclaimed and popular dance ensembles, will perform choreographies by Kylian as well as by his younger colleagues Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon.

The Nederlands Danse Theater, especially its main section, NDT I, has visited Athens in the past. This week, local audiences will be able to enjoy its new face, meaning its new generation of dancers.

The program features two choreographies, one by Lightfoot and Leon and another by Kylian. Both premiered in the Hague in April 2005. Earlier in the season they had been forced to cancel a big tour in the Far East. To have an unpredictable, mid-season change is a nightmare for any artistic director; but on the other hand it can provide opportunities. So they decided to give their main choreographers an extended period of time, which in turn led to the program that it will be staged in Athens.

Lightfoot and Leon’s «Silent Screen» is inspired by silent cinema. Although there is no specific plot, the choreography is like a narrative. The music is by Philip Glass. As for Jiri Kylian, his work in general is inspired by Japanese culture. «Toss of a Dice» is no exception – here Kylian worked with Japanese artist Susumu Shingu, whose sculpture features prominently on the sets and has a direct influence on the stage and the dancers’ relationship with it.

Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali Street and Vasilissis Sophias Avenue, Athens.

Art exhibition presents history through subjective stories March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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Despina Meimaroglou and Deimantas Narkevicius at Thessaloniki’s SMCA

26-03-08_genius_seculi1.jpg  An image from the video ‘Disappearance of a Tribe’ by Deimantas Narkevicius. 

26-03-08_genius_seculi2.jpg  A photograph from Despina Meimaroglou’s project inspired by her trip to Cambodia.

During a trip to Cambodia three years ago, artist Despina Meimaroglou visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in the capital Phnom Penh. Originally a school, it had been converted into a torture site during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime before much later becoming a Museum.

Impressed by the numbers of young students waiting to visit the former torture chambers, Meimaroglou began thinking about rememberance and the strong effect that certain historical events can have on our lives. Her visit to Cambodia provided one more occasion to ponder on politics and history, steady subject matter in the work of this politically oriented artist. Upon her return, and still deeply stressed by the strong effect that the visit to the Genocide Museum had on her, Meimaroglou began work on a new project.

“Discovering the Other – Tuol Sleng, After all who Rewrites History after You” the title of the art installation that ensued after the artist’s visit to Cambodia, is one of the artist’s two works presented in “Genius Seculi”, a joint exhibition on the work of Meimaroglou and the well-known Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevicius, who represented his country at the 2001 Venice Biennale. The exhibition is organized by the Center of Contemporary Art, a section of the Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art (SMCA) and curated by Syrago Tsiara, the Center’s Director.

Meimaroglou and Narkevicius both share an interest in exploring issues related to history and politics through personal narratives. They both view history through subjective, individual stories and explore the interplay between the personal and the collective.

Narkevicius raises issues related to his country’s recent history and uses film and video in the style of a documentary. “Once in the XX Century”, a film presented in the Thessaloniki exhibit, is a montage of footage documenting the tearing down of public sculpture during the period of the early 1990s when Soviet control of Lithuania came to an end. The overpowering presence of the sculpture is a metaphor for the staying effects of the Soviet regime. According to the artist, it suggests that the immediate changes that everybody hoped for were not effected, that the “utopia of liberalism, which then seemed the only way” did not become a reality.

The work of Narkevicius speaks of the importance of thinking about recent history in a critical and profound way. His work suggests that being oblivious to historical events is at the expense of awareness of both history and oneself.

In the video “Dissapearance of a Tribe”, Narkevicius reflects on the history of his country from the 1950s to today through a selection of images taken from his family photo album. Again, his work examines the ways in which the large events of history trickle down into the lives of people or how personal stories reflect broader, historical events.

This quest is also to be found in the work of Meimaroglou. In the video installation “Annette McGavigan: A Personal Story becomes History” Meimaroglou tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who was killed by British soldiers during the traumatic Bloody Sunday events in Northern Ireland in 1972. After a chance meeting with the victim’s brother in Athens a few years ago, Meimaroglou began collecting all sorts of archival material on this relatively recent chapter of Northern Ireland’s history.

Her work engages the notion of historical memory. The artist pays tribute to the anonymous victims of violence and tragic historical events. Both her work and the work of Narkevicius are a reminder that history is a living experience that shapes the present and our self-understanding.

“Genius Seculi” at the SMCA, Thessaloniki, to 30 April. For information call 2310 546683.

Related Links > www.cact.gr

http://www.greekstatemuseum.com

http://www.emst.gr

A solo photo show at the Benaki Museum March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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A few years ago, Pavlos Kozalides traveled the region of the Black Sea in order to document the lives of the area’s Greeks. In many ways, it was voyage in search of his own roots. Of Pontic descent himself, he grew up listening to his family talk about their lives in Ordu, Turkey, before the 1923 exchange of populations.

Kozalides visited Ordu as well as other regions of Turkey but also traveled to Georgia, Ukraine and Russia. The photographs he produced, on a commission from the Benaki Museum, are exhibited in “Pavlos Kozalides: Seeking a Lost Homeland”, an exhibition curated by the artist and on display at the main building of the Benaki Museum, while the Museum’s Photographic Archives is the organizer.

Kozalides seeks out those aspects of Greek tradition that still survive in the communities of Greeks living in the Black Sea and draws attention to an important but somewhat neglected part of the Greek diaspora.

Born in Piraeus in 1961, Kozalides moved with his family to Canada when he was 7. He started working as a photographer in the 1980s, upon his permanant return to Greece. He has traveled extensively, photographing different parts of the world. The Benaki exhibition is the first public presentation of his work.

“Pavlos Kozalides: Seeking a Lost Homeland”, Benaki Museum, 1 Koumbari Street, Athens, tel 210 3671000. To April 13.

Related Links > www.benaki.gr

New theater places emphasis on technology March 23, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Arts Events Greece, Arts Museums, Stage & Theater.
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23-03-08_theatron1.jpg  The Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Center welcomes the Theatron [Theater]

23-03-08_theatron2.jpg  A digital view of the venue’s main hall, the Antigone, which can be transformed in 12 different ways so as to cater to all kinds of performances as well as conferences.

As of yesterday, the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Center on Pireos Street can boast a new acquisition. The brand new theater, called the Theatron, makes its debut with a show commemorating the venue’s 10th anniversary, directed by Yiannis Kakleas. Fully equipped with the latest technology, the Theatron promises to become yet another cultural landmark on this fast-developing part of Pireos Street.

23-03-08_ime1.jpg  It comes just a year after the opening of the Tholos, the Hellenic Cosmos’s striking virtual-reality theater.

A guided tour of the theater on Tuesday revealed a highly efficient building with a high degree of functional diversity. Seating that can be re-arranged in various ways, excellent acoustics and sound-proofing and a stage with multiple possibilities are just some of the theater’s many features. “The sound-proofing is so good that theoretically we could have a rock concert downstairs and a poetry reading upstairs,” joked Dimitris Efraimoglou, Managing Director of the Foundation of the Hellenic World, the institution that has founded the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Center, at the press conference.

23-03-08_theatron3.jpg  The three-level theater has two halls: the main one, Antigone, can be transformed in 12 different ways and can host anything from a theater performance to a large conference. The second, Iphigenia, can be used independently but can also open onto the main hall. Additional features include three foyers that can host exhibitions and other performances, rooms for rehearsals and a garage that will eventually have a 1000-car capacity. “We want to offer a hospitable venue to actors and dancers,” said Efraimoglou. He explained that the theater’s emphasis is on technology and one of the aims is to enable artists to combine live action with digital technology.

According to Thrasyvoulos Giatsios, program director of Hellenic Cosmos, the venue will focus mostly on contemporary spectacles and young artists without, however, excluding more classic-themed repertoires. “With the exception of our first performance, we will not host our own productions. We are interested in working with institutions that bring ensembles from abroad,” he said. Theater and dance shows as well as concerts by local and foreign artists will find a home at the Theatron. Giatsios did not rule out the possibility of booking the theater for an entire season for just one production, although there is a preference for ensembles giving a limited number of shows.

23-03-08_ime2.jpg  The program has yet to be announced, but there will be collaborations with the Attiki Cultural Society, the company that has brought actors such as Charlotte Rampling, Gerard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant to Athens, a concert organized by the Athens College Alumni and a tribute to the work of lyricist Lina Nikolakopoulou.

“The Theatron is ideal for directors who love technology. You can experiment with mixed media on body movement, music and vocals without losing the warm atmosphere of traditional theaters” said director Yiannis Kakleas. “Personally, I love multimedia productions. So many possibilities open up when live action co-exists with different kinds of sets thanks to virtual reality. Within the context of theater or dance you can create a visually beautiful show. Most theaters don’t have the structure for that. But this one does.”

The opening performance, which bears Kakleas’s signature, is a tribute to the past, present and future of the Foundation of the Hellenic World featuring live music by Haris Alexiou, among other things. It premiered yesterday and will be staged again tonight.

Related Links > http://www.ime.gr

Antiques to go under the hammer March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions, Arts Events Greece.
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The Art Dealers Association holds its yearly show this weekend > Paintings, rare period furniture, jewelry, old books, coins, banknotes, silverware, sculptures and an assortment of other collectible works of art go on display at the Association of Greek Antique and Art Dealers’s annual show this weekend at Zappeion Hall.

22-03-08_art_auction2.jpg  A chair, first half of 20th century, from the Gerasimos Kougianos collection. For the first time since its launch 14 years ago, an auction has been incorporated into this popular event for antique lovers. It is scheduled for Sunday at 1.30 p.m. Bidding for a select number of items will begin at 50 percent of their estimated worth. The participating collectors estimate the values of items to be auctioned off at between 300 and 10,000 euros.

22-03-08_art_auction1.jpg  Golden earrings with diamonds, end 19th century, from Evangelos Vitalis collection. A total of 24 collectors, each boasting distinct treasures, will be taking part at the event. Gerasimos Kougianos, for example, brings to the event old furniture and lighting fixtures that date back to the first half of the previous century. Stavros Michalarias of Michalarias Art will take part with paintings and sculptures by significant Greek and foreign artists as well as antiquities.

22-03-08_art_auction3.jpg  Silver metallic belts from the Nikos Roussos collection. Dimitra Panagopoulou, representing the Mevagissey antique store, will exhibit English furniture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Nikos Roussos brings to the show antiquities, banknotes, jewelry, silverware, watches, guns and porcelain items. Stratos Fotopoulos’s focus is on paintings by 19th and 20th century Greek artists.

22-03-08_art_auction4.jpg  A sculpture from the Eleni Stavropoulou collection. The 14th exhibition of the Association of Greek Antique and Art Dealers opens Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sunday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For further information, call 210 3225427.

An exhibition of photographs on fire-stricken Ileia March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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Exhibition of before-and-after images of fire-stricken Ileia at the Gaia Center

An exhibition of photographs by Katerina Aidoni titled “A View of Ileia, Before and After”, that is, before and after last summer’s forest fires – opened at the Gaia Center last night to mark World Forestry Day celebrated on March 21.

The exhibition was launched last night by Niki Goulandris, head of the Goulandris Natural History Museum and its board. The photograph featured here shows the Hill of Cronus, Ancient Olympia, as it is now. The fires that engulfed the prefecture of Ileia threatened the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony but fortunately the gods of Olympus intervened and saved the site.

The Gaia Center, 100 Othonos Street, Kifissia, Athens.

Related Links > http://www.gnhm.gr/MuseumSelect.aspx?lang=en-US

A Meeting at the Athens Ancient Agora March 20, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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The Foundation of the Hellenic World presents its new exhibition “Meeting at the Ancient Agora” and which focuses on the values that were born in the Ancient Agora of Athens and shaped contemporary political thought: freedom, justice, education, isonomy, freedom of speech, sociability and participation to common affairs.

With natural exhibits and interactive applications of advanced technology, the exhibition brings to life the social, political and intellectual reality of the city of Athens in the period in which the Agora was constructed.

Related Links > http://meeting.athens-agora.gr/index_en.html

http://www.fhw.gr/fhw/index.php?lg=2#