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Korres Greek care products debut in Shanghai this month October 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Fashion & Style, Hellenic Light Asia, Lifestyle, Shopping.
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The land of Greece is so steeped in legend that even the plants and herbs have magical properties. Just ask George Korres, a pharmaceutical graduate from the University of Athens.

In 1996, he became the owner of Tzivanidis, the oldest homeopathy medical store in the country and began promoting the magic of herbs with his natural therapies. Since then, Korres has expanded the business to include a range of more than 300 products encompassing face, body, hair and sun care, Korres color, Korres Greek flora and a special line for men. The brand claims that its products “broadly avoid synthetic components that can comprise up to 30-60 per cent of cosmetic formulae, replacing them with greatly beneficial, naturally derived ingredients”.

These include native Greek flowers and herbs such as thyme, basil and crocus, as well as yogurt and honey. Korres has also begun cooperating with Chios Mastiha Growers Association to develop a special line featuring their unique resin. Having spread from Greece to New York, Taiwan and London, Korres will make its debut in Shanghai this month.

Check out the skin care brand that stars like Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell rave about. Despite its celebrity cachet, all products are reasonably priced.

Location: JB City Plaza, 1618 Nanjing Xi Lu

Related Links > www.korres.com


‘Cultural Year of Greece in China’ debuts September 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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Beijing will be host to an ambitious year-old series of events, entitled “Cultural Year of Greece in China” through the autumn of 2008, featuring various aspects of Greece’s modern culture and kicking off on at the end of this month with a concert in memory of opera diva Maria Callas.

The series of events officially begin on October 19 with performance of Greek composer Stamatis Spanoudakis’ new work “Alexander: Paths you haven’t traveled”. The September 27 concert will feature noted mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa.

According to the Culture Ministry’s leadership on Tuesday, events will include theatrical performances, cinema tributes, dance, archaeological and modern art exhibitions, opera, folk concerts, modern and popular music, conferences as well as book exhibitions.

Additionally, the Hellenic Cultural Centre will open in the centre of the Chinese capital for the next two years, coinciding with Beijing’s hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, where it is expected to host exhibitions, seminars as well as commercial events.

Musical based on Greek mythology September 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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The newest junior college in Singapore celebrated its official opening recently with a musical inspired by Greek mythology.

Students of Innova JC shared the highlights in a clip that was submitted for MediaCorp News’ Roving DV competition, where students shoot, edit, script and narrate a news clip involving their school. Student reporters, Marvin Tang and Kong Jeng Huey, reported live at the musical performance that was put up by Innova students.

The musical was largely inspired by Greek mythology as the ancient Greece had significant accomplishments in producing thinkers, pioneering the study of science, developing the model of democracy, as well as cultivating the love of finer things like culture and literature.

During her opening address, Principal Yeo Hong Mui officially announced the new status of Innova Junior College as the Centre of Excellence for New Media and New Media Arts. Innova JC’s school song was penned by celebrated songwriter and performer Dick Lee, with added lyrics by Madam Citra.

Greek Jannis Kounellis exhibits at the Jaffa port September 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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A spectator not accustomed to conceptual art might find the recently installed work by Jannis Kounellis at the Main Gate Hangar in the Jaffa port in Israel, difficult to handle.

Kounellis, born in Pireaus, Greece in 1936 and living in Rome since 1956, made a name for himself when, in 1967, he joined the arte povera (poor art) movement in Italy, initiated by critic Germano Celant. Poor art refers to the use of humble materials, both antique and modern, man-made and organic, in the making of a piece.

After a stint with modernist painting, Kounellis began to challenge the edicts of classical art and introduce found objects such as live animals, burlap, coal, trolleys, smoke and odd pieces of furniture into his works. His current installation contains 12 clusters of 12 old wooden chairs in a circular format. In each circle, under the dismal light of a specially erected street lamp, Kounellis has created a series of visual conundrums: a pile of earth, scores of black shoes, large cloth bundles or sewing machines on each chair, or the chalk outline of a body from a crime scene are the kinds of ciphers the viewer is exposed to. What they mean belongs to the imagination of the person moving between the circles. And why 12? Are they the Apostles, a representation of the zodiac, or possibly a reference to Israel’s tribes? Or do they merely reflect on the relationship between art and life?

Jannis Kounellis, Main Gate Hangar, Jaffa Port. Information on opening hours:  (03) 681-6834.

Greek singer George Dalaras to perform in Israel September 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia, Music Life Greek.
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Greek singer George Dalaras is back in Israel, for the fifth time.

Since first appearing there in 1987, the Greek singer has pursued something of a love affair with Israeli audiences. All his shows there have sold out, and his records have done brisk business over the years. His forthcoming visit on September 24-27 was originally a two-date tour, but due to the rush for tickets, the organizers had added a third gig to the agenda.

Dalaras has been at the top of his profession for over 30 years. During that time he has cemented his standing as one of Greece’s most successful artists but has also managed to appeal to a wider audience across the globe. If you are trying to access market sectors outside your own cultural milieu, it helps to perform material in the audience’s own language, so Dalaras has recorded and performed songs in numerous languages, including Hebrew. On his forthcoming tour, his repertoire will include Dalaras’ readings of songs by a whole slew of top Israeli songwriters and artists, including Yehudah Poliker, Haim Moshe and Zohar Argov.

Dalaras has also spread it around stylistically over the years, incorporating Greek genres, such as rebetiko and laiko, along with Latin material, pop and even Arabic compositions. Dalaras has also mixed it with some of the biggest names in the Western music pantheon, with his brothers in music to date including the likes of Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Jethro Tull and Peter Gabriel.

Dalaras has also become known for his peace-mongering and is a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). While in Israel, Dalaras will donate his fee from one of the three concerts here to the Physicians for Human Rights organization.

At the Mann Auditorium on September 24 and 25 at 9 p.m.; At the Caesarea on September 27 at 8:45 p.m.

Greek know-how for new museum in Jordan August 31, 2007

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Jordan collaborates with Greek Society of Middle Eastern Studies on Dead Sea discoveries > On the highway linking Amman with Aqaba, the new museum is three kilometers outside the town of Safi, with a view of the Dead Sea.

A new museum, a joint Jordanian-Greek project, is currently being constructed on the new 400-kilometer highway linking the capital of Amman with Aqaba, just three kilometers outside the town of Safi. The shell-shaped edifice enjoys a view of the Dead Sea on one side and a huge, bare mountain on the other.

The program for the construction of the building is already under way, while the museological study and lay-out of exhibits, the organization of exhibitions and educational programs, as well as the website design and development is being undertaken by a team of Greek experts. The museum is scheduled for inauguration in 2008.

Launched in 2002, the project was assigned by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to the Greek Society of Middle Eastern Studies (EEMES), under the supervision of Dr Constantinos Politis, who spearheaded the program.

The professor has a profound knowledge of the region after conducting excavations and research there for over 23 years as a special envoy of the British Museum.

“Thanks to the finds yielded by those excavations, and especially the discovery of the Monastery of Saint Lot and the remnants of an Early Christian basilica containing mosaics with Greek inscriptions, the area was designated a holy site by the late King Hussein of Jordan,” explains archaeologist and museologist Giorgos Papaioannou, general secretary of EEMES and professor at the University of Ioannina, who is in charge of the museological study.

“Bronze Age cemeteries containing literally hundreds of thousands of graves that are of great architectural interest have been excavated by experts as well as illegal excavators. The Israelites, Egyptians, Nabataeans, Greeks and, after Alexander the Great, the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, all passed through the region, influencing the indigenous Arab communities,” explains the archaeologist.

Each has left its mark in the area, he says, be it in the form of architectural structures, ceramics, weaponry, grave sites, mosaics, inscriptions, jewelry or clothes.

“Monasticism developed in the early Byzantine years, as attested by the Monastery of Saint Lot, which dates to the 5th to 7th century and was excavated by Dr Constantinos Politis, as well as by the large number of places of retreat that have been found, most of which were carved into the rock of the wadis that can be found in the area. The site is mentioned in the Bible and in the Koran. It is said to be the site of Sodom and Gomorrah and a place visited by Moses, the prophets, Jesus, Mohammed and even Lawrence of Arabia,” says Papaioannou.

All this and more was what prompted the Jordanian government to promote and develop the area, which is, moreover, of special geological and geographical interest. The material that will comprise the new museum’s displays is rich and varied.

“Some of the artifacts are of equal value to the Dead Sea Scrolls,” says the Ioannina University professor.

The master of puppets August 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia, Stage & Theater.
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Shadow theatre based on the stories of Karagiozis has long been popular in Cyprus and in Greece. One master of the art is taking a performance to Iran

Like many Cypriots, Christodoulos Antoniou Paphios is a man who knows how to pull strings. But Paphios is rather different than the rest, he is a shadow theatre puppeteer and a renowned one to say the least.

Cyprus is set to participate in an international festival for shadow theatre taking place in Iran on August 28 and Paphios will be our man out there.

He has already taken part in festivals around Europe and is now looking forward to taking his show to another continent. Performing his act, The Eerie Tree, Paphios, also a member of the Pan-Hellenic Association of Shadow Theatre and Association of Friends of Karagiozis, was selected to represent the island at the upcoming festival. “I have never performed in Asia, so I am really interested about the response of the audience,” he said. “I will also be looking forward to seeing other artists and their work.”

Speaking about the prospect of playing in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in what will be the 13th event of the International Ritual-Traditional Theatre Festival, Paphios said that he would attempt to do his own extensive research to please his newly awaiting audience. “Iran is well known for shadow theatre because of its ancient Persian tradition, so, if I have enough time, I’ll do some research and buy some new puppets to add to my collection.

“Anyone wanting to participate in the festival had to send a tape of their recorded performance,” he continued. “Then a special commission from the Dramatic Centre of Iran chose the artists and plays. Mine was one of the selected performances.”

The non Greek-speaking audience will be given a translated copy of the transcript of his performance at the festival.

Paphios took his passion for shadow theatre from his grandfather, Christodoulos Paphios, who is regarded as the best-known puppeteer of a generation. Paphios had been helping his grandfather from an early age. After finishing his studies in France, he then collected his grandfather’s puppets and gave his first performance in 1983.

When his grandfather died in 1987, at the age of 83, Paphios decided to continue the family tradition and embarked on an international career participating in festivals in Poland, Greece, the Czech Republic, Spain and France. During his journeys, Paphios also brings back puppets from the countries that he visits, adding to a collection of around 400 puppets that will be exhibited on September 17 at the University of Cyprus.

Paphios explained that he would be dedicating the exhibition to his mentor and grandfather. “I am going to show the puppets, photos and drawings of my grandfather,” he added. During the exhibition Paphios will perform a tribute to his grandfather by staging the tale of Alexander the Great and the Dragon, a favourite of both grandfather and grandson.

Paphios is also set to perform a landmark show in Lapithos, in the Turkish occupied north area of Cyprus, on September 21 and will perform a show with a rather different twist. “I will perform Eurovision,” he explained with a smile. “Each of my puppets will sing a different song, but it all will be about communication and friendship.”

Believing that the tradition of shadow theatre must be cultivated and passed down in his family, he is hoping that one day his son, Antonis, will follow in his family’s footsteps. He will be contributing to a remarkable legacy.

THE EERIE TREE > The Eerie Tree is a traditional story that features the famous character of Karagiozis (‘black eyes’ in Turkish). Karagiozis characterises poor people, and is usually the main speaker of the play.

In this particular tale, the title tree has become haunted by the bad spirit, which transforms everyone who steps under the tree into an animal. Every animal, according to the tale, is the alter ego of the transformed individual. Transformed into a donkey, Karagiozis finally manages to defeat the bad spirit by being enormously happy as a donkey since he can eat and make love whenever and wherever he wants. This in turn prompts the disgruntled bad spirit to convert all its victims back to their normal selves.